JOSAR Search Team

In 2016, Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP) experienced record visitation of over 2.5 million people, and that number continues to grow. Search and Rescue services are available to those visitors and employees of Joshua Tree National Park who become lost, stranded, or injured within the park. The goal is to protect human life, and provide for injury-free visits. Please take time to go through some of Hiking and Climbing Safety Tips before your trip.

The mission of the search team is the location and extraction of lost and/or incapacitated hikers within the confines of Joshua Tree National Park. The team is activated by a park ranger upon the report of an overdue hiker, or the receipt of a 911 cell phone call from the subject himself, requesting assistance. Trained community volunteers (members of JOSAR) are deployed to the location where they evaluate the situation to determine the plan before executing. Continual training by these volunteers allow them to act swiftly according to the protocols for the given situation.

While the majority of these "callouts" are concluded within a few hours, either by the return of the “lost” person, or the wheeled-litter carryout of a dehydrated hiker, more extended searches do occur. In this case of more extended searches, a callout for our man-tracking and K9 search sub-teams for additional support. Additionally, searches in rocky areas may involve our technical rescue team and often helicopter support from other agencies. We do NOT perform swift-water rescues, nor any searches in the numerous caves within the park.