Located in the northwest corner of the park, the road to Black Rock Canyon dead-ends at the campground. Campsites are located on a hillside at the mouth of the canyon surrounded by Joshua trees, junipers, cholla cacti, and a variety of desert shrubs. Spring blooms usually begin with the Joshua trees in late February followed by shrubs and annuals through May.
This quiet, family campground is a good introduction for first-time campers. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring with rest rooms and water nearby. If you forget to bring your firewood, shopping facilities are only five miles away in the town of Yucca Valley. Campsites vary in size and can accommodate both tents and RVs. A day-use picnic area and a dump station are also available. For horse owners, a separate area is provided for camping or for staging a ride.
They weren’t huge sites and the only one available right before Thanksgiving was a small tent only site (due to cancellation).
Reserve in advance!!
Important note: It’s not actually inside the National Park, so great news - you don’t pay National Park entry fees (usually $30)
Beautiful area. We camped at site 68, right by the entrance. Lots of space in this site, my 7 year old son and I played baseball, football and loved the campfire. Rangers here are friendly and super helpful, very welcoming. They have a “Junior Ranger Program” for kids, they give a little booklet for. We saw a lot of jackrabbits. Heard the coyotes but didn’t see them. Loved it.
Black Rock is a wonderful national parks campground in Joshua National Park. It's the easiest park to get to so it can get crowded on the weekend. The camp spots have about 15 years between each one. There's a bench but no hook ups. There're water spigets throughout the campground and an RV dumpsite ($5). The store is open from 8am to 4pm.
Hiking: There are a few hikes that leave from the campground. Take the West Loop Trail to explore the area and hike up to the High View Peak to see the surrounding area. 2-3 hours.
Cell Service: Roaming (3bars)
I've never considered Joshua Tree one of the "crown-jewel" national parks, and yet people are now flocking here as if it is. Black Rock is the first campground I have ever stayed in at Joshua Tree, and here are my thoughts.
I'll start with the good:
If you're looking for Joshua Trees, this is a good place to camp because they are plenty throughout the campground. Many of the other campgrounds in the park actually don't have the trees; This campground has running water and clean bathrooms with flush toilets. This is actually a luxury when camping in Joshua Tree because most of the campgrounds have no water and just vault toilets; This campground has a lot of hiking opportunities without having to drive. There are actually tons of trails that lead directly out of the main camping area, so if you're not in the mood to even leave the campground, you can still experience a lot of nature; There is actually a small visitor/nature center located in the campground. Again without even leaving the campground you can get a lot of information about the park; This campground takes reservations(for peak season), which is also a luxury here because only a few campgrounds take them. And be sure to reserve because this campground fills up fast!! For these reasons, I think that Black Rock makes for a really good overnight/short stay, as you can see a lot in a such a small area.
Now onto the not so good:
A lot of the campsites are pretty close together. There were some spots that seem more ideal and secluded, but be prepared for close proximity to neighbors in most sites; Neighbors/clientele can be very noisy, and I mean noisy in a number of different ways. There was loud music that was audible far beyond campsites, but that was not the most annoying part. Over all it seemed like this campground was actually pretty quiet, that is until it was actually quiet hours! . An entire boy scout troop decided to roll in and set up an entire base camp right next to us after 10pm. Needless to say, it was very loud and bright until at least midnight. Good thing we had ear plugs; The campground is very close to the town of Yucca Valley, which some might consider a good thing, but there are neighborhoods literally built right up against the campground, so it doesn't really feel secluded at all here. When you hike up the trails and look back you can see the cityscape/city lights in the not so far distance; The wind can get really crazy. I don't know if it was just a freak weather event, but the wind was crazy both days I camped here, and it got so bad that we tore down our camp in the dark and went home early because there was no way we could have slept with that much noise and freezing wind blowing; It's kind of hard to find your way through the campground because there's no signage indicating which loop is which; The firepits were extremely full of ash and needed to be cleaned out; Lastly while the campground is technically inside the national park, it is not connected to the rest of the main part of the park, so you have to drive out of the campground about 20 minutes through the town to access the main park; Also firewood is not sold on site, so you must bring your own from outside.
Overall, the campground is fairly decent with nice bathrooms and plenty of trail access. If you are looking for a quick and easy trip to experience nature and a national park, this is a good place to go. But if it's desert solitude you're looking for, you may be disappointed by the dgaf clientele and the proximity to civilization.
20 bucks a night isnt too bad! The park staff is all friendly and helpful. Restrooms (very clean!) and pottable water are not very far from any of the 99 campsites in Black Rock. Fire rings with grates and picnic benches are provided in every camp, but no firewood is available. You're not allowed to use ANY surrounding vegetation for campfires (even kindling) so be prepared to cart in your own wood and kindling. Pets are allowed but they aren't allowed on trails and also not allowed to be left unattended-- so maybe leave Fido home this go round. Tent camping is HOT so be prepared for a 5am scorching hot wakeup.
Overall a very nice campground, and due to bathrooms and pottable water sources its a good campsite for the beginner or casual campers.
We visited in January, and should have been better prepared! :) I know better, but we didn't check the conditions well enough, and froze our butts the first night! The campground was beautiful, and the desert at Joshua Tree and around is really special. The campsites are kinda open to the wind, but the star cover was amazing, and surroundings were beautiful. If only we had more clothing that night….
Make sure to check the low and high temps to plan accordingly. The dessert has been know to test adventurers, so travel safely. There are some amazing features in this park, including Skull Rock. We like weird stuff, so this was really cool. The cactus all around are spectacular also.
Beware of the Chollo! The "jumping cactus" have been know to cause sever pain to those who don't pay attention to their surroundings!