The thing I love about this desert, is it's ability to be beautiful in any weather and situation. Whether is is down pouring or blazing hot, the desert displays it's true beauty in the form of wildflowers, Joshua Trees, amazing rock formations, and loads of secret wildlife.
We typically stay where is available in Jtree and for the most part, this camp tends to be completely full. I'm not sure if it is because it is the first site of of the enormous granite rock formations after driving through the last bit of the Colorado Desert, or because it is near the junction for the South and Eastern entrances of the park, but it is always full.
The hiking here is super fun, you feel like a real life spiderman. It is easy to get lost on the rocks so make sure you keep track of where in the area you are.
The toilets are pit toilets and there is no cell service. Most people trying to communicate with other people will post notes on the back of the entrance board.
While you are here, you should drive down and check out the Cholla garden at sunset. It is magnificent!
Small and first come, first served. A popular site for visitors so, expect plenty during ALL hours. This is a fantastic spot for photography! Bring water and TP. This is the camping spot that has access to the Arch Rock Trail.
Stayed here in march, camground is great! The spots are big and the boulders provide a lot of privacy. Amazing spot to view the stars and arch rock is an easy half mile hike from the camground. We went to arch rock in the middle of the night to shoot some photos of the milky way! In my opinion one of the best spots to camp in joshua tree. It is a first come first served ground, so make sure to get there early morning to secure a spot.
we had a lot of fun climbing the giant boulders and exploring all that joshua tree has to offer. bring plenty of water and sunscreen and stay on trails. the park services now offers buses that will take you to all the popular areas to help with traffic congestion. my favorite things to see are the cholla field, skull rock and of course the arch. make sure to let someone know where you will be and when you plan to come back because people go missing often here.
This is a smaller campgrounds in Joshua Tree with only 15 sites and no amenities.
Best thing about this campgrounds is that Arch Rock trail is there for your sunrise and sunset needs. Scramble the boulders as well.
The campground is is pretty much in the middle of the park, great proximity to the other features in the south, west and farther north.
This is a very quite relaxed campground. It has 15 sites some are bigger than the others. My daughter and I stayed in 13 and had no side neighbors only one that was across the road. At sunset it is very picturesque. Only .3 miles to arch rock.
There is no running water and only 2 vault toilets that are at the entrance of the campground. Bring plenty of water.
This was my first time to Joshua Tree for camping and it was a special trip for me so aside from the weather and other hiccups on this trip - it's getting 5 stars because this was the trip that my boyfriend of 11 years proposed while we were camping.
Now that we're past the mushy stuff --
The campground came as a suggestion from a friend of mine who knew we were not looking for somewhere to rock climb (I know that is a big hobby out in Joshua Tree). Right off of the campground is a cute little 0.3 mile hike called Arch Rock, but just down the road are more dramatic and longer hikes. We chose Ryan Mountain which is 2.7 miles up and down and mildly exhausting depending on how often you hike I imagine. I ride bikes more than I hike mountains so my level of energy is quite low for hikes but once at the top had incredible views! Totally recommend it - just remember to take a ton of water if you're going in the summer time. It can get HOT. Luckily we went just after Thanksgiving so it was still rather nice weather during the day.
The rock formations within White Tank were incredible! Huge huge boulders and tons to explore. There's a ravine that was dry - no idea if this gets water in it but there was no water and we were able to wander down it for miles! Very picturesque for those who like those nature selfies.
The camp spaces are awesome and some are tucked further back where you would have to hike your stuff in just a bit, but then you get more privacy. I didn't get one of those spaces but we saw them as we were wandering around. When we showed up it was during probably 40 mile per hour winds and setting up our tent and cooking with my boyfriend who had a broken hand in a cast…well…those things were not fun but we hunkered down and by morning the wind had died down and we were able to enjoy the rest of our adventure.
I am looking forward to going back when the natural elements and broken bones (or lack thereof) are more in our favor.
Camping at White Tank during a Joshua Tree summer is a great location in the middle of the park (easy to get there from any of the 3 entrances) and perfectly positions you for some early morning hiking before the sun gets to hot.
The campground is set in the middle of a boulder field- very dusty and sandy--with no trees (sorry hammock campers). Some sites have more privacy than others and most are separated by big boulders. Each site has a concrete picnic table and a fire pit (some sites also have a grill). There is a pit toilet (which I compulsively checked for rattlesnakes (did't see any).
There is NO water access at all-- you will have to bring in all the water you need for drinking, cooking, washing. The closest places to buy food, gas, firewood, supplies are about 25 miles away. Bring more than you need.
A fun feature of this campground is that it is also the trail head to Arch Rock. The hike is very short, but it's fun to be able to see it at different times of the day and night, and to play around in the boulder field. We also did the Ryan Mountain hike from here and were glad to be able to get there early in the morning before it got too hot. Note--sites that are close to the Arch Rock trailhead get a lot of non-campground vehicle and foot traffic during the morning. If you want to sleep in, pick a site further from the trail head.
If you're planning to hang out in the campsite during the day, you'll want to pick a site where you'll have midday shade from the boulders.