Cottonwood Campground (Ca)

Twentynine Palms, California

From

$20/night

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Overview

Cottonwood Campground is one of the best places in Joshua Tree National Park for stargazing and wildflower viewing. Easy access from Interstate 10, makes it a popular stopover for travelers. Visitors who enjoy warm, dry winters flock to Joshua Tree from October through May, when temperatures reach between 70 to 90-degrees during the day and drop to 40 to 60-degrees at night. Summer is the park's off-season due to the uncomfortably high desert heat. Cottonwood Campground is at an elevation of 3,000 ft. and has little shade from vegetation.

Recreation

Stargazing and wildflower viewing are among the most popular activities at this facility. Several hiking trails leave from the campground and several more trailheads are within a one to two hour drive.

Facilities

There are 62 sites, each with a fire ring and picnic table. There are no electrical hookups. Drinking water and flush toilets are provided.

Natural Features

The landscape around Cottonwood is that of the Colorado Desert, which encompasses the southern edge of the park and a large portion of Southern California. Rather than being surrounded by large rock formations and uniquely-shaped Joshua trees, like campgrounds in the northern section, this facility overlooks flat, open-desert shrubland. It is also further from towns or cities that would contribute light pollution. As a result, it offers wide, dark and uninterrupted views of the night sky that draw astronomers and amateur sky watchers alike.

Cottonwood is at a lower elevation than other campgrounds within the park, so desert wildflowers begin to bloom earlier in the spring than in other locations. Flowering occurs anytime between the beginning of February to the end of March; timing varies depending on the amount of winter precipitation and the arrival of warm temperatures.

Nearby Attractions

The General Patton Memorial Museum, a U.S. military history museum, is just over 12 miles away in the town of Chiriaco.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Camp at Cottonwood Campground in Joshua Tree NP

    The Cottonwood Campground is roughly 40 minutes south of the main attractions in Joshua Tree on Pinyon Canyon Rd and is located right next to the visitor center The biggest advantage of this site is that it is less popular than many of the other s...

  • Hike the Mastadon Peak Loop

    The trail is typically used for hiking, nature trips, and trail running. There are lots of opportunities to see desert plants and flowers. On clear days, you can see the Salton Sea. There is an old mine to explore from the outside, as the entrance...

    2.3 miles 331 ft gain

  • Explore Cottonwood Spring

    Just east of the Cottonwood Visitor Center. This scenic spot provides access to cottonwood spring. The spring is a short walk down from the parking lot, and was formed from earthquakes! It was a popular spot for natives and settlers to gather wate...