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.


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.

Nearby attractions

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

Natural feaures

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.

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.


Driving directions to Cottonwood Campground

The park headquarters address is not the physical address of the campground. To get to the campground, take Interstate 10 to the I-10 exit 168 Mecca/Twentynine Palms exit and follow signs to Joshua Tree National Park. The exit is 25 miles east of Indio, California.

Location and contact info

Pinkham Canyon, CA 92277

For campground inquires, please call:760-367-5554

Cottonwood Campground details

  • Campfire allowed
  • Checkin time: 12:00 PM
  • Checkout time: 12:00 PM
  • Max num of people: 6
  • Max num of vehicles: 2
  • Max vehicle length: 40
  • Pets allowed
Camping with an RV

Camping with an RV

Have you ever wanted to sleep at the foot of a mountain or wake up to the sound of the ocean’s waves gently crashing on the shore? When on a road trip, do you like to stop at every weird and wonderful roadside attraction? Do you ever just want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get out into the great outdoors? Then renting an RV is definitely for you.

Camping in an RV allows you to adventure on your terms. Whether you’re looking to bond over an open fire with family and friends or you just want to get away for a while, there’s no better way to do it than from behind the wheel of an RV.

How Outdoorsy Works

1

Find the perfect RV

Choose your location, dates, and send the owner a request to book.

2

Delivery or Pickup

Arrange a pick up time with the owner or have it delivered to your driveway or destination.

Let us help

Most owners have the option to deliver and set up the RV right to your destination.

3

Adventure awaits!

Enjoy the freedom of the open road nd the assurance of 24/7 roadside assistance.

After your trip, return the RV to the owner on the same condition you recieved it.

Amenities at Cottonwood Campground

  • supplies

    BBQ

    Grills/Fire ring

    Picnic table


Activities at Cottonwood Campground

Camping

Hiking

Wildlife viewing

Day use area

Interpretive programs


New to RVing? No problem! Outdoorsy community member, Mike Jackson, gives you the ins and outs of RV propane tanks and propane accessories.
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Find the perfect RV for Cottonwood Campground

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All towables

Trailer

Trailers for all types of towing vehicles, including SUVs and pickups.

Folding Trailer

Trailers you can tow with passenger vehicles or SUVs. A great way to transform average cars into adventure cars.

Fifth-Wheel

Larger trailers that attach to towing vehicles with a gooseneck extension in the truck bed.

Toy Hauler

Living quarters in the front with dedicated space for hauling motorcycles or other “toys” in the back.

Utility Trailer

All other types of towable trailers.

All drivables

Class C

Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.

Camper Van

The smallest and nimblest of fully enclosed RVs. Drives like a van. Loves posing for Instagram.

Class B

A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.

Class A

Drivers should be comfortable driving bus-sized vehicles and dealing with parking limitations. Great for delivery.

Truck Camper

If you can drive a truck, you can drive a truck camper. Makes roughing it significantly less rough.

Other

All other types of drivable vehicles.

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Questions about RVs?

Q.

What type of RV should I choose?

A.

Start by determining how many people are planning to travel with you. Going on a solo-journey? Choose a camper van or a teardrop trailer. Bringing the whole family along for the ride? Consider a spacious Class A or five-wheel.

You’ll also want to consider amenities. For example, if you’re planning to cook on the road, you’ll want a kitchenette. If your campground doesn’t have public restrooms, you’ll want to search RVs with bathrooms. Check out full descriptions of our models to help you decide here.


Q.

Do the RVs have bathrooms?

A.

Yes. Class A’s, Class B’s, and Class C’s and five-Wheels typically have bathrooms. Depending on where you plan on camping, you’ll want to double-check the availability of restrooms if selecting a rig without a bathroom. Nervous about renting an RV with a bathroom? Owners can help show you how to clean the tank or will offer to do it for you for a fee.


Q.

How does check-in work?

A.

Once an Owner approves your RV reservation, you can coordinate a time to pick up your rig or have it delivered to your doorstep or campsite. At that point, the owner will do a key exchange with you and walk you through the RV and answer any questions you might have.