the dyrt
THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Joshua Tree National Park, CALIFORNIA
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Most Recent Joshua Tree National Park Camping Reviews
Private RV Park

This is for Silverlakes property owners only. Strong security. Non-members not allowed.

Great OHV camping with full hookups!!

Free admission to Ghost Town with camping reservation. Good fall to spring. Way to hot in summer. No shade. Dusty but that’s expected in an OHV Campground. We just held an outing there with 24 people. Great time!! https://hitched4fun.com/2018/09/15/2018-calico-ghost-town-ca-outing/

Fun. Unique. Accommodating

We arrived on a Friday night, without reservations. Our first night of van living. Found the security guard who connected us with the ranger. There were plenty of sites to chose from. The ranger then found us a better site for $5 less, The place was quiet, Beautiful sunset. We aren't off-roaders but noticed a lot of ATVs around. Seems like the place to be. There are also mountain bike trails around. In the morning we discovered the Calico Ghost Town attraction right next to the park. In fact entrance to the ghost town is included in the camping fees. The town is an abandoned silver mining town. There's a few historical buildings and mines you can hike around. You can pay for a tour of the mine. Lots of old west quaint shops, and restaurants. We watched a skit of a shoot out preformed in the main square. Spent more time there than planned, it was that fun.

Desert camping at its finest

Very flat and open, if you like desert camping this might be the place for you. If you're into dirt bike riding there is a wide field of view. If you are into Rockets this is a great place because in some areas there's no vegetation whatsoever.

Note that it does get windy at night so if you camp outside be prepared to be pelted by small rocks and sand all night.

Reservations available at recreation.gov

Weekend Getaway

my wife and I came here to camp and hike for the weekend. This is a nice campground with picnic tables, shade covers and fire rings. We camped here in April and it was already getting warm during the day. This campground is very popular with rock climbers', with several places to climb and several hiking trail.

nice trails

This is a nice campground, it has limited water that has to be trucked in to fill the holding tanks. Pit toilets, and playground equipment for those camping with younger kids. There are several nice hikes from the campground. Have seen collage classes and Boy scouts troops using this campground. You can't camp with horses in this campground, but there is horse camping near by.

High Desert Camping

This camp site is a BLM campground with water and and Pit toilets. Stargazer's, off-roaders and Boy Scouts use this campground. It's one of the few places that the Mojave River flows above ground. This is a really nice campground.

No shade or privacy, gravel sites

I was here one October where the weather was above 100F during the day. The sites have absolutely no shade or cover, and are just lined up in a row next to each other with no privacy. We ended up choosing to spend more of our time at Owl Canyon (BLM campground nearby) because it was much more secluded, had better views, and offered shade. The advantages to Calico are: bathrooms with showers, water, and dump stations. However we were ok with a primitive site and did not want to feel crowded in.

beautiful views and very open

I stayed with a group here for 3 nights a few years ago in October. This is a beautiful campground. Very primitive, with pit toilets and one water faucet. Trash is carry in carry out. It is a small campground (Less than 25 sites). It was also extremely hot (I think above 110F during the day), but at night it was beautiful. We didn't even need a tent because of the mild temperatures and calm breeze. Our group site had plenty of room for everyone, and picnic tables that had a covering to provide some shade during the day. The area felt very remote and quiet, and we were able to hike right from our site each day.

Lots Of Trails And Climbing

First come first served, so weekdays are the best time to get a spot here.Only about 20 sites so not too crowded and noisy with hordes of people. The cost is a little steep but everything is clean and functional. There is a camp host so things are pretty well monitored and ushered to keep the noise down. Lots of great trails and off trail hiking for all levels of experience plus climbing locations for the rockers out there. Pretty good all around camping with enough distance from the main road for quietude and no light pollution so you get a good sense of solitude along with sleep. In other words, good family campground and bring a hammock.

Oasis in the desert

All the great KOA perks. Camp Store. Full hookups. A refreshing pool.

Trains:):)

Nice little place tucked away in the Mojave. Not sure exactly how many campsites as we stayed towards the front , there are vault toilets available. The train tracks are directly across from the camp, I liked it:) There are several old mines nearby and a cave you can climb to the top of the mountain through. There’s just plenty to do near this campsite so it’s 5 star all the way;):)

Meh

There were no trees at all. We were told to wait for a white truck when we got there. No one came. We called the security number and they told us they would be by. We waited about 20 minutes and ended up leaving. The tent sites were gravel. Overall not impressed.

Secluded site perfect for a large group

Camped there in summer of 2016. Campground is nestled in pine woods where you have to drive quite far in through dirt road to get there. Pretty secluded, but accommodate our large group. Spacious for several cars. Its location is in high elevation over seven thousand feet and pine woods were dense. It was actually quite breezy at the time of our visit and could hear the pine trees in the breeze. It was interesting to learn that Pacific Crest Trail passed through this campground. There is no water available so bring your own. Site has pit toilets and picnic tables. There is a fire ring but fire restrictions were in place during our visit. There are not many amenities, but it is a good site for private gatherings or large family camping.

unlimited backcountry camping

Because the National forest allows dispersed camping, as long as your off the roads and trails, the camping spots are unlimited. We like coming here if we want to be guaranteed a spot, no early arrivals or reservations needed. Dogs are allowed, and the trails in the area are dog-friendly.

Small tentsites

Great pass through campground. They have Archery, a pool, and a store. There are restaurants near the campground. The bathrooms were just ok.

Cool and Popular

The campground is a ways into the forest. I'm sure smaller cars could make it but it's not going to be a very comfortable ride.

There are a lot of sites and most were packed the weekend we were there. Lots of families and it wasn't quiet. Lots of pets and it wasn't quiet.

Picnic tables, firepits, the campground manager was on top of people who let their fires get too big.

It's truly a beautiful site though, lots of trails around and some rock climbing as well.

Clean Quiet & Safe

This little RV park was opened in 1977. It is nothing fancy but perfectly inperfect. You are greeted by staff and escorted to your space. Staff will assist you in plugging in if needed. They ask that you check-in after you are settled. Full hook-ups and wifi strong. They accept Good Sam. A real drive-in movie theater is across the street.

BLM campground at the edge of Mojave

It is a BLM campground in the Rainbow Basin right above Barstow, CA. Have to drive through washboard road for about five miles to get to the campground. Nice site with a trail head to Owl Canyon right by the campground. First come first serve site, but $6 per night. Each site has a picnic table with a shelter and a fire ring. Was very windy when we were there and had to put up tarp as wind shelter. Most pit toilets were clean, but it was an Easter weekend so very crowded with college field trips. No water (taps were not working) so bring your own water. There are some interesting playground structures at the campground towards the trail head. It was a full moon day so it was pretty bright that night and could not do stargazing. The view from our sites (first night #??, second night #22) were great. You can even see San Bernardino Mountains. A great place to camp if you are into geology. You can hike into Owl Canyon or drive a short distance to see colorful geological formations at Rainbow Basin. It was hot even in April so be prepared for the heat if you are not used to it.

Dispersed camping for rock climbers

It is a free campground, first come first serve. There are no developed facilities (i.e., no firepits, outhouses, etc.) but it is beautiful and there are plenty of flat places to set up a tent. This area is used almost exclusively by rock climbers, but anyone is welcomed. As long as you follow the guidelines for the area, you can set up your tent anywhere you see a spot.

Nice KOA

We were driving thru and decited to spend the night, they have all the nice things in the store, pool, quite place

always free and available

It‘s always nice that this camp ground is free and that you are pretty much guaranteed a “spot” even if all the official sites are taken. Primitive camping can be set up pretty much anywhere. If you can claim one of the actual sites they have a sweet set up with picnic table, grill, and roofed area. They almost always are claimes by RVs when we arrive on the weekend. biggest complaint: so much broken glass around the campground. Dogs are allowed here, but the whole time we were worried about our dog cutting his feet. If you bring a dog, booties are highly recommended!

Not bad

This is a nice little retreat from the desert. The only real complaint I have is the train. It takes a little while to get used to it going by. Wish they still had the paddle boats and horse back riding. The little zero gravity water park is nice if you have children.

Could be better, like it once was

Been here many times since it is local to me.

This place has changed a lot over the years, and not necessarily for the good, in my opinion.

What there is:

  • Trailer camping
  • Tent camping
  • Fishing
  • A playground
  • Small water park
  • Two lakes to fish at
  • Trains, lots of them
  • Bathrooms with showers
  • Frisbee golf
  • Picnic tables and shelters

What there is no longer:

  • Paddle boats
  • Horse riding stables
  • Horses and cows
  • Other interesting animals
  • Water in the grass fields where the animals roamed
  • Arenas

Beware of skunks and loud trains!

It is still a somewhat nice place to visit for a couple hours with the kids.

We have camped in a tent. The tents sites are adjacent to the lake.

Trailer camping isn't too bad, other than being adjacent to the busy railroad. Most sites have grass.

Doing some Work in Barstow Needed a Place to Kick It

I needed to get some work done in Barstow while I was on the road and this was the closest decent looking campground I could find. Sights are big some could handle a RV but I can confirm no hook ups. There are 2 water faucets I found in camp but neither are working. Bonus the picnic tables have there own little gazebos so in summer you would get some shade, and each sight has a fire pit with grill and a separate grill pit that would be great for charcoal. I stayed for 4 nights and had some epic sunrises, sunset is nice and one day of significant wind gusts, like kick you to the side and throw you off stride wind gusts so I suspect it can get pretty windy. But over all great campground pretty secluded for how close it is for Barstow and there is no reason I would not recemoned it, espaiclly to tenters. Be warned there is a super tame fox that got brave and tried to steal food scraps a few times.

Desert Wasteland Remodeled

Needed a place to stay on our way up to Tahoe and found this little gem. Isolated but easy to get to and recently upgraded. Each camping spot as a picnic table, firepit, garbage, and nice flat spot for our 4Wheel camper. Toilets, some water, and a playground if you have kids. Found some critters including a sidewinder but we are camping in their home so to be expected.

Basic .. Expensive

Came in the middle of the night on a colder evening so we could climb in the morning. Slept in the back of my Subie. Bathrooms smelled. Sites were pretty well set up, each had a picnic table and a fire ring that was blocked ( when we went) from the fire restrictions. For almost $30 a night, I would have expected a little more. Its a campground close to the climbing area. Nothing fancy, nothing horrible.

Ranger Review: TREDAGAIN Sandals at Sawtooth Canyon Campground, CA

Campground review

This campground has really nice features and it's all free! Because this campground is on BLM land there is no formal payment or registration process. You just come in and find a spot. It's more popular here in the fall to spring months. Summer is pretty hot. During busy times most full-feature camp spots are taken by early weekend. The good news is that there are unlimited primitive camping spots for tents. You simply park in one of the dozens of pullouts and set up your tent. If you get one of the full-feature camp spots it includes: picnic table, fire pit grill, and roofed platform. There are a couple fault toilets but no water source. The best part of this campground is its proximity to climbing. Drive down to the end of the camping to find the climbing parking lot. The closest routes are a one minute walk!

Gear review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I sometimes get to test out awesome new products, and during this trip I test drove some sweet Tredagain sandals. I always preferring buying products from companies that are creative in their environmentally friendly approaches. These sandals are a clever solution to rubber waste by using old tire rubber for the upcycled sandal materials. I've been wearing these sandals for a few weeks, and I wore them for the entirety of our camping trip here (except when I wore my climbing shoes). As with any sandals, they took a couple days to break in. Since I've been wearing them though I've gotten no blisters (which I sometimes do with the straps of other sandals) and the rubber has become formed to my foot! They're so comfortable, and the rubber material also doesn't seem to get flattened like some other sandals I've had. The look is classic and people have complimented about the design. These will be my go-to sandals - for outdoor use or casual wear - for a while. Check it out: https://tredagain.com

First to Review
A slice of heaven if you sleep outside

We found Owl Canyon a few years back and became enchanted with this place. About three miles of washboarded (but maintained) gravel road leads to a small campgroundwith exquisite rock formations and plenty of hiking trails leading off in all directions. The first time we were here, we were the only campers other than the adorable camp hosts who had taken the trouble to put small solar lights on the vault toilets and soap on a rope hanging from the water faucets. Unfortunately, they are no longer there and neither is the solitude. The camp had a wide range of campers from Coleman pup tents to Land Yachts. UCSB has a large research station where students come out and study geology and mapping. It was fun to chat with them and get infected with their enthusiasm. The weather was mild enough to sleep out under the stars. The night sky is stunning! Wind can be an issue as it was this last visit. Tents were challenged and I was woken up in the middle of the night by a levitated camp chair landing on me. i will guess if you go sometime after spring break and mid-week, the campground won't be as crowded. Toilets are clean, water is limited and the price is right. Make sure to take extra tarps and rope to rig up a wind break or two and you are sure to have a nice stay. .