Welcome to City of Rocks National Reserve
On his way to California in 1849, emigrant James F. Wilkens described the dramatic geological area he encountered as "City of Rocks." The name remains, as well as hundreds of pioneer inscriptions, wagon ruts, and journal accounts, testifying to the nearly quarter-million people who traveled through here between 1843 and 1882.
Visitors today will see nearly the same scene - granite spires and monoliths reaching 60 stories tall. Geologists estimate the oldest granite to exceed 2.5 billion years. Established in 1988 as a national reserve, City of Rocks encompasses 14,407 acres of land (about one quarter is privately owned) and is renowned for its scenic, geologic, and historic significance. The City of Rocks area was an important landmark on the California Trail.
City of Rocks is one of the finest granite-face climbing sites anywhere. Climbers find the younger granite of the Almo Pluton to be some of the best rock they've ever ascended. About 700 routes have been developed to date. City of Rocks also has ample access to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The winter months provide excellent opportunities for snowshoeing and skiing.
Beautiful sites with many areas to rock climb. Pit houses don’t stink too bad. Good tent sites.
Great family camping. Gets hot in July-August. Lots of hiking and exploring to do. Main recreation activity is rock climbing. Durfee Hotsprings in Almo is a must on any visit. The Outpost for a good burger or Rock City for pizzas.
I have camped here a couple of times here it is very windy and can be cold. The most recent time I went there was a huge storm. Nice camp sites some are secluded whilst others are a little to close for comfort. There is some nice rock climbing.
Only $12.50, but no water or showers etc. The sites are sectioned into small groups and spread up through City of Rocks. Some on the sites you have a little walk to. All have fire pits and picnic table.
One of the best no approach climbing areas in the country! We've come here numerous times and never get tired of it. There are bathrooms interspersed throughout and the closest amenities are in Almo. There is also a restaurant in Almo where you can get a burger and beer after a hard day of sending!
This is easily my favorite campground. Ever. The sites are clean and comfortable. All spots are well maintained but still feel organic and don't encroach on the wildlife. I especially like how close the sites are to the climbing, which is the main draw of City of Rocks for me. There is an excellent guide book you can pick up at Rock City in Almo but routes are also posted on Mnt. Project.
Water: There are two places to get water, which is free and tasty. The pump at Bath Rock is my go-to.
Toilets: There are pit toilets, which aren't gross and there is always plenty of toilet paper inside.
Trash: There are trash and recycling cans at Bath Rock.
Cell Reception: I get enough service (Verizon) up on top of Bath Rock to make phone calls.
Other stuff: The rangers are helpful and kind and sometimes there is an artist in residence you can meet up with. If you are a good, responsible camper who cares about protecting beautiful places, I highly recommend this campground! If you are a garbage leaving jerk, you should stay home. If sites are full, there is BLM camping nearby that isn't as pretty but does the trick.
Dry camp that fits for small trailees and tent camping. Larger trailers have limted spots so check dimensions before reserving..Lots of trails nearby. Mountain bike trail as well. Weather can be unpredictable so be prepared for rain and possible storm occasional which makes for amazing skys.
We stayed up by the Breadloaves group camp for a night and was treated to the entire Rockford being lit up by the moon. Being right next to the Breadloaves you have close to 100 routes to choose from with a combo of both traditional and sport.
There's toilets nearby in the parking lot and the trees offer a nice respite from the wind. There are amenities in nearby Almo. The steakhouse has good diner food and Rock City has all your grocery shopping needs! All campsites have fire rings and picnic tables.
BOOK YOUR SITE EARLY! The sites fill up quick there's close to 0% chance you'll get a walking site from May-Oct.
This is a very popular area, but you can still find solitude if you want it. Plenty of activities as well; climb all day, check out Register Rock, or hike the City of Rocks Loop trail around the site to get a little bit of everything. We stayed with our 2 dogs in April, it was definitely warm in the sun, but very cool at night and in the shade. It is high desert, summer months must be stifling!
The sites are nicely spread out, with a few pit toilets and refuse cans between them. Check out the map on the NPS site and make a reservation to ensure you get the spot you want.
Another amazing April camping trip down at City of Rocks. Spent four glorious days hanging out with the old rocks. Head down to the City if you’re looking for some wide open space and solitude, the campground is SO spread out you will never notice if it’s full. City of Rocks is…well rocky, so definitely be prepared to use rocks or other heavy things to help stake out your tents/ezups, which trust me, you’ll want to—the wind and lack of shade make those extra shelters a must! They have water and bathrooms spread throughout the reserve, we were about .25 miles away from the bathroom and .50 from water-no big deal. They have trash and recycling by the bathrooms (which are pit toilets but were clean and stocked while we visited!)