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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:
08:30 - 16:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 08:30 - 16:00

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
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    Very good
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Great advice

We entered Joshua Tree National park from the south and stopped here for maps and advice on what to see while visiting the park for the day. The rangers were very helpful in... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Seattle, Washington
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78 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 70: English reviews
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
418 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We entered Joshua Tree National park from the south and stopped here for maps and advice on what to see while visiting the park for the day. The rangers were very helpful in pointing out places to visit and short hikes that matched our interests. The visitor center offers restrooms, a gift shop, and is where you can buy a... More 

Thank GoAlong2
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The rangers seemed stressed, similar to the ones at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center. Cleaner restroom with flush toilette than at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center, but not as clean, spacious, or airy as the one at the Oasis of Mara Visitor Center in 29Palms. More working space and parking space may help both visitors and rangers. Thank you for... More 

Thank NZ17TM18
Level Contributor
292 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great for a park preview which is based upon the extensive knowledge of the park staff here! Take the time to learn here !

Thank itraveleverywhere
Placentia, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was our favorite of the 3 Ranger Stations. It is located at the far east side of the park but has some uniqueness about it. Directly behind is a nice 3 mile hike with an interesting tale of a mining and GOLD. Ask the Rangers to share the story and go on this little adventure to see for yourself.... More 

Thank 299shellis
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
228 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

So where is our tax money being spent?? Not at this location. This is the poor step sister to the Visitor Centers at the north end of the park. Only stop here if you need a pass or a campsite.

Thank mntraveler35
Minneapolis, MN
Level Contributor
1,669 reviews
525 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 676 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a SMALL visitor center but in my opinion is a MUST area of the park to see. We came from the south and exited to the NW driving most of the park. There are so many different areas to see.

Thank lucycan
Cleveland, Oh
Level Contributor
1,352 reviews
610 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 493 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2017

This is near the entrance of the park if you arrive from the south. It is a good place for info, the last place to get water and some supplies. Near to the center is a very good trail to the Lost Palms, a several miles hike with gradual incline, which can be combine with other loop for an even... More 

Thank marcopolo111
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
223 reviews
153 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2017

This was actually the third Visitor Center that we visited in the park. We had started in the northern part of the park, the high desert section, we stopped here on the way out. This is the south entrance, in the low desert. There are few Joshua Trees in the low desert but the Cholla Cactus Garden and Ocotillo Patch... More 

Thank Kenneth L
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
114 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2017

You can read other reviews about this place that will tell you about the staff and the information you can find here and the talks you can attend here, but I'm going to focus on this: It has a real bathroom. That flushes. And you can wash your hands. This is important.

1 Thank wehaveapiperdoone
Long Valley, New Jersey
Level Contributor
532 reviews
256 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 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

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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?