Planning a Joshua Tree adventure? Get ready to discover the best campsites in and around Joshua Tree National Park.
Joshua Tree might be home to some stunning hotels, but few things compete with waking up to the sounds of mother nature as your eyes adjust to glorious scenery.
When you camp in Joshua Tree, I guarantee you’ll rediscover your love for the great outdoors. After all, these grounds offer some of the finest hiking opportunities and breathtaking panoramic vistas that’ll have your camera working over time.
Ready? It’s time to embrace the ancient palm groves, the lively Mojave Desert ecosystem, and all the quirks that make Joshua Tree special. These are the stellar campsites you need to stay at.
Before you get your camping gear ready, you might also benefit from this Joshua Tree itinerary.
Best Spots for Camping in Joshua Tree
Near Joshua Tree Village
Snuggling up against gigantic boulders dotted with desert shrubs is where you’ll find Indian Cove.
It’s a spot that offers seclusion and quiet time as the wavering cell service cuts you off from the hustle of modern life. If that’s what you’re looking for, as well as an opportunity to bond with nature, then look no further.
Each campsite allows six people, two vehicles, and three tents, and dogs must be on a leash. While there may not be any water on the site, you can fill up about two miles north at the small ranger station.
And if you’re travelling with a larger group, there are 13 designated sites available.
Near Cottonwood Visitor centre
Cottonwood camping grounds is a tranquil oasis that offers a cosy stay facing dramatic rocky landscapes and ever-changing skies. Great for travelling as a group, these grounds feature family campsites large enough to fit spacious tents and RVs up to 35 ft long.
As a developed campground, you can expect a comfortable stay with little fuss, especially for unseasoned campers. You can use the onsite amenities, such as potable water, flush toilets, a dump station, and fire grills.
While here, you can take on some exciting hikes, as Cottonwood is a fantastic starting point. Though narrow in shape, the star of this Joshua Tree campground is its stunning sunsets.
Northwest of Joshua Tree National Park
The Black Rock campground is ideal if you’re looking for rugged scenery featuring fascinating Joshua Trees and ethereal sunsets. Here, you can light a glorious bonfire in the designated fire ring under the starry skies for a memorable camping experience.
Choose from the whopping 99 sites and set up your temporary resting place with all the amenities you need for a cosy stay. And when you’ve run out of supplies, you can head to nearby Yucca Valley’s shopping facilities (4.7 miles away).
This equestrian campsite features a dumping site and flush toilets, making it less primitive for new to moderate campers. And if you bring your pup along, they’d have to be on a leash and never left unattended.
Centrally Located in Joshua Tree Park
A desert atmosphere with Joshua Trees and rock formations popping up everywhere, here’s your opportunity to fully embrace the park. The Ryan grounds make camping in Joshua Tree National Park a breeze with much-needed amenities onsite.
Being in the heart of the park and adjacent to the California Riding and Hiking Trail, you can’t choose a better location. Make a note to keep your food secure at all times, as this prime location is also a magnet for curious creatures.
At the same time, you’ll get to capture some wildlife while camping here. You’ll have access to nature and equestrian trails which you can take on for a bit of exploration.
Centrally Located in Joshua Tree National Park
Jumbo Rocks feature 124 individual and family sites, which quickly fill up during the busy season. Also centrally located, you can have a blast in the great outdoors enhanced by surreal sweeping views over gorgeous rock formations.
After a busy day exploring the park, you can plop down next to a toasty campfire and unwind in the quiet ambience. Each campsite may only accommodate three tents, two vehicles, and six people.
While this sounds restrictive, the large open spaces of these grounds will still make you feel unfettered. Furry family members are allowed, but like in all Joshua Tree campgrounds, they’ll need to be on a leash.
Along the Park Boulevard
Hidden Valley is another Joshua Tree RV camping site that beckons you to release your inner Bear Grylls. This rustic campground surrounded by massive monzogranite rock formations truly makes you feel hidden.
The Hidden Valley campgrounds operate under the first-come-first-served rule. And if you are camping with an RV or trailer, ensure that the length doesn’t exceed 24 ft. Also, there’s no water onsite, so ensure you bring enough H2O for your stay.
Note: Due to Joshua Park’s dry climate, it’s best to keep fires small at all campsites and ensure you douse them thoroughly with water afterwards.
Along the Park Boulevard
Nestled into giant rock formations is a small campground containing only 18 sites. This site may be small, but it could grant you the best Joshua Tree camping experience for stargazing due to its night skies.
So, bring your portable telescope along and plenty of water, as neither is available onsite.
The Belle campground is another first-come, first-served site with limited space, so arriving early is crucial to secure a spot. With no showers, laundry facilities, or running water, you can expect this spot to toughen you up – but that’s the beauty of the outdoors.
Apart from the beautiful skies, you can enjoy rock climbing and hiking. A short hike takes you to not one but two picturesque destinations, Arch Rock and Skull Rock.
Practical Tips for Booking Campsites in Joshua Tree
- Knowing when to make Joshua Tree camping reservations helps you determine the best weather conditions that suit your needs. Luckily, I’ve got your back with this fantastic guide on the best time to visit Joshua Tree.
- Ensure that you have enough water. I recommend using something like this foldable portable water canteen. You can also look at my backpacking essentials if you need more tips on what to pack.
- Most Joshua Tree National Park camping sites are available by reservation, which you can book up to six months in advance on this site.
- Note that no electrical hookups for RVs exist in any of the Joshua Tree campgrounds.
Joshua Tree Camping: Map
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