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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 :)
Went before Thanksgiving weekend for a few nights. SUPER busy over the weekend and emptied out by Sunday night. Basically camping anarchy - people setting up all over the place - but you can only start fires in the provided fire ring. Some sites are exposed others super secluded. Sound definitely carries over the little valley, but people kept it low key by 10pmish.
Arrive early to get a nice site.
Great hikes that start right from the campground.
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.
Spa in the desert We wanted to escape the rain and cold and hit the jackpot with this location. I was concerned that the pools might be closed due to COVID but both pools were open. They are fed by natural hot springs and warmer than most hot tubs. The camp ground was tidy and the sports were separated by shrubbery for privacy. They had mini golf and picket ball. The kids loved the pool. That was the main attraction. After a week of boon docking in the desert, this resort was a nice respite. The dog park was ok, dusty and small but the other campers were super nice so it was a fun way to meet people and their fur babies. The owners made it very clear that kids and families are welcome, although most campers were silver haired.
Loved this location. Accommodates large RVs Trailers and Tents. Large camping areas isolated form other sites. Clean and fairly easy access. When you get to the end of the road, you can go Right or Left. There is a sign that says no Trailers, but doesn't indicate which direction it applies to. Left circles around, right is dead end. Be careful which way you choose.