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  • Joshua Tree NP - Cottonwood Spring, CA


    Cottonwood Spring CG is located near the south entrance to Joshua Tree NP, about 7 miles north of I-10 east of Indio.


    Cottonwood Springs is a first-come/first-served CG; we arrived in the early afternoon on a Friday and had several sites from which to choose. Here we are on on site 29-B. Most sites are not too level and we had to do some blocking up of the front wheels.

    Date of visit: Mar 2008

    Some of the sites, such as 26-B at left, are back-in, others are just a pull-off beside the road - almost a pull-through. There are no hookups here, but drinking water is available, as is a dump station.

    Sites are fairly open, but are nicely separated for privacy.

    Each site has a large picnic table, fire pit, and plenty of room for pitching a tent.

    The hills and mountains are all around you here.

    Site 2-B is a nice back-in site.

    It's not often that you have a beautiful wildflower garden right outside your door.

    Some great hiking can be found here, with trails going to old springs, mines and mountain peaks.

    That pointed peak in the distance is Mastodon Peak, elevation 3,440 feet. We climbed it while here.

    We were lucky and found all sorts of wildflowers in full bloom - absolutely gorgeous, with every color you can imagine.

    Just below the summit of Mastodon Peak is the old Mastodon Mine, worked until 1971.

    Looking south from Mastodon Peak one can just barely see the Salton Sea, down at 235 feet below sea level.

    At Cottonwood Spring are these gigantic California fan-palms.

    Along the trail we encountered all sorts of wildlife: lizards and iguanas, birds and butterflies, and this desert tortoise.


    Dump station available

    No Verizon service

    Rates: $15 (50% off with Golden Age Pass) plus $15 Entrance Fee (Free with GAP) (Entrance fee good for 7 days)

    62 sites in two camp loops

    Coord: 33.745894 N, 115.812663 W