Camping in Joshua Tree at Indian Cove Campground

Camping in Joshua Tree at Indian Cove Campground


Camping in Joshua Tree at Indian Cove Campground


As the evening of Friday the 13th grew closer, I was beginning to have Deja Vu from our last camping trip. I stopped at the coffee shop near our house to load up on caffeine for what I expected to be a long night ahead.

As I stood in line, the storm outside grew stronger and louder. The first flash of lighting struck while thunder grumbled in the distance.

Is this what I have to look forward to in our tent tonight?

Well, at least our campsite at Joshua Tree wasn’t in a flash flood zone – or I may have reconsidered the trip. The memory of the night I thought we might drown in a flash flood at Havasu Falls was still too fresh in my mind.

Luckily, the rest of the members in our group were having the same reservations about setting up camp in the dark and in the middle of a thunderstorm, so we all agreed to wake up early on Saturday to make the 2 1/2 hour drive to the park.

This is something you may want to take into consideration when visiting Joshua Tree during the winter, spring or fall. The weather is much cooler during the day, but be prepared for the possibility of rain and teeth-chattering cold nights. I personally prefer this time of year to the blistering heat of the summer, especially since post storm conditions create the perfect cloud-filled photographs.

Camping in Joshua Tree - No Rattlesnakes This Time!

Camping in Joshua Tree - No Rattlesnakes This Time!

When we arrived at Indian Cove Campground, we were greeted by campsite poachers who had parked their two cars in our site, took our name off the pole and replaced it with theirs.

At the time, we thought maybe the booking office had made a mistake and had given our site away since we arrived a day late, forgetting that we had called the night before letting them know we would be arriving on Saturday morning.

It turns out they were just poachers, who we had to track down in order to get everything settled. Now, it was time to set up our camp and enjoy a cold beer.

Camping in Joshua Tree - No Rattlesnakes This Time!

Stay tuned for our next post with suggested hiking trails in Joshua Tree and some night photography of the glorious stars without all that pesky light pollution.


Related Posts:

For those of you who are not aware, our last trip to Joshua Tree was during the summer and we were met face to face with a very angry rattlesnake. You can read about it by clicking on the link below.

Our Brush with Death in the Land of Dr. Seuss Trees

Should You Rent Camping/Backpacking Gear for a Trip?

Tips for Hiking and Camping in Yellowstone

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  1. I was there last week. I go camp there once every few months. Went to jumbo Rock campground. Much nicer than cottonwood. Try it next time. It was so windy there that my tent collapsed 3x. But the night was calm. Moon lit up everything beautifully. Great site and close to 29 palms.

  2. PediatricDentist says:

    Oh I really hate snake. How did you do that guys? You are so brave. I love camping but I don’t want to see snake.

  3. Reg of The Spain Scoop says:

    How’d the poachers react?

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      They apologized and said they didn’t know, but it was obvious they did it on purpose since they replaced our name with theirs. We didn’t make a big deal out of it and I’m glad they weren’t confrontational. 🙂

      1. We just missed you there- left on the 15th, beautiful side of the park, we also stayed in Cottonwood and didn’t like the campground as much. Rules in the camp and NPS app say you have until noon the second day of your reservation and then poaching the site is a legal maneuver, they must register however so I am imagining they have to go to the visitor center at that time of year.

  4. Hi from Fort Collins, Colorado.  Home of New Belgium Brewery, brewer of Fat Tire!  Just had to say something when I recognized that beer.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It’s so funny you say that. Scott and I just did a multiple brewery tour in San Diego today. I wish we had Fat Tire though! 🙂

  5. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy says:

    What a beautiful place to camp. The forests of Illinois get a little tiresome after a while!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

       We love camping in the desert. 🙂

  6. Technosyncratic says:

    Campsite poachers?!  The nerve of some people.  Campsites are like a holy place and shouldn’t be messed with.  😛

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      They were sneaky sneaky. 🙂

  7. Karenleckrone says:

    These photos are awesome and I can’t wait to see the night photography!    

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I have some cute photos of you, Rob and Beau too! 🙂

  8. Great shots as always and thet beer looks intriguing…

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Mmmm.. it was yummy on a perfectly warm day. Thanks, Robin! 

  9. Ayngelina says:

    I guess it never occurred to me there could be rattlesnakes there, you are far braver than I.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Before this incident, rattlesnakes were always something that I hoped I didn’t see, but kinda thought I would never actually have to deal with. Now I think about it more than I should. 🙂