With the summer heat expected to reduce visitation to Joshua Tree National Park, officials will close five campgrounds off to the public starting Friday.
From Friday through around Labor Day, the following camping areas will be closed:
-- Cottonwood Campground (Loop B)
-- Belle Campground
-- Ryan Campground
-- Indian Cove Campground family sites (West Loop)
-- Black Rock Campground, sites 49-60 and 69-99
Along with an expected drop-off in guests, park officials say the closures, which happen routinely during the summer months, are conducted to reduce maintenance costs and allow vegetation a bit of a breather.
However, visitation numbers will be evaluated during the summer to determine whether some of the closed sites may be reopened.
Other sites, such as Jumbo Rocks and Hidden Valley, will be open all summer.
The White Tank Campground, typically closed in the summer, also will remain open to allow access to Arch Rock and extra campsites, according to park officials.