The best camping near
Death Valley National Park, CALIFORNIA

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Camping California Death Valley National Park
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Most Recent Death Valley National Park Camping Reviews
Whitney views for days

Stayed here a few days before hiking Whitney. Great place to acclimate, second to Whitney portal campground. We camped at one of the walk-in sites. Enough space for the 4 of us, 2 tents, and the family pup. The parking spots are only 50 yds away and next to the restrooms. The campground sits in a ravine like space so if the winds pick up it can whip through pretty good. Good trail that connects to Whitney portal on the ridge above, good for the dogs to run on as well. No cell service besides the top of the ridge if you need to call/text. I’ve been coming to the Sierra’s all my life but never stayed here. I’d come back for the views alone.

A Favorite

For just $8 a night you can enjoy the Eastern Sierras with plenty of room to spare between you and your camping neighbors. This place is a favorite for us, with fishing, snow capped mountains, and the cutest little kangaroo mice I have ever seen! It’s a fun get away and recommended for friends and family. No service here, no store or place to buy firewood at the campground but you’re a stones throw away from Lone Pine a Western town nearby for fishing, food and any other camping needs. Restrooms are available here and are kept clean, just bring a flashlight at night as it is pitch black. In the Summer this place can get pretty toasty and the sun is incredibly strong, I’d recommend taking a canopy with your camping supplies, with little to no trees for shade in this area.

Milky Way and Rocks

Alabama Hills is a popular area to see the beauty of natural rock formations. This is BLM land so there's no campground amenities.  However you can camp here for free in many dispersed locations.  Just look around and look for spots that you can park and camp at. There are plenty of sites back into the rocks. There's cell service where the main road starts but not much after that. This is a great place to view the Milky Way and watch the sunrise. This is a great place to go rock climbing.

Convenient and Simple

Portagee Joe is a small campground with round 20 camping spots. It's located 1 mile from Lone Pine on Mt Wilson Portal Rd. It's a good little campground if you are traveling thru or need a easy place to stay while exploring Mt. Whitney or the Alabama Hills. It cost $14 per night + $5 extra vehicle.  There's a pretty little stream that splits the campground that gives off soothing sounds. There's two restrooms and water. 

Since it's only 1 mile from lone pine there are plenty of restaurant to choose from for lunch and dinner. Lone Pine Pizza is really good.

The views

Fabulous views of the rounded monolithic boulders fronting the Eastern Sierra. This is a large dispersed camping area with no facilities. Just the beauty and silence of the nature. The area was used, and still occasionally is, for the movie industry. You can even see the occasional jet fighter training here. Go see the Movie Museum in Lone Pine it’s worth it. The Reward Mine is near here and don’t forget to spend some time at Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp. We stayed here in May

The back of beyond!

If you want to get away from it all, this is the place for you. Down another 25+ mile dirt road, at the foot of the dunes, there are a few large parking areas to set up camp and a pit toilet. You must bring everything else with you. I wouldn’t recommend anything larger than a teardrop trailer for camping. Most of the people had roof top tents or set up tents on the ground. It can get very cold here at night so be prepared, we visited in April and the night time temps dropped into the 20’s. There are other campgrounds in Death Valley that can accommodate large RV’s and trailers. There is little or no cellular service in the park and drones are not allowed. Stars were fabulous here.

Love it

We love to camping but we went very wrong month 😂very very hot there even moon at night still very hot but I still love there 😅😅😅

Clean & quiet

I really love Death Valley very much clean camping ground even that time we was very hot for tent we camping there for one night we love it 🥰

Great Spot!

This site was awesome! My boyfriend and I stopped up here several times passing through. It’s a fantastic stop! The park is well maintained and is always problem free. I’ve never had problems with other spots, bathrooms, or even finding a spot. The view waking up is AMAZING and the sunset cresting the Eastern Sierra is always the best! 10/10 recommend!

Ranger Review: Eclipse Adjustable Neck Gaiter @ Lone Pine CG (CA)

Campground Review:

This campground lies about 10 miles to the west of its namesake town, Lone Pine in the Owens Valley to the east of the Sierra Nevada range.  It is a very popular campground to use as a base camp for climbing Mt. Whitney especially if the Whitney Portal CG is full. which was the case when we were there.  If you can't get a reservation or walk in site at Lone Pine CG, then Tuttle Creek, and the Alabama Hills would be your closest places to camp if you're not planning on climbing Mt. Whitney.

Now on to the actual campground!  Now since this is a few miles from the actual trail head to Mt. Whitney it has more RV camping sites than tent sites.  Campsite range in price from $25-$65 for single tent sites, RV sites, and 1 group site, respectively.  Each campground has a large bear proof box to store all of your food and  smelly items in addition to a picnic table and a metal fire ring.  The campground had potable water spigots and vault toilets spread throughout.  You could also purchase firewood from the camp host, which is recommended due to the possibility of spreading pests.

To list all of the activities you can do in this area would take a book so I'm just gonna touch on some of the things we did!  Our main goal for the trip was to try and summit Mt. Whitney by the Mountaineers Route.  We got pushed back however due to hard route finding and soft avalanche prone snow.  We ended going around 10 miles but the regular hiking trail is 13 miles one way!  After getting beaten down by the mountain we were able to eat some great food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant which had Americana and diner food. 

Since we stayed at this campground in the middle of June the temperatures weren't too hot but I would really try to camp higher up at the portal if you plan on coming here in July or August as it could be really hot and there wasn't a ton of shade.  Also be doubly sure to book your campground ahead of time as I doubt there will be any sites if you show up after 3 or 4 without a reservation.

Product Review:

Being a Ranger for the Dyrt allows us to test and review gear from time to time!  This time we were testing out the Adjustable Neck Gaiter from Eclipse sun protection.  This was honestly one of my favorite pieces of gear I've been able to test for the Dyrt!  

Pros: 

  • Simple design that replaces $100's of sunscreen in it's lifetime! (never washes out)
  • Is multi functional and can be used as a gaiter, headband, buff, and so much more!
  • Super lightweight and doesn't need to be reapplied or leave you greasy
  • It is super cheap and includes a Velcro strap to adjust to smaller neck      

Cons:

  • The only flaw I could find was the sewing along the neck was a little weak and I ripped it slightly before realizing I needed to be a little more delicate pulling it on

Other than that one con I would say this is an amazing product that helps keep you from spending 100's on a temporary sunblock and helps keep all those nasty chemicals out of nature, the waterways, and the oceans!  I definitely think we'll be trying out the sleeves for fishing as my fiances arms can get pretty burnt sometimes.

Amazing and free!

Great place for a wide range of activities including rock climbing, hiking around mt Whitney or exploring the mind blowing rock formations. Drive up and pitch a tent and you’re set! It’s very quiet and peaceful, also an amazing view of the stars! Beautiful sunrise and sunset as well. Will definitely go back! (BLM land so carry out what you take in, including waste!)

BLM camping at it's finest

One of my all time favorite places to camp in fall and spring. Not too hot, not too cold. Absolutely stunning views. Seriously. Unbelievable views of the Eastern Sierra's from almost anywhere. There are a ton of sites so drive around until you find one you like. Lots of premade fire pits to use. Sites are pretty spread out so you won't really see/hear your neighbors. Roads are flat and my small sedan had no problem navigating.

Great road trip stopover

We stopped here for a night going to and from Tahoe to break up the trip. Easy to get to, pull through sites, pool to cool off (so hot in the summer). We would stop here again.

Big skies for stargazing

This is beautiful desert floor campground in a national park with 136 sites & 18 hook-ups, washrooms, water supply & fire pits.

The sites are large enough for big tents but the RV’s are close by so keep that in mind if you are looking for a quiet spot. I found that the sound of the RV’s didn’t bother me too much but I was aware they were there.

The bathrooms and water sources are great! The nearby store is air conditioned and carries ice cream, which is nice in the daytime heat after a beautiful hike through marble canyon or playing on the dunes!

The sky at night is incredible! I’ve been to a lot of places but I have never experienced the Milky Way as incredible as it was in Death Valley! No light pollution really helps!

The ground is hard, so bring a mallet to stake your tent down. We got stuck in a sandstorm at night and ended up hanging out in the tent playing card games till it passed. It was no joke though, we woke up with a layer of sand on us, inside the tent.

High Desert Camping

We camped here one night on our way to Mammoth from San Diego. We accessed via Emigrant Canyon Road off of Highway 190. The winding road is about 20 or miles off the highway to the site. The campground is a small gravel parking lot with a pit toilet and sites with fire rings. This place is way off the beaten path. It’s high above the desert floor and was actually cool at night in September. The highlight here are the incredible desert vistas. You get a little window from the site but a short hike or drive and you are looking at Death Valley below.

Can't beat the views

Can't beat the views in this BLM area! Not only can you off-road and explore all it has to offer you can hike or go into town with a quick drive. Love the dispersed camping and exploring you can do here. Nobody to bother you. This is our most favorite camping spot to date. The weather is fun to watch and the views of mt Whitney are incredible.

The VIEWS!!!

High desert meets Sierra Nevadas in a magical rock playground with views of My Whitney. This spot literally has it all. Right off the 395, you have access to civilization and amenities. It's dispersed camping, but heavily used sites are well established. The deeper into the park you venture, the more primitive and less crowded it becomes. Take a quick drive and you're at Whitney Portal. We lucked out and had 360 degrees of the best views ever! Loads to do here. Popular for rock climbing, hiking, spectacular night sky, wildflowers, photography. Even though it's right off the highway you feel like you're on another planet. No facilities. Pack it in, pack it out. Hands down, one of the best camp spots I've ever had!

The new Death Valley, May, 2019

My husband and I were at Death Valley 8 years ago (2011) staying in Furnace Creek hotel rooms. This year (2019) we returned with our tents as part of a California National Park tent trip and wow were we surprised! The park has had a major renovation with great shopping and options for your stay. With our senior park pass we get into the parks free and camping is 50% off, so our two night stay was a whopping $16.00. We drove up to the newly remodeled inn that has rooms for 350-600$ a night, and while we were there, someone was arriving via helicopter, truly a luxury resort. We learned that the owner of the LA kings hockey team has purchased the resort and has many improvements planned.

We were reminded how far everything is within the park, you may choose to hike a trail and it may be an hour or two drive away, there is gas in the park, but you may a nice price for it! The main gas station in furnace creek had gas for $5.46 per gallon, however gas at the stovepipe wells was only $4.21.

We choose the hike to zabrieski point for sunrise and sunset, the natural bridge (very rough road) and the 8.5 round trip hike to wild rose peak which was very challenging.

This year, Scotty’s castle is closed until 2020 due to flood damage, so we were happy we had seen it on our prior visit.

We camped at furnace creek campground which is one of the few open after Memorial Day and is first come, first serve, no advance reservations. We arrived around noon and most sites were available, however later that night, most were occupied. The campground has many toilets with running water and flush toilets, and there is a dishwashing station by most bathrooms. There are tent sites and full hookup sites. There are trash dumpsters with areas for recycling and empty propane containers. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring.

There is a golf course, swimming pool, horse riding (closes in May), many nice restaurants and a spa.

Here’s the best deal, for 10$ per person you get a pool and shower pass for all day! The pool is awesome, spring fed warm water. The showers have massive pressure with hot water.

Bucket List Camping

This is one of my all time favorite camping sites. It’s just a few miles west of Bishop. The site is famous for filming westerns and commercials. The rock formations are incredible along with the views of the Sierras. It’s dispersed camping at its best. You need to get a site before early afternoon since the word is out on this place. We drove a few miles in to one of the higher elevations sites. We came back just a few weeks later since this was such an epic place. Highly recommended if you are traveling along Highway 395 and heading up the eastern Sierra Mountains. There are no facilities at this site. You will need to bring everything including, water, food, and toilet. Even in the Fall when we visited it was very hot in the day from the direct sun. You will need to plan your visit carefully and have a heater at night and AC in the day. Great place for climbing and hiking. The town of Bishop is very close. They have a visitors center with a dump for black water and also fresh water and toilets. Site is a good location for those preparing to hike Mt Whitney.

This place is amazing!

We absolutely love Alabama Hills. BLM land so you can camp anywhere. So many beautiful views. You can see Mount Whitney in the distance. 4 wheel drive isn’t required but definitely recommend. No bathrooms or water around. A lot of old movies were filmed in the hills. We went off roading to a nearby mine, you can drive all the way in the mine which was rad.

This place is great

Nice quiet place to relax and get away from the city.

Adult Playground

Drive around, hike, climb! This place is amazing, there is something for everyone. You can find a secluded space or find space for a big group. The rock formations are amazing! It is just outside of lone pine, but there are no services in the rec area itself, bring everything you need for a good time!

Up against the rocks

The scenery at the campground is super cool with big rocks right next to some of the sites. The spots are small, really small, and they're stacked up next to one another. I can imagine during a busy time this would be a loud spot.

Awesome

This is the go to free camping area that my friends and I go to when we don’t want a campground. Its dispersed camping in the Alabama hills. No toilets or amenities so thats a little bummer. Its might be worth it to pay $8 a night at a campground if you want easy access to toilets. Tuttle creek is up the road and is a good option.

Super Chill and Cheap

I was motorcycle camping and this campground is awesome in the spring. Its not too high in elevation so you wont freeze overnight. Its only $8 a night but you need cash or check like any normal forestry campground. Beautiful view of the sierras and Mt Whitney. About 15-20 drive to the Mt Whitney trail head from here. If you’re planning on summiting Whitney, I wouldn’t recommend this campground because the elevation is low, I would camp at cottonwood lakes just south in the sierras to acclimate to elevation. There are normal forestry pit toilets, fire rings. No reservations, first come first serve.

Dirt cheap price on priceless view

For only $8 you get picnic table, fire pit, vault toilet, and access to water and waste dumping. And view of Eastern Sierra that has been seen in movies such as Iron Man. I almost want to keep this a secret…

Great spot!

Pleasantly surprised by this park. The staff was wonderful & welcoming. We have a big 5th wheel & it accommodated us well as we were just traveling through.

Good for passing through

There aren’t too many attractions in the immediate area, but if you’re traveling through Death Valley this is a good place to camp while you explore for the day. A bit crowded, but there are showers and flush toilets. There’s also a restaurant across the street where you can get a prickly pear margarita after a long day of traveling.

Quiet and Easy to Find

We pulled into this spot right around sunset and were greeted with friendly bats and open rv concrete flat spots. It had a beautiful view of the Funeral Mountains and was just East of DVNP.

No bathrooms or facilities and hardly any shade but perfect for a free spot right outside of the the NP.

Gorgeous springs in the middle of nowhere

Beautiful warm springs out in the middle of nowhere. The camping area can be crowded, and it can be hard to find spots, but it’s oh so worth it if you can. There are pit toilets, 5 different hot springs and plenty of stars. From Big Pine it is about a 3.5 hour drive, 40 miles of which is off-road. AWD or 4x4 is recommended, same with ground clearance. Just follow signs for Saline Valley Warm Springs as there are a couple of turns. It is a long journey out there, but definitely worth it.