Jumbo Rocks Campground lies amid the huge, steep rock formations for which Joshua Tree National Park is known. Close proximity to many boulders and rock formations, it is a popular camping location for families with kids. Jumbo Rocks is one of four campgrounds in the park that can be reserved during the busy winter season; it is open on a first-come, first-served basis from June 1 through September 29. Travelers who enjoy warm, dry winters flock to Joshua Tree from October through May, when temperatures hover between 70-90 degrees during the day and drop to a 40-60 degree range at night. Summer is the park's off-season due to the uncomfortably-high desert heat. Jumbo Rocks is at an elevation of 4,380 feet.
Rock scramblers flock to Jumbo Rocks Campground for the variety of geological formations and warmer temperatures that can be found in the interior of the park. Several hiking trails also leave from the campground. There is a short interpretive nature trail and plenty of rocks and canyons to explore within the facility. Clear desert skies are perfect for star-gazing.
This large facility has 124 individual tent and RV campsites. There are no hookups or drinking water in the campground, however the town of Twentynine Palms is 12 miles away and provides basic amenities. The park allows six people and two vehicles per site, however, some sites are small and may not accommodate the maximum number of people and vehicles. See site details for specifics.
Campsites are nestled on a flat, sandy surface between large boulders that tower in unique shapes over the campground and rise up from the otherwise uniform desert landscape. The rocks were formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago and have been exposed and shaped by wind and water over time. They brighten with soft pastel hues during the morning and evening sunlight and low with campfire light by night. Visitors may want to keep their eyes out for typical desert inhabitants such as lizards, rattlesnakes, scorpions, ravens, squirrels and desert tarantulas during the cooler months of the year. Bobcats and mountain lions do live in the park, however they are rarely seen near humans.
ADA Access: N
During busy seasons, you need to get here early in the morning to find people leaving so you can nab their spot. We came here on a Thursday, not realizing it was spring break. No spaces in the entire park. So we stayed the night at a hotel in town and came back early the next morning.
Pros: Flat sites, fire pit, picnic table, easy access to hiking trails, pit toilets decent, pretty area.
Cons: Neighbors packed their site with too many people and put their tents in our site so they would have more room to party on theirs. They then stayed up until the wee hours of the morning being noisy as they got drunk and high. No camp host to stop this. No cell reception to be able to call a ranger. They really need to add a camp host here during peak seasons. Also, usually the weather is great, but watch out for wind storms that bring giant dust clouds. They kick up here in the desert now and then. (Usually the weather forecast will have a warning.) We got here the morning after a wind storm and people's tents were flattened and broken and many retreated to their cars. (We were glad we weren't able to find a site the night before!)
If you've never camped in Joshua Tree, this is a wonderful spot to do it. It's a great place to explore, climb and learn about the desert. If you're looking for quiet and solitude, you won't find that here unless you visit mid-week in the off-season. Otherwise, the campground is teeming with people.
Sites are clean with a table and fire pit with grill. Quiet sites. Depending on which site you get some are pretty close to the other. We got a pretty hidden one so check the map when booking. Really like this spot
This campground was beautiful.
There was a wild rabbit that enjoyed our campsite as well as a great horned owl that hovered on the boulders overhead at dawn and dusk.
This campground was packed. If you're looking for solitude, this is not the place. However, friendly neighbors.
My girlfriend took me to Jumbo Rocks for my birthday in mid December, which just happens to be in a full moon. We all hiked to Skull Rock at night….amazing hike
Loved this campground. Spent 4 nights here in a 34 ft travel trailer. We ended up booking two sites to ensure there was enough room for both our trailer and our truck. I'm glad we did. The truck would have been sticking out into the road otherwise. Not that that stopped anyone else from having their whole trailer block half the road. And this is why it is 4 stars instead of 5. Tons of inconsiderate people - blocking the road, playing loud music, coming in at midnight to set up and yelling at each other. If you could get over that though, the location is incredible. We spent hours exploring the boulders around the campground. It is centrally located in the northern half park and easy to get to everywhere of interest. The weather in early October was perfect. The ranger talks on the weekend were well attended and interesting. Would highly recommend with a caveat to manage expectations.
Well maintained. Park staff are through regularly. Level sites for tents with crushed granite. Great location for scout troops.
Ah, the sunsets are the best thing about this place. I drove up there with my favourite in their jeep and we camped out in a tent. What a blast. Will definitely hit this place up again. Perfect.
Not really a fan of the dessert, but this campsite is a lot of fun. Close to nearby hiking and sightseeing. Great site for photography, bouldering and star gazing!
When compared to Hidden Valley, Jumbo Rocks may often feel pretty isolated. It is roughly in between the northern and western entrances of the park, which means that it's essentially on the eastern edge of most of the rock climbing areas. If you drive towards the northern entrance, you will note the subtle differences in terrain between the Mojave desert (to the west), and the Sonoran desert (to the east), which many people often miss!
Many of the camping spots are tucked away in between rocky alcoves, which provides a great deal of privacy. Unfortunately, like other campgrounds in Joshua Tree, it suffers from a lack of shade and fills up very quickly during the fall, winter, and spring seasons.
The facilities are fine - a simple pit toilet and trash are essentially all you get, so as always, be sure to bring your own water!
Dogs are allowed anywhere within 100 ft of the campground and the roads, but not on trails or in the backcountry.