The best HIKE IN camping near
Salton Sea Beach , CALIFORNIA

227 Reviews41 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Salton Sea Beach Camping Reviews
Good free spot near Joshua Tree - don't get bogged!

We had a lovely stay for two nights, the wind was quite strong so make sure you have good pegs and sandbags. Plenty of spots to choose from without driving too far from the road. It wasn't too busy on the MLK long weekend with enough space and privacy between campers. Wide open spaces with some fire places made from rocks. A few spots had some shade trees but not many.

We had a few different campers within 50 yards and saw 3 of them get bogged in 3 different spots - two were proper 4WD's and one took two tow trucks to get it out so beware and scope out your drive off the main trail first.

“The last resort”

Interesting area, very artistic fallout apoliptic feel. This is a free dispersed area off the access dike of Bombay Beach along the Salton sea. This place is a man made disaster ghost town that has been mostly abandon with everything else that went to the wayside of the Salton sea situation. Bombay beach has become an art creating place with lots of installments and really interesting creations of art. Would highly recommend checking it out even if it is just a day trip. There was two RVs on the beach when I was last there. Not sure how safe this place is, has a slab city vibe and not far from slab city. I would definitely stay here over slab city. Not sure how the locals feel about RVs camping out on the beach of Bombay. Definitely check out the art surrounding all the homes of Bombay. Nothing else like it. Feels like freedom in a post apocalyptic society. I like that it has become a place for artists. All the people I talked to there were friendly.

Great location for a Thousand Trails

This is a great location if you are a Thousand trails member well worth it. If laying nightly defiantly better options for nightly rates. This is a very popular park and they do have stricter rules than other TT parks. The staff have always been friendly and easy going. The area park is next to I10 and does have lots of road noise, also a good amount of riff raff and homeless near by. The park does keep security tight as a precaution. Park is covered with palm trees and a few citrus trees you can pick from. Lots of stuff to do/see in surrounding areas. Would recommend if you are a TT member. Park is seasonal and not open year round.

24 hrs in the SLABS

Ok I went here hoping to spend more than 24 hrs and explore and what not but I stuck out like a sore thumb with a military truck and decent travel trailer. Theirs TOOO much need in this community (comparable to skid row if your familiar but in the desert) This is more than just DISPERSED camping where you pull over and kick back. Its literally survival at all times because that’s what THEY are doing in the desert. I could not sleep with all the evening noises and people tweaking/high on something walking around. That all said Salvation Mountain is pretty amazing and safe due to its state protected and at entrance into the Slabs so it’s well traveled. So much LOVE went into it. Do drive around the outskirts of the slabs some too and you’ll find plenty of random desert art that Slabs City is known for.

Free BLM camping at the south entrance along I10.

This is one of the only options along the I10 southern entrance to Joshua Tree NP. Not sure why this app list it as $25. This is a place to park off the road near the south entrance. I would be cautious leaving valuables unattended if breaking away from camp to explore, can be lots of riff raff, our stay was nice and is a great free overnight option.

Perfect spot for JTNP

This FREE (not sure why it shows up as $25 on this app) dispersed camp area is perfect for convenience to JTNP, although at the south entrance. Easy to find spots, even in the dark. I stayed here the night of January 3rd. Flat and sandy areas with lots of rock fire rings (check fire status though! It was a no burn time when I was there).

See other reviews for good descriptions of directions from I-10. Very simple.

To get to the north part of JTNP it takes about 1 hour through the park (BEAUTIFUL drive), to Black Rock Canyon for trail heads about 1.5 hours. You can drive through the park before park hours if needed. The cottonwood springs visitors center opens at 8:30, but you can get a pass in another place.

One downside, you can hear (faintly) and see I-10 but no big deal!

Would stay here again!

Super easy, free, and fun!

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 :)

Lovely primitive sites with access to great hikes

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.

Perfect Free BLM camping

This campground (and I use the term loosely) is everything that I love about BLM land - dispersed, quiet, and FREE! No amenities and not a ton of privacy for outdoor bathroom usage, but not crowded enough for it to matter. Tons of spaces along several different dirt roads. Rock fire pits at most every campsite, the majority of which are flat and not too sandy.

When coming from I10, head towards Joshua Tree NP and just before the NP sign (can’t be more than a couple hundred feet), you’ll see dirt roads going both left and right - we went right and had no issue on the road with our Subaru Crosstrek and small tow-behind popup camper, although it could’ve been more difficult for 2WD vehicles.

Be aware that although this camping is super close to the park, the majority of park attractions and hikes are in the north end, so be prepared to drive through. However, it is super close (about 10 mins) to the Cottonwood Visitor Center, which has 24/7 bathrooms (I think?), and the Lost Palms Oasis Trail. Nearest gas station is in Chiriaco Summit, about 13 minutes away, and nearest city is Indio, which is about 35 minutes.

Great Free BLM Camping

Free dispersed camping just North of Interstate 10. Take the paved road North about a mile and you can turn left or right on the "main road" just before the park entrance (right before the berm) . A few people were camping South of the Interstate. Dirt road has some washboards but it firmly packed and can be driven by any type of vehicle. If you take one of the smaller side roads, you may have more trouble and there are less camp sites cleared on those roads, but are more private.

Lot's of people cluster up near the paved road but the further you go away from the paved from the more space and privacy you have. I went about 3 miles to the West from the paved road and had about a quarter mile in each direction between me and my neighbors.

No noise except maybe once and hour a car drives by but it's not disturbing. Camp fire rings made of rocks in almost all clearings. Very private and a huge bonus to have cell and internet at almost full signal in such a remote place.

It is BLM dispersed camping so it's free, first come first served, and has zero amenities. Be sure to fully stock up on water, gas, propane etc before arriving in the area.

Gas station next exit down the highway about 4 miles. Has a free water spout for customers but it's kind of slow so don't plan on filling a 90 gallon tank this way. No firewood sold there, you have to go 30 minutes into Indio.

Verizon Cell/Network Service: 5/5 - Full bars in the BLM land

AT&T Internet Service - 4/5 - Half bars, great for how remote it is

Rig Details: 2008 Toyota Tundra 4WD w/ 27ft Travel Trailer