We stayed here this past weekend for my birthday with friends and family and all I can say is that I would go back in a heartbeat. Specifically, I would stay at this campground. We had read a number of other visitor's reviews, which drew us here in the first place, and it truly didn't disappoint. We stayed and sites 22, 23 and 24 and it was a great collection of sites for a larger group. Honestly, though, you can't go wrong with any of the sites so don't stress about getting the "perfect" site. Your costs for staying here are $15 to enter the Joshua Tree National Park (which is valid for 7 days....just keep your receipt). The site fees are $10 per site per night. Be sure to bring exact cash because there is no ranger station that takes your money and gives you change...it's self service.
As for hikes, we went to the Lost Palms Oasis hike which is a three-mile round trip. It's a nice hike because the way there is mostly uphill leaving you an easy downhill coming back. The payoff is a random Oasis of Palm Trees (hence the name) that appears in the middle of the desert. There are a couple other hikes I would have like to try but we'll definitely go back.
Each site at the campground, by the way, has a picnic table and firepit. There are also bathrooms staggered around the campgrounds which are glorified port-o-potties. Nothing fancy but it does the trick.
The beauty of this place is the evening. As the sun goes down and the colors set in, get to higher ground on one of the many rocks around and you'll be in for a treat.
One last thing...the campgrounds allow dogs but you just need to keep them on leash at all times. They are not allowed on the official trails but there is plenty of terrain around the campground to take your puppy to let him or her explore.
Enjoy your Trip!!!!!