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Joshua Tree National Park - Mojave Desert Ecozone:
Nature Trail

Indian Cove


Elevation - 3,200
101 individual sites - 13 group sites
Water available at Ranger Station

Sunset & Candy - Indian Cove, Joshua Tree National Park

Additional Camping Information

Nature Trail

Indian Cove nature trail is a .6 mile loop beginning west of Indian Cove Campground. An easy trail with minimal gain/loss in elevation (20'-30') exploring a desert wash habitat.
    Indian Cove
      Hundreds of years ago, here in Indian Cove, a land-locked bay in the Mojave Desert, Indian tribes such as the ...

    Early Desert Dwellers
      Small bands of Desert Indians lived seasonally in this and other areas of the park where food plants, animals ...

    Jojoba Bush
      Almost all desert animals nibble on jojoba bushes, enjoying their succulant, spineless ...

    Desert Wash
      A wash results when fast-moving water from flash floods fills low-lying channels on the desert floor. The scouring action of ...

    Desert Partners
      Instead of burrowing underground, the Desert Pack Rat may build mounds of vegetation under bushes or pile up a fortress of ...

    Desert Willow
      Needing more moisture than other desert plants, desert willows grow almost exclusively in ...

    Desert Almond
      This member of the rose family blooms in spring with small fragrant white flowers. In late summer, ...

      Most times of the year, you can see the handsome Phainopepla birds flying through the wash. The males are ...

    Home is a Hole
      The many holes you see in the ground along the trail were probably made by desert rodents. Round-tailed ...

    Paperbag Bush
      Much of the year, it is easy to identify this shrub by the paperbag-like seedpods dangling from ...

    Desert Senna
      Seeds of many desert plants do not sprout easily. Some need to be passed through the ...

    Mojave Yucca
      Growing abundantly in the high desert, this yucca resembles its larger relative, the Joshua tree ...

    Cactus of Many Shapes
      The jointed stems and branches of cholla cactus adapt well to hot, dry climates and furnish shelter for many ...

    Creosote Bush
      If you walk near a creosote bush shortly after a a rain, you will notice the distinctive odor of the ...

    The Yucca and the Moth
      Mojave yucca rely on the female yucca moth for pollination. The moth lays her eggs in the ...

Indian Cove is located 13 miles east of Joshua Tree Village and 10 miles west of Twentynine Palms on the north side of the Wonderland of Rocks. Indian Cove Road dead-ends at this secluded area.

A sprawling campground is enclosed by towering rock formations making the area popular with rock climbers. Many campsites are tucked around the rocks, providing naturalistic tent camping. Other sites offer space for RVs. There is a separate camping area for groups.

Campers register at the ranger station located at the entrace to the Indian Cove area. Water is also available there.

On the west side of the campground, the half-mile Indian Cove nature trail features the plants, animals, and seasonal Indian occupation of the area. A picnic area is located on the far eastern side of the campground.

Indian Cove is noted for the large number of mature Mojave yuccas and shrubs that grow there. Colorful spring blooms are especially striking against the sand-colored granite rocks.

Desert tortoise sightings are not unusual during spring and early fall, when they venture from their burrows. The area is also popular with birders, especially those wanting to see the elusive LeConte’s thrasher.

For backcountry campers, the Indian Cove backcountry registration board provides parking and the Boy Scout trailhead.

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