Twentynine Palms is located in the high desert of Southern California at an elevation of approximately 2,000 feet above sea level. The local area, known as the Morongo Basin, is surrounded by sloping, steep mountains and low valleys.
Summer temperatures reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit with occasional extreme temperatures of 115 and higher. Winters are generally mild, averaging highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s, however it is not unusual to experience freezing temperatures on some winter nights.
Although the high desert is dry and arid, the area does receive approximately 4 inches of rain per year. Most storms occur during the fall and winter seasons and flash flooding is known to occur in dry lake beds and low-lying areas. On rare occasions, temperatures are low enough that a winter storm can bring light snow to the area.
Local entertainment opportunities in the Morongo Basin include live theater at Theater 29, stargazing at Sky's the Limit Observatory and Nature Center, concerts at the Tortoise Rock Casino, and the world-famous Joshua Tree music festival twice a year. Twentynine Palms is also home to Smith's Ranch Drive-In, one of the few drive-in movie theaters left in the US.
Nearby Joshua Tree National Park, known for its large rock formations, dark starry nights, and other-worldly desert landscapes offers hiking, camping, and climbing for the nature enthusiast. The twisted, spiky Joshua tree and the many wildflowers that blanket the park each Spring are favorite subjects for photographers. Wildlife is abundant in the park and coyotes, Bighorn Sheep, and bobcats can be seen from time to time.
Whether you prefer the desert, the beach, or mountain forests, each can be found within driving distance from the base. Los Angeles and San Diego are a few hours drive from the installation and many popular Southern California attractions can be enjoyed during a day trip.