Thousands of Instagram users slammed the singer for what they called "ignorant and selfish" behaviour, prompting the National Park itself to weigh in on the matter with an official statement on Instagram.
Writing alongside a photo of a single Joshua tree, the Park said: "Everybody loves a Joshua tree! They’re cool, photogenic, and totally iconic.
"We want to remind all Joshua tree lovers that Joshua trees are not your typical ‘tree’. They’re members of the agave family, and more closely related to grasses and orchids than to hardwood trees like oak or cedar. They have thin, shallow roots and take a long time to get established.
"They can’t support a lot of weight, so climbing them or hanging things from them can be quite damaging (not to mention illegal). They’re actually protected by both federal and state laws!
"We encourage you to keep admiring, appreciating, and loving on our amazing Joshua trees -- from the ground. ❤️"
The post quickly racked up more than 9,000 likes and hundreds of comments, many of which Cyrus was tagged in.
Miley has since turned off comments on all of the shots in question.
Watch Miley Cyrus sing Hilary Duff's iconic song So Yesterday!