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Joshua Tree 2010 Trip

Day 2 of 10

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Saturday, March 27th
Indian Cove campground

After breakfast we checked out of our hotel and left Valencia at 10:45am. We encountered a few minor delays totaling about 10-15 minutes, but traffic in general wasn't bad. We stopped for lunch just before passing the Morongo casino. After that was the largest collection of windmills I've ever seen. I thought Altamont Pass had a lot, but that's nothing to compared to the area east of the Morongo casino. It had been quite windy at our lunch spot, so the placement of the windmills should not have been surprising. We just hoped it wouldn't be as windy at our campground.

We arrived in Twentynine Palms after about 2 hours 45 minutes of driving from Valencia (including the delays). We stopped by a local grocery store for some supplies, then backtracked about 3.5 miles to the park road that would take us to the Indian Cove campground. I'd made reservations several months in advance. Currently, there are only two campgrounds at Joshua Tree that take reservations -- Indian Cove and Black Rock. Unfortunately neither are in the main park area (where most of the hikes are). I had chosen Indian Cove simply because it sounded like the nicer campground of the two reserveable ones.

We stopped at the entrance and checked into our camp site. We picked up a couple of junior ranger booklets for the kids, as well. Then we drove to our camp site. The campground is relatively large, with a bit over 100 sites. Our site was well-placed, with no neighbor on one side (bounded by a set of large boulders). On the other side the sites were set in from the parking area, around the corner, tucked behind another set of large boulders. So the site had pretty good privacy.

Our camp site at Indian Cove

All around us and directly behind the camp site were large boulders everywhere. The kids had fun climbing up on them while we were in camp.

Thankfully there was no discernible wind at the campground. We set up our tent and prepared our campsite. There are fire rings and a picnic bench at each site, with vault toilets nearby. Unfortunately there's no water in the campground; you have to retreat about 2 miles back to the entrance station to get water. It's not a big problem, since you probably need to exit the campground to get supplies or visit trailheads, anyway, so you can refill on water on your way back into camp.

While the others rested, I made the short drive to the edge of the campground to check out the trailhead for the Indian Cove Nature Trail. It's a half-mile loop hike, but there wasn't much to see from the trailhead so I decided not to do the hike, since it was close to dinner time anyway. I snapped a few photos and returned to camp.

View from Indian Cove trailhead

View looking east from the campground
(Click image to view full size)

Firewood is for sale just before the park entrance and there's a fire pit in each camp. The weather was nice enough that we opted not to deal with a fire this time.

Indian Cove campground

Moonlit rocks of Indian Cove campground

Moonlit Indian Cove campground


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