If you enter Joshua Tree National Park from the east entrance, the ranger's station and visitor center is at Cottonwood Springs. Be sure you stop here! This entrance has books and other items for sale and lots of useful information! They have a small weather station there, too, as well as restrooms. Additionally, there is a large campground which has room for trailers, as well as tents. It is settled back in the hills and has a nice view of the surrounding valley. About 500 yards beyond the entrance is the Cottonwood Springs area, where you can park and hike down into a wash full of cottonwood trees. Along with palms, cottonwoods are a good indicator of underground water. We stopped here on our way out of the park on Saturday. The parking lot was full of visitors and it was late afternoon. We hiked a way out into the wash and I took these photos. From this entrance, it is about 8 miles out to Interstate 10. Hubby and I are planning on camping here sometime this Spring, so we wanted to check out the campground. It was very clean and the sites were quite large.