Mojave National Preserve where to camp

Being a preserve, Mojave National Preserve lacks a few of the facilities you would find in Joshua Tree or Death Valley, but this absence creates the opportunity for a more intimate visit with the desert.

For the traditionalists (those who like camping near a bathroom), has a couple standard campgrounds. For more adventurous campers, Mojave offers a unique experience akin to wilderness car camping. Roadside camping is permitted in areas that are “traditionally used for this purpose” which means, if you turn down a dirt road and see a fire ring and a spot to put up a tent, you can camp there! This option offers you immediate access to your vehicle while you enjoy the seclusion of wilderness camping. There is a large roadside camping area near the Kelso Dunes and perhaps hundreds of other single sites spread throughout this 1.6 million acre park.

These “sites” are both listed and unlisted so ask a ranger for recommendations. All roadside camping is free. The map below show the location of the maintained campgrounds and also a few of the roadside camping options.

Roadside Camping Mojave
Sunrise in the Mojave Desert

 

Campgrounds in Mojave National Preserve

Hole-in-the-Wall Campground | 37 sites | first-come first-serve | $12 per night | potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 4,400 feet

Mid Hills Campground | 26 sites | first-come first-serve | $12 per night | potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 5,600 feet

Providence Mountains State Recreation Area | 6 sites | first-come first-serve | $12 per night | potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets | elevation 4,300

The location of each campground can be viewed on the map below:


View California Desert Hikes in a larger map

Hikes in Mojave National Preserve

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Teutonia Peak Mojave380Teutonia Peak
This out and back hike crosses the world's densest Joshua tree forest, passing an abandoned silver mine to reach a rocky summit with views of Cima Dome.
3.4 - 4 miles
700 feet
35.300458,
-115.563498
Mojave New York Peak390New York Peak
This out and back hike summits the highest point of the New York Range in the northeast corner of the preserve.
7 - 9 miles
2400 feet
35.258600,
-115.306377
Lava Tube Mojave400Lava Tube
This short out and back hike drops underground into an old lava tube lit by holes in the surface.
0.6 miles
150 feet

35.216347,
-115.751525
Mojave Petroglyphs410Petroglyphs near Seventeen Mile Point
This faint path visits ancient engravings in the volcanic rock at the western rim of the cinder fields just off Kelbaker Road.
0.25 miles
25 feet
35.205572,
-115.872077
Rock Spring Loop Trail417Rock Spring Loop Trail
This loop visits a rare desert spring, a Rock House built in the 1920s, a miners' mill site, and an old U.S. Army post on a short and scenic circuit.
1.33 miles
100 feet
35.155017,
-115.334768
Mojave Rings Trail420Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail
This loop takes visitors through a landscape of pocketed rocks. Ringbolts allow fun passage through narrow canyons.
0.5 - 1.5 miles
150 feet
35.043746,
-115.398252
Mojave Fountain Peak430Fountain Peak
This off trail trek summits a peak with commanding views over the Providence Mountains.
5 miles
2700 feet
34.945976,
-115.537555
Mojave Kelso Dunes440Kelso Dunes
This out and back hike climbs the highest point in this 45 square mile dune field.
3 miles
470 feet
34.886424,
-115.715783
Silver Peak Mojave450Silver Peak
This out and back hike summits a 6,365-foot peak in the Granite Mountains.
8.5 miles
2,500 feet
34.812283,
-115.695982
Amboy Crater500Amboy Crater
This out and back hike travels up and into a volcanic crater near Mojave National Preserve.
3 miles
275 feet
34.556892,
-115.780772
More Desert Camping

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These photos were taken in February of 2008 and January and May of 2010. Click to enlarge.
More Desert Camping
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The biggest state park in California has four developed campgrounds, eight primitive campgrounds, and as much roadside camping as you could ever want.
Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping Mojave National Preserve Camping
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2 Comments on Camping in Mojave National Preserve

  1. Carlos says:

    Our adventure through the Mojave National Preserve was very much a success and gawd knows that both Jo and I needed to get out of the house real bad lol. I never imagined to be witness to such beauty as the one lava tube provided! We both felt like kids on the old Tom Sawyer Island caves they used to have at Disneyland – only this was very real and very ancient. I am definitely looking forward to coming back here for more shoots including getting additional footage for my side project, Treasures of the Mojave Desert.

  2. […] For more hikes and camping info┬ácheck out this post from Hikespeak.com […]

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