Improve Trip Planning and Campground Experience at Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park » Improve Trip Planning and Campground Experience at Joshua Tree National Park » Document List

Due to increased visitation and increasing number of campground conflicts, JOTR management is proposing placing Jumbo Rocks and Cottonwood Campgrounds into the NPS reservation system spring of 2018 to improve trip planning, improve visitor enjoyment at campgrounds, and improve safety for both park staff and visitors. This is a trial which, if effective at meeting park goals, would be implemented full time.

Changes are only proposed at Jumbo Rocks Campground and Cottonwood Campground, converting both first come first serve sites to reservation. Changes may be seasonal (e.g. on a reservation system during peak use and/or peak days) or year round. Implementation may require the installation of a reservation kiosk and the provision of campground hosts and/or campground rangers. The park would use the existing National Park Service on-line reservation system located at

No changes are proposed at other first come first serve (non-reservation) campgrounds (Hidden Valley, Ryan, Bell, White Tank).

No changes are proposed for existing reservation campgrounds (Black Rock, Indian Cove (October - May), Indian Cove Group, Sheep Pass Group, Cottonwood Group).

Goals include: reducing camper/visitor conflict and competition for sites; improving quiet hours by eliminating the constant flow of night time traffic by would-be campers; eliminating unsafe situations where tempers rise between competing users leading to intervention by park law enforcement; and increased compliance with paying campground fees (estimated at less than 60%).

A public meeting is scheduled for November 1st, and the park will be accepting comments regarding this issue. The park seeks input and ideas for how best to improve visitor enjoyment and the protection of cultural and natural resources.

Contact Information

Judy Sokoll, 760-367-5553.