Cottonwood Campground

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree Natiional Park

Joshua Tree National Park
Attractions and Activities

Visitors to Joshua Tree National Park appreciate the stark beauty of the desert and the wonderful flora and fauna of the region. Campers at Cottonwood Campground are in the southern part of the park, but many of its attractions are within easy driving distance.

  • Stroll through Black Rock Canyon with its magnificent Joshua Tree forest.
  • Visit Cottonwood Springs and discover its cultural history. Find good hiking and birding there.
  • Indian Cove has enjoyable nature trails featuring the Wonderland of Rocks.
  • Keys View offers panoramic views of the Coachella Valley, the San Andreas Fault, and the high peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio.
  • Skull Rock is certain to make you pull out your camera.
  • Wildflower viewing is best from February through June.
  • Ranger-led Programs include nature walks and campfire programs. See the- Joshua Tree Calendar of Events.
  • Enjoy the 18-mile geology motor tour.
  • Take a guided ranger tour of historic Keys Ranch.

Important Cottonwood Campground Regulations

  1. Campfires are only allowed in existing fire rings or grades in developed campgrounds. Bring your own firewood.
  2. Towed Vehicles are counted as one of the two vehicles permitted per campsite.
  3. Store food and scented items in a secure place that will prevent access by wildlife.
  4. Generators may only be operated from 7 AM to 9 AM, Noon to 2 PM, and 5 PM to 7 PM.

Cottonwood Campground

Cottonwood Campground is at the southern end of Joshua Tree National Park. Visitors to the campground often come for the opportunity for star gazing and for the colorful spring wildflowers (best February - March). The campground is surrounded by flat, open desert with a beauty all its own.

All the standard campsites at Cottonwood Campground are first come, first served. Only the three Group Camps accept reservations.

Cottonwood Campground Basics
Cottonwood Campground Location: off Box Canyon Rd., southern Joshua Tree National Park
Elevation: 3,000 feet
Mileage/Driving Time: 160 miles from Los Angeles, 2:37
Number of Sites: 66
Open - Closed: Open year-round
Max. People per Site: 6 (including children)
Vehicles/tents per Site: 2 vehicles, 2 tents
Pets: On leash, always attended
Park information: (760) 367-5500

No Reservations: first come, first served
Camping Limit: 14 nights from October through May with 30 days total per year
Maximum RV/Trailer Length: 25 - 35 feet, varies by site
Accessible Sites: None designated
Fees: $20
Campground Photos and Map: Cottonwood Campground Photos and Map
Check-in, check-out: Noon, Noon

Cottonwood Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire grate
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water, amphitheater,
Showers and laundry: No showers; laundry in Indio, 20 miles
Dump station: No
Attractions near Cottonwood Campground: Tour the Cottonwood Visitor Center. Enjoy interesting interpretive programs. Hike the trail to Mastodon Peak, Visit Cottonwood Springs.

Cottonwood Group Camps

Cottonwood Campground has 3 tent-only, group sites. Habitable trailers and RVs are not allowed at the campsites. There are restrooms with flush toilets, sheltered picnic areas, and drinking water. Group reservations can be made up to 12 months in advance.
Site 1: 7-15 people, 7 vehicles, $35 per night
Site 2: 7-20 people, 11 vehicles, $35 per night
Site 3: 7-25 people, 14 vehicles, $40 per night
Reservations: Cottonwood Group Camps

General Camping Information for
Joshua Tree National Park

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

Water is not available at all campgrounds. Plan ahead and carry plenty of water.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate,

Chicago Park Web Design

Driving times may vary based on conditions. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. The information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.