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Home > Campgrounds > Joshua Tree National Park > Cottonwood Campground

COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAMPGROUND PHASED REOPENING

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas Social Distancing Required Visitors Centers, Stores and/or Other Facilities Closed
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COVID-19 STATUS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAMPGROUND PHASED REOPENING

If you believe this information is incorrect or needs updating, please let us know here.
So what does "Campground Phased Reopening" mean?

According to the U.S. National Park Service, Cottonwood Campground is currently working on reopening. This can mean that certain areas and facilities are closed. Visit the source link below for more detailed information regarding this park's status.

What we know:

The below source link has more information about the status of this campground. The National Park Service requires everyone at this park, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, & other congested areas.

Face Masks or Coverings Required in Certain Areas

Cottonwood Campground is currently requiring masks or face coverings in certain or all areas. Depending on your vaccination status, if you are not fully vaccinated (meaning two weeks after your final vaccination), and according to CDC guidelines, which currently depends on the COVID-19 transmissibility rate in the community in and around the park. Most parks requiring masks indoors have put an alert out (found below in the Alerts section). Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service and the local community for more detailed information.

Social Distancing Required

Cottonwood Campground is currently requiring everyone to social distance, 6 feet or more, from others. This usually means outside of your immediate group. Some parks may also have size restrictions on gatherings to help assist in social distancing. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service and the local community for more detailed information.

Visitors Centers, Stores and/or Other Facilities Closed

Cottonwood Campground currently has visitors centers, stores, or other facilities closed due to Covid-19. It is highly suggested that you bring all the supplies you may need in case a store is closed or shopping is limited due to local communities or the park. Please refer to the U.S. National Park Service and the local community for more detailed information.

Last Updated: September 16, 2021
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Cottonwood Campground Overview

Beginning September 1, 2021 same-day reservations can be made if sites are available.

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. To get the most out of your visit Plan Like a Park Ranger 

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; however, reservations are required year-round. 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.
Charges & Cancellations

Reservation Cancellations & Changes

Cancelling a Reservation: Customers may cancel their reservation prior to arrival both on-line and through the call center. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation. Depending on when you cancel in relation to your arrival day, it may be considered a late cancellation. 

Changing an Existing Reservation: When changes are made prior to the cut-off window:

If a customer wants to switch dates that are entirely outside of the original reservation dates, there is a $10 change fee.

There is no change fee if a customer extends or shortens a reservation, as long as the change includes dates from the original reservation. If they choose to depart early, they may forfeit the recreation fee for the day of departure.

There is no change fee if the customer wants to switch sites that are the same price with the same reservation dates in the same facility.

If a reservation is made that includes dates beyond the maximum booking window, that reservation cannot be changed until 18 days have passed from the original booking date.

Late Cancellations or Cancellations within the Cut-off Window

Individual Campsites: A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee.

Directions to 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.

This page includes information about Cottonwood Campground (Ca) in Joshua Tree National Park | Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself. | California | https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm