I suppose it's important to note up front that the fire pits are still off-limits due to permitting issues. I packed with this in mind and managed to stay warm, but considering how cold Joshua Tree can get after the sun drops I'd say that it's worth a think before arriving. I was traveling solo and hitting the sack early - so no big deal - but if you're with a group or just hoping to hang after dark I might recommend seeking out a campground that allows fire.
With that out of the way, the Joshua Tree Retreat Center is a lovely spot. The campsites are clean and well manicured, and many of them have their very own joshua tree :) Flush toilets + showers are extremely luxurious after a long day of hiking, and the pool area is a nice treat during the hot sun hours. The staff is crazy nice and I very much enjoyed the spiritual vibe. Note that much of the Retreat Center grounds are designated as off-limits to campers. I was fine with this, but it's worth an FYI. Don't worry - there's still plenty to explore.
The JTRC also extremely convenient to any number of stores, restaurants and the like. A really good location to explore Joshua Tree town, Pioneertown, etc. The downside is that a bit of noise and light pollution is unavoidable. Or rather, if you're expecting the dramatic stillness that you'd find within the park itself you might be a little disappointed. But if you can deal with the soft lull of far-off traffic and a few less stars you'll be fine.
I'd come back and can easily recommend a stay here if the park is full (as it was for me) or you're looking for easy access to the fun that can be found in town.
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