Rv Camping Near Joshua Tree National Park

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Best Time Of Year For Camping In Joshua Tree

Free Camping outside Joshua Tree National Park | James and Paul’s RV Adventures

Summer is the least favorable time to visit the park. Between June and September, the average high temperature runs between 91-99 F . Some of the park trails and campgrounds arent even open in the summer.

Any other time of year is better, and March/April and October/November are delightful. You are most likely to see the Joshua Tree and Cholla cactus blooming in February/March. The wildflowers can < sometimes> happen in March/April.

If you can swing it, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a pretty quiet time for the park and you may have good luck getting campground reservations then.

Rv Campgrounds Near Joshua Tree National Park

Those camping in an RV will have plenty of options just outside Joshua Tree National Park. Most of the RV campgrounds are located in the Palm Springs area, which provides convenient access to the national park. There is also a good option on the northern side of Joshua Tree for those looking for a great RV campground. Learn more below.

Little Pioneertown RV Campground is located north of Joshua Tree National Park in Yucca Valley, CA. From here, youre only a 20 minute drive from the western entrance station making this a great option for those interested in exploring the northern section of the park.

All sites at this campground feature electricity, water, and sewer hookups although you wont find the same amenities as some of the other RV campgrounds listed above.

Boondocking At Chiriaco Summit Dry Camp Area

The day we left Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground, we packed up the RV and drove via the north entrance of the park through to the south to exit to the I-10. We stopped at the Cholla Cactus Garden on our way out and did the quick loop in this area filled with the prickly cactus. Once we were to the I-10, we went a few miles east on the highway, we stopped at a boondocking recommendation at Chiriaco Summit Dry Camp Area in Chiriaco Summit, CA.

This place was a pretty neat find! Chiriaco Summit is a small town if you can even call it that, that just has a big gas station with a convenience store, a couple of restaurants, some boutique/souvenir shops, and the General Patton Memorial Museum .

The dry camp area was just down a small road in the middle of this town that leads back into a strip of dry camping spots. The campground host met us at the entrance and helped us get signed up and pick a spot suitable for us. There were only a couple of other vans and RVs there so we had plenty of spots to choose from and no issues fitting in. Just a quick 5-minute walk to the above-mentioned convenience store for ice cream was a nice bonus!

Looking for other things to do in California? Take a look at our California articles. Where are we going next? Dont miss an adventure, today.

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Free Camping Near Joshua Tree

Camping on BLM land outside of Joshua Tree is an excellent option if the campgrounds or full or if you are seeking more privacy.

BLM land is available for boondocking on both the north and south sides of the park. Keep in mind that there are no facilities, and all trash must be packed out. The only restriction is that you cannot camp within 300 feet of the roadway. Campers can stay on BLM land for up to 14 consecutive days.

Shadow Hills Rv Resort

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide to Joshua Tree Part II

Shadow Hills RV Resort is located 26 miles away from Joshua Tree in Palm Springs. This is a great resort with some of the best ratings from Good Sam, Trip Advisor, and from the guests that stay here.

Shadow Hills has some of the best amenities and service as well, making it a relaxing and unforgettable experience.


  • Paved and Grass Sites

Activities in the Area

On their website, the Shadow Hills Resort offers different activities daily like hiking trips, massages, ice cream socials, and more.


There are different price rates depending on the time of year you choose to stay with them. During January-April, it starts at $75 a night, May-September between $45 to $55, and October- December starting at $70 a night. To make a reservation or find more information, check out their website:

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Camping Outside Of The National Park

You also have some options for camping near Joshua Tree- but outside of the park boundaries. There are RV parks, open BLM land and off the grid spots located around the area. And if you dont own an RV, but want to try one, use this CA RV rental guide.

If you dont have an RV or Van, check out our list of glamping options in Joshua Tree. There is also a KOA in Palm Springs which has tent sites, glamping tents and a cabin to rent.

Joshua Tree South Boondocking

Free camping is available on BLM land near Cottonwood Springs. Its just before the parks southern entrance on Cottonwood Springs Road. You can point your google maps to BLM Joshua Tree South or these GPS coordinates will get you there 33.673996, -115.807075. There is also a Harvest Hosts nearby in Chirico Summit for those with a membership.

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Free Camping Outside Of Joshua Tree National Park

Theres still plenty of free camping just outside of Joshua Tree National Park

BLM South Campground This is BLM land located at the southern entrance to the Park, along Cottonwood Springs Rd. You can camp on either side of the road. There are a number of dirt roads that stretch for miles through this area. During the snow bird season, this area swells up in numbers. . Read more about this at, Joshua Tree BLM South.

Chiriaco Summit Free Campground This is a primitive camping area located at Chiriaco Summit, along I-10, about 6 miles from the Parks southern entrance. Chiriaco Summit is a fuel station with convenience store, restaurant, and the George S. Patton WWII Museum. The camping area is located behind the museum. There are about 20 back-in sites, most of them large enough to accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. It has a single back-in space for RVs greater than 40 feet. There is a camp host on site. Read more about this at, Chiriaco Summit Dry Camp Area.

BLM North Campground This is BLM land located north of the park, about 10 miles from the Park entrance. It sits on a wide, flat dirt area used mostly by off-roaders. Its a very dusty, barren piece of land.

Where To Camp In The Joshua Tree Backcountry

Joshua Tree National Park | RV Living

Unlike many other national parks, there are no designed backcountry campsites in Joshua Tree National Park. Rather, backpackers are asked to camp on durable surfaces, camp away from other groups, camp an adequate distance from roads, and not camp in day-use only areas. The full list of regulations is below:

  • Do not camp within 1 mile of a park road
  • Do not camp within 500 ft. of a trail or water source
  • Do not camp in day-use only areas
  • Camp at least 1 mile from any trailheads
  • Limit your group size to the smallest possible.

In practice, this means you should seek out a secluded campsite that is on a durable surface. Rocks and sandy washes make perfect backcountry campsites in Joshua Tree. Please be very careful not to camp or hike on the living soil in Joshua Tree. This can be recognized by the dark crust that forms on top of the soil and should be avoided to help protect this sensitive ecosystem.

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Learn More About Joshua Tree Camping

Two of the Dyrts Rangers who spent a year visiting all 59 National Parks, have put together this incredible video to document their firsthand experience in Joshua Tree with the hopes of improving the visit of others.

Ranger Tip: Many popular campsites are first-come, first-served, so if youd like a spot, plan to arrive early in the morning and watch for campers that are leaving for the day.

Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

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Making Joshua Tree Camping Reservations

Joshua Tree camping reservations are hard to come by, primarily because not all campgrounds offer them. The best plan of action is to reserve well in advance at a campground that accepts reservations, or to arrive as early as possible if you’re targeting a campground that doesn’t take reservations. If you’re hoping to camp at Hidden Valley over Memorial Day Weekend, for example, you’d want to get there early on the Thursday or Friday before to ensure a good spot.

It’s also worth noting that the campgrounds that do take reservations will not allow walk-ins. So if you’re after one of those campsites, booking in advance is required.

Belle Campground is first-come, first-served all year round. Similarly, Hidden Valley, Ryan, and White Tank do not take reservations, so they fill up entirely on a walk-in basis. Black Rock Campground, Indian Cove, Cottonwood Campground, and Jumbo Rocks Campground are all, as of September 4, by reservation only.

Rv Camping In Joshua Tree At Black Rock Campground

Pin on RVing

With 99 campsites, the Black Rock Campground is one of the largest campgrounds in Joshua Tree. The campground is on the north side of the park and is only five minutes from Yucca Valley, where you will find grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

Black Rock Campground is an excellent choice for RVers with larger rigs. There are six sites in the campground that can accommodate a maximum RV or truck/travel trailer combination of up to 40 feet. Seven campsites can accommodate a maximum vehicle length of 42 feet.

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate.

Black Rock Campground has potable water, flush toilets, and a dump station.

From June 10 through August 29, half of the campsites in the campground are closed, and the other half are first come-first served. Reservations can be made for all sites starting August 30.

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Where Can You Go Rv Camping In Joshua Tree

RV campers planning a trip to Joshua Tree National Park have eight unique campgrounds to choose from. RVs and travel trailers are welcome at Indian Cove, Ryan, Black Rock, Cottonwood, Hidden Valley, Jumbo Rocks, Belle and White Tank campgrounds in Joshua Tree.

Not all campsites in these campgrounds will accommodate campers and RVs, so be sure to check the site requirements before booking. The largest campsites in the park can accommodate RVs of up to 42 feet. If your rig is larger than this, consider camping on the Bureau of Land Management land just outside of the park or in a nearby private campground.

Joshua Tree National Park Dispersed Camping Bradshaw Trail


Elevation: 3202

Management: Retail Store

Wal-Mart parking lot. Overnight RV parking. They have an arcade, I spoke with them and OKd for one night. Verizon 4 bars.

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Things To See In Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is often described as magical or something out of a childrens book. Youll find various wildlife and funky plants at this park, along with inspiring landscapes.

If youre up for a hike, be sure you find Barker Dam Trail, where youll come across large Joshua trees, boulders, and possibly even a few birds. One thing certainly not to be missed is Cholla Cactus Garden.

Youll stroll among more than a thousand densely packed chollas.

If a more daring adventure is what you are looking for, enjoy a bit of rock climbing. Joshua Tree National Park has almost 8,000 climbing routes to enjoy.

Places And Things To Do And See In Joshua Tree National Park

FREE Joshua Tree National Park Camping | Full Time RV Living

It does not matter whether you want a place that will offer a sense of peace, an old west-inspired getaway, or a strenuous adventure you can trust to get everything you want in Joshua Tree National Park. You might be wondering what you can see or do in the park, and we will touch on that in this section.

1. You can walk among cacti in Cholla Cactus Garden. You will experience the best when you visit this cacti grove, which organically exists. It features a 0.25-mile loop, and you will enjoy the dense concentration of the dangerous yet lovely cholla cactus.

2. You can enjoy a kickback to Live Music at Pappy & Harriets. Pappy & Harriet Pioneertown Palace is always packed and will offer you a unique experience. It is a musical oasis in the middle of the desert, and everyone deserves to feel the magic of being there. This palace is a part roadhouse, part honky-tonk, and part premier venue and has hosted almost everyone, including Paul McCartney and Vampire Weekend, at the intimate stage.

3. You can relax as you rewind at the Pioneer town Motel. It is a former live-in motion-picture set and was founded by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. When you visit this motel, you will have the chance to feel its history but in a modern aspect and concept. The rooms look so good, with Aztec blankets, cowhide rugs, and exposed bulbs as part of decorations. With everything looking beautiful, you will find it easier to relax and have a good time.

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Dining Options Near The Park

1. Morongo Valley Café. This option offers classic foods like French toast, biscuits, gravy, tuna melts, and rotating soup specials.

2. Frontier Café. If you are a lover of sandwiches and salads, this would be the best option for you. You will find beer, plus wine, and kombucha in addition to the sandwiches and salads.

3. Pizza Pie for the People! Pizza di Circo. After a tiring hike, make sure to visit this place for a delicious pizza. You can get various options for the pizza.

4. Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant. Even though this restaurant is not as flashy as other options, you can come here for significant portions of pad Thai, pad see ew, poh-tack, and jungle curry.

5. Dillons Burgers & Beers. You can trust to get bison burgers, cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, and veggie burgers. They will be serviced with your choice of tater tots, coleslaw, pasta salad, or fries.

Are There Any Available Campsites In The Park Right Now

Campgrounds are usually full on weekends October through May. From mid-February to mid-May campgrounds usually fill throughout the week. To improve your chances of getting a campsite and avoid disappointment, visit during the off-season , reserve a site, and/or have alternate overnight plans ready.

Since most park campgrounds are first-come, first-serve availability can change by the minute.

Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground

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Cottonwood Campground Joshua Tree Rv Camping

One of the most remote campgrounds in the park is Cottonwood Campground. Located in the southeastern corner of the park near the Cottonwood Visitor Center, the campground is about 30 miles from Indio, California.

Cottonwood Campground is located outside of the habitat of the famous Joshua Trees but does feature fantastic desert views. The campground also has regular ranger programs in its amphitheater.

Cottonwood Campground has 62 campsites. All campsites can accommodate an RV or truck/travel trailer combination of up to 35 feet. Around 15 campsites can accommodate even larger rigs.

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate. Cottonwood Campground has potable water, flush toilets, and a dump station.

From June 10 through August 29, half of the campsites in the campground are closed, and the other half are first come-first served. Reservations can be made for all sites starting August 30.

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