We booked our campsite on reserveamerica.com about 2 months in advance for April 15-17 weekend at $15 per night. We thought this campground would have better amenities for the friends that were with us as they don't camp much. We originally wanted to stay at Indian Cove Campground. I tried to pick a site that would be around the least amount of people and we chose site #83. You can go to campsitephotos.com to see photos of almost all the sites and that's what helped me pick this site.
We arrived to check in on a Friday evening and went to the Ranger's Station. The guy there checked off our name and gave us a map to our site, but wasn't the most friendly. The campground was full for the weekend. The next day my husband went into the Ranger's Station to ask for help on hiking. It was a windy day and he asked for recommendations on hikes. The Ranger acted like he was wasting his time and really didn't want to be helpful. We planned on checking out Rattlesnake Canyon and on the way stopped off at the ranger station at Indian Cove Campground to get recommendations and the Ranger there was much more friendly and helpful in giving us tips for our hiking.
Our camp site was pretty nice and had a great view. There are 100 sites here, so when it's full, it's not going to be quiet. We wore earplugs to help us sleep. A full campground also meant the bathrooms got pretty dirty. It's funny that girls were trying to wash their hair in those little sinks. The one thing that was nice were the recycling bins located at the ranger's station. They have separate bins for plastic, cans, glass and propane containers.
We hiked Rattlesnake Canyon and 49 Palms Oasis on Saturday. On Sunday, we hiked Barker Dam Trail and Ryan's Mountain. We also tried to drive all the way through Joshua Tree from the west entrance to Cottonwood, but an accident made us turn around half way through.
If we were to visit Joshua Tree again, we would try to get a camping spot somewhere else, but wouldn't be opposed to staying here again. It would be nice if the Rangers were a little more friendly and helpful.