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Great piece of dispersed camping. As said in other reviews here, you can camp just about anywhere in the wash/river bed. I’m not sure how often water flows through it if at all so check weather just to be safe. No bugs, great weather and beautiful hikes surround the campsites. Most vehicles can make it in, but the deeper you go the rougher the roads.
We rolled in after dark and found a spot super easy that was secluded and perfect for tent camping. We had a nice hike in the morning before heading back to Julian for pie :)
This campground was a great unexpected surprise! The kid at the check-in station is just the sweetest! We were told to go look around and pick out a site and just go back and tell them… Well the campground is HUGE and it took a while in the RV to go all the way to the end (Catfish) where they suggested, back to let them know, and then back to set up camp. But after all that we got to sit back and relax and watch the beautiful sunset!
there are a couple oddities here though - for an RV campground there is a ton of ground that is not level. Pretty much only the sites right along the water are level because you're basically on the beach. We lucked out with one of those and no one else around because of the holiday/covid.
The lake is no-touch, so no dipping your toes in, no letting the dog splash, nothing. But a couple people were fishing.
It was so quiet and peaceful that I couldn't imaging a better last night to our vacation! I would think in normal circumstances, though, this place must be crazy and a site on the water means sharing your beautiful spot with anyone who wants to walk right by. Although you may feel like you get your own beach, you don't.
There are two dump stations but for some reason there is a plastic ring that prevents the hose from going in the ground so its a bit gross. There's propane at the market where the front entrance is.
It felt like this is a family-run campground and I mean that in the best way!
During COVID, many campgrounds are shut down making social distance travel challenging. This campsite is great for a short weekend trip. We went to this site when it’s pitch dark. The unpaved road was a bit bumpy however our kids enjoyed the “roller coaster”. We went in our RV and though there wasn’t any hook ups, it was a quiet location to be away from the city.
I researched this spot a ton and was hesitant to go - mostly because my 1987 VW Westfalia isn’t 4WD, and everything I read said you must have an off road vehicle, but the area looked beautiful and we didn’t have lots of campground options based on COVID park closures so we went.
I’m glad we did.
Box Canyon Road - the main road that goes right through Mecca Hills is paved and that drive alone was worth it. Beautiful.
The reviews were right that my car couldn’t make it to Painted Canyon or Mecca Wilderness Campground (a bit past Painted Canyon), but because it’s BLM land there’s dispersed camping anywhere off Box Canyon Road, which was amazing.
We saw old campfire pits all over and we pulled off on a dirt road that didn’t need 4WD, found a man made rock pit and setup shop. It was around a mountain so we felt totally isolated.
I had to be careful where to drive as there’s lots of sand but it was great. Glad we went. There were two other cars within site of us doing the same thing.
We had a great fire that night and enjoyed the stars and solitude.
Loved this dispersed campground and the beautiful hike, really glad to have found this place. Stars at night and a really bright moon. Got stuck in the sand and had to be towed out, thanks to some really sweet hikers 💗 awd highly recommend.
This was one of our first camping spots as a family back in September 2020. We borrowed a 1985 VW Westfalia (now we own one). My sister and her family of four came in their suburban & tent. We shared a $20 camping spot.
We drove in from Orange County CA and reserved our spot online. The campground was 85% full and was a little loud with larger groups next to us, but was beautiful.
We brought our large golden retriever, which was great but they don’t allow dogs on trails so that was a bummer while we nicked during the days.
It was hot and there were lots of bee’s and no campfires but still worth it. Skull Rock trail was worth it with our five year old. Totally kid friendly.
We’ll come back for sure. Was a good intro to camping for us.