The best camping near
Joshua Tree National Park , CALIFORNIA

93 Reviews34 Campgrounds
Camping California Joshua Tree National Park

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Most Recent Joshua Tree National Park Camping Reviews
Wait till Post-Covid

I’d give this a 3 star during COVID but it’s probably closer to a 3.5 star post-COVID if not a 4* for kiddos!

The grounds themselves are OK; not much to look at. The bathrooms were old and a bit dirty. The ghost town is walking distance through a short cut or you can quickly drive over to the parking lot.

I wouldn’t recommended visiting during covid. There were only a few gift shops open. I just wanted to grab an expensive beer and sit outside on one of the patios and that wasn’t an option. Everything from the train to going into the mine was not available. Mostly understandable, but still, it would have been nice if there were socially-distanced, safe food or entertaining options. You can just walk around the town right now.

Good start

Dry, clean, every spot level, good cell service

Wrong Pin

This pin took me to private property and the owner wasn't too happy about it and me being there. The actual Owl Canyon Campground is down the road to the East of the pin. There are two pins for Owl Canyon Campground, one is correct and this one listed as Rainbow Basin Owl Canyon Campground is incorrect

Dump use is for park guests only

We stopped here to use their dump and fill our water tanks, and were directed to the Flying J south of town. The staff person told me that all the RV parks in this area operate this way, so just a heads up! 

As described in previous reviews, this park is pretty run down but seems to be an interesting place. Weird cars and a big dinosaur sculpture out near the main road, a phone booth near the restroom marked as “time machine,” random clutter and items throughout. 

Observed a mixed recycling bin at this park. 

Saw a sign for a Good Sam discount. 

There isn’t much around in this area of town, so stop for groceries and supplies before you arrive.

Great free camping

This BLM land is set up like a campground with vault toilets and camp spaces throughout, but it’s free. There are some established sites with a shade structure, picnic table, concrete slab, and fire pit, and many, many more open established dirt spots with a dispersed camping feel. 

Possibly due to covid, not sure, but at least half of the dispersed spots are blocked off with rocks and a “No Camping” sign when we were there in early Feb 2021. We arrived on a Friday in early Feb and were able to get a spot but all the spaces were taken by the evening. 

This campground is popular with rock climbers and weekend fun-havers. It was pretty loud and busy on Fri and Sat but on Sunday was blissfully quiet and peaceful. 

ATVs and shooting are banned here. Some nice short trails around the camp area. 

OK Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile cell service, usable, but we needed to run our weboost here to improve the signal.

Peaceful and quiet

This is a large campground with many vault toilets throughout (approx one building with one-two unisex toilets for every 3 campsites). There are smooth paved pathways to most of the toilets. 

There are also 3 basic playgrounds in this campground, as well as several water faucets (non threaded spigots). Signs on water faucets request minimal use of water as it is a scarce resource in this area. 

There is a hiking trail beginning at the northern end of the campground so be aware if you choose one of these sites you will have a lot of day use traffic in and out for hikers. 

This campground was almost deserted when we stayed here in early Feb. There were only about 2-3 other campers besides us. Not sure when the busy season for this campground is, but if all the sites were taken I think the lack of privacy and lack of space and barriers between sites would make for a much different experience. With almost nobody here we relished the absolute quiet and rare sight of anybody else. 

Each site has a metal covered shade structure, a concrete picnic table, metal fire pit, and concrete raised grill. 

There are small trash bins throughout (no recycling). 

We heard a few loud booms (shook our RV) while here, likely from the nearby military bases. 

Did not see or hear any wildlife. 

ATVs and shooting are banned here. 

Good Verizon, ATT, and T-Mobile here. 

Fee is $6/night, self pay, first come first served. No host on site when we were here. 

Road in was heavily washboarded, doable in any vehicle but take it slow. 

Rainbow basin scenic loop on the way in had signs that the road is narrow and motorhomes and trailers not allowed. The land there is BLM so if you can make it in there are dispersed camping areas in the Rainbow Basin.

totally ran down but its available thats for sure

This place we stumbled upon… it's right after the shady lane RV park, if you happen to strike out this place has everything you need for your hook ups so in a pinch it's here for you. They have hook ups, a bar on property, its a dirt lot nothing is paved, they have laundry rooms if need be as well.

Couldn’t get in to rv park

Must be for military folks if you have an rv. They didn’t give me any information because well I am not military. But!!! I included pictures nearby where people were camping in the desert.

A little ran down

A little ran down but everything you can need. Laundry, hook ups and a pay phone. When you first pull in you see all these dope mad Maxx cars… something super cool and they have a drive I’m down the street. I mean how cool! Barstow is nothing lavish but they do have a few rv areas that are ran down but still there if you need them.

Pull off on a long boring highway

A place to camp that's covered, and tables. It’s very affordable so it fills up fast, people leave trash everywhere… so people please clean up after yourself. The road is super easy to get to. If you strike out there are plenty of other free spots on the side of the road such as cima… so much trash but any of the side of the roads you can pull over and get a good night in that is decent.