Indian Cove Campground in Joshua Tree National Park lies amid the huge, steep rock formations for which Joshua Tree National Park is known. Because of its proximity to many rock climbing routes, it is a popular camping location for climbers. Indian Cove is one of four campgrounds in the park that can be reserved during the busy winter season; it is open on a first-come, first-served basis from June 10 through August 30.
Travelers who enjoy warm, dry winters flock to Joshua Tree from October through May, when temperatures hover between 70-90 degrees during the day and drop to a 40-60 degree range at night. Summer is the park's off-season due to the uncomfortably-high desert heat. Indian Cove is at an elevation of 3,200 feet.
Rock climbers flock to Indian Cove Campground for the variety of routes and warmer temperatures that can be found in the interior of the park. Several hiking trails also leave from the campground. There is a short interpretive nature trail and plenty of rocks for the non-climber to explore within the facility. Clear desert skies are perfect for star-gazing.
This large facility has 91 individual campsites, as well as 13 tent-only group sites. There are no hookups or drinking water in the campground, however water and an emergency phone are available two miles away at the ranger station. The town of Twentynine Palms is less than 10 miles away and provides basic amenities. The park allows six people and two vehicles per site, however, some sites are small and may not accommodate the maximum number of people and vehicles. See Site Details for specifics.
Campsites are nestled on a flat, sandy surface between large boulders that tower in unique shapes over the campground and rise up from the otherwise uniform desert landscape. The rocks were formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago and have been exposed and shaped by wind and water over time. They brighten with soft pastel hues during the morning and evening sunlight and glow with campfire light by night.
Visitors may want to keep their eyes out for typical desert inhabitants such as lizards, rattlesnakes, scorpions, ravens, squirrels and desert tarantulas during the cooler months of the year. Bobcats and mountain lions do live in the park, however they are rarely seen near humans.
ADA Access: N
Our favorite place to camp at JT!
Indian Cove has served as the annual outing for the Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course to teach its students land navigation. I took this course in 2016 and recommend it to anyone interested in learning how to backpack the back country or just want to feel more confident in the wilderness. The campground ihas a number of sites to choose from, although they aren't always clearly defined. There's also a few table picnic tables to use. There's no electricity and cell service was limited as I recall. There are also a number of good trails nearby.
In other states I’ve spent months in a tent. This is my first CA trip. I found it via The Dyrt. We took 51 and 52. It was perfect. Sun comes up early and drop down late in this site. It back to what I think is the Santa Ana river down a hillside. It’s flat. It’s quiet. However travel via the 91 freeway was intolerable. Be clear to find a decent travel path. But thanks for a first lead in CA.
As one of the few reservable campgrounds in Joshua Tree, Indian Cove is a great option for camping. Unlike some of the more popular campgrounds in Joshua Tree it is located outside the main park so it’s a bit of a drive to the main attractions. But if you want to make sure you have a place to camp it is a beautiful campground with plenty of rocks to climb or camp within. I stayed here for a night, got up early and moved to Jumbo Rocks inside the park.
Visited for SDSU Climbing Club trip. Spacious sites located next to humongous boulders just waiting to be climbed. No ropes needed in order to climb around and explore. Sites are nestled between rocks so privacy can be found, although sites are close to each other. Picnic tables and fire pit at each site. Bathrooms clean and close by. Very clean campground, do your part and keep it that way!
Make sure to stop and fill up the yellow tab and leave the top on your dash and pay respectively. Id suggest to buy an annual park pass and military gets the whole year for free!! See the visitor center for it and while ure at it if you have kids, every National Park has an activity book to earn hat badge and stickers as junior ranger. On this location day hikers no need to register. And for the group campers and with those outdoor enthusiast glamping there is a designated spot for yall and must register ahead! All other campers, pick your own rock and by far this is the spot that i will keep coming back! The sky was perfect, no moon and u can see some jupiters moon like IO with naked eye, this night i saw 4!! It was spectacular!! Take nothing but pictures leave nothing but footprints and bring nothing but memories!!
We love the jumbo rocks at Joshua Tree and Indian cove campground is settled within a group of the giant rock formations. Our campsite was a bit small, but fine for the two of us and our tent. We had a picnic table, grill and fire pit. Vault toilets were spaced nicely along the campground road. No water in the actual campground, but is at the ranger station. No showers or running water, cell coverage was spotty.
Nice campgrounds, I enjoyed the views. The campgrounds were clean, their were restrooms pretty close by. The rocks were pretty sweet to climb on.
Great campground in Joshua Tree NP, rustic - just put toilets & drinking water available but some sites are tucked right up amongst the red rocks. Great for bouldering, desert night sky spectacular too.
If you want to get great views of the night sky without the City Light pollution that we are all so used to, head to Joshua Tree and pick any of the campsites. Both Indian Cove and jumbo rocks campsites have plenty of large Rock outcroppings 2 search and explore. The campsites are well laid out with plenty of room. Some are more set for large RVs. The facilities in this Campground are nice.