Keys Ranch ToursEducation
In the high desert country that was to become Joshua Tree National Park, rugged individuals tried their luck at cattle ranching, mining, and homesteading. The story of William (Bill) F. Keys and his family is particularly representative of the hard work and ingenuity it took to settle and prosper in the Mojave Desert.
JTNPA funds the ranger-guided tours of the ranch, which include the colorful story of the 60 years Bill and his wife Frances spent working together to make a life and raise their five children in this remote location. The ranch house, schoolhouse, store, and workshop still stand; the orchard has been replanted; and the grounds are full of the cars, trucks, mining equipment, and spare parts that are a part of the Desert Queen Ranch story.