We camped for two nights, Sunday and Monday, during spring break at Indian Cove. I reserved the campsite after looking at pictures online and we were not disappointed. The rocks in Indian Cove are beautiful and hard to describe. We scrambled all over them, non-technical bouldering in hiking boots and sometimes climbing shoes. We rented a crash pad and a climbing guide book from Joshua Tree Outfitters and the kids (ages 14 and 16 and on a climbing team) did a bit of bouldering right in our campsite.
There are lots of technical climbs in campsites, and we learned that there is a rule that you cannot climb a route in an occupied campsite without permission from the campers. We were having lunch when some climbers with gear walked by and we invited them to climb our wall and give us a show, but they continued on.
There is no running water in the campground, you have to drive (or hike) to the ranger station to fill your water containers for cooking and cleaning. The restrooms were just composting toilets, which if you've never used one yet they are really much nicer than old fashioned holes in the ground. They do not smell.
The highlight of our trip was a hike into Rattlesnake Canyon, starting at the day use picnic grounds in the same Indian Cove campground. We saw Gambel's Quail, a Roadrunner, Chuckwallas and other smaller lizards, and many other birds. We met up with some fellow campers for some rock climbing, and then cooled off at a beautiful carved stone waterfall with lots of small pools for wading.
The lowlight of the trip was the wind, especially at night. The fellow campers, who were there for two weeks, said that the wind was very unusual. It nearly flattened our tent for hours on Monday night, but subsided by 11:30pm fortunately. But we were unable to have a campfire on Monday night because of the wind - it would have been unpleasant and scary dangerous to light a fire.
- Also Known As:
- Indian Cove Hotel Joshua Tree National Park
- Indian Cove Hotel