Joshua Tree National Park boasts nine campgrounds with 500 a combined individual sites, so this park is ready to accommodate your visit! On Thanksgiving weekend and New Years weekend (the Memorial day and Labor day of the desert) the park will be packed and finding a campsite can be a challenge. On these weekend, consider visiting the less popular Mojave National Preserve to the north. The park can also get quite crowded during spring wildflower season, but most other times, one can drive into the park and find a great site without much searching. On weekdays especially, the park can provide a great feeling of seclusion. For other lodging options, visit tripadvisor.com.
The fee for Black Rock, Cottonwood, and Indian Cove Campground is $15 per night, (the price of flush toilets) while the six other sites are $10 per night and feature the usual pit toilets. Picnic tables and fire rings come standard. Sites at Black Rock and Indian Cove, and group sites at Sheep Pass and Cottonwood may be reserved online or by calling 877.444.6777.
Black Rock Canyon campground has its own access road south of the west entrance station and is the only grounds where you can actually camp among the Joshua trees. Indian Cove Campground is accessible to the north from Route 62 near Fortynine Palms Oasis. Cottonwood campground is on the east side of the park and offers access to the trailhead for Lost Palms Oasis and Mastodon Peak.
Campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park
Indian Cove Campground | 101 sites | reservations accepted | $15 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets | elevation 3,200 feet
Black Rock Campground | 100 sites | reservations accepted | $15 per night | potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets | elevation 4,000 feet
Hidden Valley Campground | 9 sites | first-come first-serve | $10 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 4,200 feet
Ryan Campground | 31 sites | first-come first-serve | $10 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 4,300 feet
Sheep Pass Campground | 6 group sites | reservations accepted | $25 to 40 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 4,500 feet
Jumbo Rocks Campground | 124 sites | first-come first-serve | $10 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 4,400 feet
White Tank Campground | 18 sites | first-come first-serve | $10 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 3,800 feet
Belle Campground | 15 sites | first-come first-serve | $10 per night | picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets | elevation 3,800 feet
Cottonwood Campground | 62 sites | first-come first-serve | $15 per night | potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, and flush toilets | elevation 3,000 feet
The location of each campground can be viewed on this map:
Or view California Desert trails and campgrounds in a larger map
Jumbo Rock Campground
More Joshua Tree Views
This short hike leads to a natural arch in the granite formations by White Tank Campground.
This level 0.3-mile nature trail loop explores the plants living on a desert bajada.
This level 1.5-mile loop visits a small foreign-looking reservoir within the Wonderland of Rocks.
|Cholla Cactus Garden|
This quarter-mile loop allows visitors to stroll through an intense concentration of cholla cacti.
This 3.9-mile hike ascends 700 feet up a wash, a canyon, and an old road to a mountainside mine site that offers a glimpse into the mining history of Joshua Tree.
|Crown Prince Lookout|
This easy 3.25-mile round trip hike crosses a desert plateau to a pair of overlook near the site of an World War II era observation post.
|Desert Queen Mine|
This 1.6-mile hike follows a level trail to an overlook before crossing a canyon to visits the ruins of one the most profitable gold mines in the California desert.
|Fortynine Palms Oasis|
The 3-mile round trip hike visits a cool desert oasis.
This one mile loop circles the interior of a small valley surrounded by tall rocks that serves as an excellent bouldering arena.
|High View Nature Trail|
This 1 1/3-mile loop climbs a ridge on the west side of the park that offers views of San Gorgonio Mountain and Yucca Valley, along with an introduction to desert plants.
The 101-site campground is home to a 0.6-mile interpretive trail and endless bouldering and rock climbing opportunities.
|Lucky Boy Vista|
This level 2.5-mile hike visits a modest overlook at the site of an old mine.
This 1.2-mile hike leaves the crowds at Keys View for even grander views at a 5,550-foot summit that looks out on the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, Mount San Jacinto, and much of Joshua Tree National Park.
|Lost Horse Mine|
This 4-mile hike visits a well-preserved mine and mill.
|Lost Palms Oasis|
This 7.2-mile hike visits a desert oasis nestled between mountains in the southeast corner of the park.
This 2.6-mile loop visits a 3,400-foot summit with panoramic views of southeastern Joshua Tree.
This 3-mile hike offers summit views from the center of Joshua Tree National Park.
This 0.8 or 1.2-mile round trip hike visits the ruins of an old adobe homestead beneath Ryan Mountain.
|Wall Street Mill|
This level 1.55 to 2.15-mile hike visits a well-reserved gold mill, exploring the mining history of Joshua Tree National Park.
This 5.5-mile hike summits a peak with impressive views over the west side of Joshua Tree.
This level 2.1-mile hike travels past the ruins of Wonderland Ranch up a use trail into the Wonderland of Rocks.
|Joshua Tree Wildflowers|
The desert in bloom is something any outdoor enthusiast in California should see.
|Death Valley National Park|
Nine campgrounds are spread throughout this large park to facilitate your visit.
|Mojave National Preserve|
A few campgrounds and endless roadside camping are available within the preserve.
|Anza-Borrego Desert State Park|
The biggest state park in California has four developed campgrounds, eight primitive campgrounds, and as much roadside camping as you could ever want.
We plan to visit black rock later next month.
Would appreciate tips on preferred sites for privacy and views
So, there are only two reservable campsites within the entire park. Everything else is first come first serve including the better spots. Good to know! I called the hotline and they couldn’t give me a legit answer haha.
According to the NPS website http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
reservations are only taken from Oct. thru May at the two reservable campgrounds with walk-ins accepted if they are not full. All others are on a first come first served basis.
How old do you have to be to go camping with friends?
[…] full and encouraged to not even try, but we did. My sights were set on finding a spot in Jumbo Rocks, as I heard it was the coolest of campsites and provides a little more privacy among the boulders. […]