About Ryan Campground
National Park Service
Ryan Campground is located in Joshua Tree National Park in California
12 Reviews of Ryan Campground
Beautiful landscape. very dry. you must bring all of your own water and firewood (not allowed to collect it there). It is an easy drive from Ryan campground to several classic hikes including ryan moutain trail with an epic view. Cholla garden is far, but so pretty at sunrise/sunset - just heads up that because it is on the eastern side of the hills in the park the sun sets significantly earlier than the rest of the park- so be sure to hit early!
I went to Visit Joshua Tree in late March and it was during spring break for all the college students so it was very difficult to find an available campsite, you definitely want to get their early and start asking around if people are going to leave their campground. Most people will leave a sign at the front of their campsite saying when they will leave which is helpful. Luckily I found a campsite at Ryan Campground and it is a wonderful campground that has a trail that leads down to keys view. Also there are plenty of rock formations to do some rock climbing.
Also the trail is close to the Boy Scout trail which leads to Indian Cove. Definiely a great site to stay at, which I would highly recommend.
We had a wonderful time here. We stayed 2 nights and had no other company except for a kit fox or 2. Its a lot smaller of a camp ground than most national parks. Which i imagine if its packed would be great. We did not have that problem. There pretty amazing hiking, climbing, and mountain biking inside Joshua tree. Some the best in world. Cool hiking real close right from the site.
Camp sites had fire rings, picnic tables, and lots and lots of beauty. You will definitely enjoy yourself at Joshua Tree. Only reason its a 4 star review is because the price. Which is still cheaper than most NP.
This campsite is firstcome, first-served and the campground is at 4,300 feet (1,310 m) in elevation. It only have 31 sites and make sure you bring plenty of water since there isn't a single potable water in this site. It's a must for anyone who enjoys being away from big crowds but loves to take a hike, boulder or rock climbing.
We loved the location of Ryan campground and also that it was smaller than some of the other loops. It was mostly quiet and the views of both rocks and Joshua Trees was great and it was easy to access any point in the park.
Joshua Tree National Park is a world of it's own. Ryan was a beautiful site with great rock formations all around.
It is a great campground of the main road on the right. 👌🏼 there is some great bouldering here and picnic areas. And if you follow the road down and keep to the right you will end up on a mountain bluff where you can see all the mountain ranges sprawling out before you. Great view. Nice an quiet. Lacks shade though.
This is the best site location for non-group tent camping for an early morning or late evening summit of Ryan Mountain.
Unfortunately, I didn't do enough research when planning my trip to Ryan apart from getting excited about the proximity to the popular Joshua Tree Ryan Mountain hike. I was focused on getting up the hill as early as possible before the sun got too hot. Because the sites are first come, I didn't think I wouldn't have a problem because things aren't too full in the summer. Unfortunately, to my surprise, this campground is closed in the summer.
As an alternative next stop, tried Sheep Pass (which has a trail that connects to the Ryan Mtn trailhead) and quickly learned that this is a group only campground which requires reservation (and is also closed in the summer). Finally wound up at White Tank which is a bit further away, but still a great site and close enough to get to Ryan Mountain early in the day. It turned out to be a good summer alternative.
If you happen to be lucky enough to get a site at Ryan in the season when it is open, it's a "primitive campground", $15 per site, no water (you'll need a lot to drink if you're hiking Ryan Mtn in the sun as well as some to wash off the dust when you get to the bottom) and each site has a table and fire pit (which seems to be the standard across JT). I didn't get to check out the bathrooms, they were also closed.
A positive note for hammockers- this campground is further into the northwestern side of the park where the Joshua Trees become more dense, so you might get lucky and find a great spot in or near you site for hammocking. I found a great one!
Less busy than Hidden Valley, but just as nice and centrally located. Clean pit toilets, but no water. Non-reservable.
Drove around in the hours of the night unable to find a campground. Luckily it was just my friend and I, and since these campgrounds are quite large, we pulled into an empty spot and asked some folks if they wouldn't mind us sharing their campground in exchange for some money and food. They were more than happy to share and gave us advice on the park, shared their fire, and great stories about their experience here. These campgrounds are first come first serve and everything inside the campground was full when we got there so we got very lucky that we stumbled upon friendly people. The campground is close to many of the hikes and popular climbs in the park. It is very open with beautiful views and fun rocks to climb in the middle of it. I couldn't even hear any of the other campsites around us!