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Cottonwood Visitor Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Pinto Basin Rd. North of South Entrance Station, Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277
Phone Number:
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 69 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 23
  • 25
    Very good
  • 12
  • 1
  • 0
Useful information, Helpful staff

This is the southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, and is worth the stop, apart from getting a permit. The staff here are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. There is a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed December 17, 2016
Long Valley, New Jersey
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69 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 61: English reviews
Long Valley, New Jersey
Level Contributor
477 reviews
228 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2016

This is the southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, and is worth the stop, apart from getting a permit. The staff here are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. There is a short informative walk, but just asking for information and what you are interested in, will solicit a wealth of information from the staff. Make this your 1st stop in... More 

1 Thank OziDiver
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
240 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2016 via mobile

Starting point for south entrance to park. Lots of trails. Camping for hikers or for trailers available near this visitor center.

2 Thank pmny
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2016

The Cottonwood Visitor Center provided good information on the geology of the Park. The rangers were helpful. High quality maps. We visited on an overcast gloomy day. The visitors center seemed to fit the mood. The overriding message was bad people threatening the fragile ecosystem. 3.5 Celsius global warming increase in temperature due soon. The earths orbit eccentricity, its obliquity... More 

1 Thank bruceds101
NorthSlope, AK
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2016

We visited outside peak season, so it was pretty low key, plenty of parking in the small parking lot.

Thank NatParkFan
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
5,103 reviews
3,319 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,454 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2016

We entered Joshua Trees National Park at this entrance station - Cottonwood Visitor Center. Its a small but nice center. There is information about the park and a small gift shop. We also picked up our maps and information guide. The ranger was wonderful and also informative. It was a good first stop on our repeat trip to Joshua Trees... More 

Thank mini
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
1,589 reviews
760 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 689 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2016 via mobile

Small center, very friendly staff but this is not the interesting end of the park. The best parts are near 29 Palms at the northern end so don't miss that. I was advised by the Ranger that there are bee issues in the less visited part of the park. Apparantly they go for the air conditioning unit on your car,... More 

Thank Albywon
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Level Contributor
123 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2016 via mobile

I really like this visitor center off I-10 as it is a great stop before going on hikes or settling into a campsite for the night. Every visit staff is great and knowledgeable about park and the different areas.

Thank Dee W
Granada, Spain
Level Contributor
268 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2016 via mobile

Traveling San Diego to Phoenix stopped off in Palm Springs then popped into the Joshua Tree National Park. The nearest route for us was the loop... Nice walk, great views took us about 2 hours to walk the loop and took loads of photos :-)

1 Thank Clara O
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2016

We stopped here on our way out for a bathroom break and to compare it to the Oasis Visitor Center. This is a smaller center, though with the usual helpful advice and printed info. Water available, too. Must stop if unfamiliar with the park and entering from the South.

Thank Richard H
Riverview, Florida
Level Contributor
661 reviews
189 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 406 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2016 via mobile

I would recommend taking the Ranger LED tour of the cactus garden where they give you history of the park as well as information on how the different cactus plants were used by the indigenous cultures

2 Thank Stevied888

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?