Which Are the Best Campgrounds in Joshua Tree?

Where is Joshua Tree?

Joshua Tree is in San Bernardino County, California. The best campgrounds in Joshua tree makes this place an absolute getaway destination for tourists of all ages and from everywhere around the country. This park features several other facilities and activities that keep its visitors fully engaged and happy at all times. 

What to Do in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is full of adventure, and you can never get enough of Joshua Tree activities like hiking, rock climbing, and camping. The beauty of Joshua Tree is breathtaking, and you may also take photographs of every adventure you come across while here. 

There are several places that you may hike for photos and more while in Joshua Tree. Below are the places to visit together with other activities to do while around here:

The Barker Dam Nature Trail

Baker Dam hosts a 1.3-mile (2-kilometer) trail loop offering visitors a short but fun walk-around experience. When it comes to what to see while in Joshua Tree, you can have a view of rocks, giant Joshua trees, and water springs with several types of birds. For this reason, you get to have fun watching different kinds of birds while moving about. 

There are more huge trees and beautiful scenery when you go further ahead. Many people usually turn around once they reach the rancher’s water tank. However, much of the beautiful natural scenery is past the dam. For that reason, it would be wise to keep moving into the interior. 

Barker Dam Nature Trail

The Hidden Valley Nature Trail 

If you are looking for a more accessible place to visit in Joshua Tree, the Hidden Valley could be your perfect destination. Lots of beauty surrounds this valley making it more attractive despite being just a short-walk trail. Hidden Valley is a good destination in case you want to sit at one beautiful place for a while or wander around some trees and rocks. 

This valley falls among the sceneries that bring several people to Joshua Tree. The Great Burrito, a giant monolith, is the leading geographical structure that excites people coming to this place. You may also carry out some daytime fun activities while in Joshua Tree. The most popular activity to do here is to have a picnic. 

There is a separate picnic section on one side known as the Hidden Valley picnic area. Many Joshua trees surround this section together with other scenic views giving you a taste of the best that nature has to offer. 

Another short trail emerges from the picnic section leading to an open area with rocks and more trees, giving you room for a scenic photo shoot area. Also, the short trail paves the way for more Joshua Tree activities while on this site. 

The Keys View

The 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) elevation gives out views that extend far and wide to the Coachella valley. While at the highest point of the Keys View, you may be able to see several other sceneries from a distance. Some of these yonder views are the Palm Springs, the San Andreas fault line, and the Salton Sea. However, you may only see these places on a clear day. 

The highest level of the Key View also gives you a different experience in terms of temperature while you climb upwards. The top gives you a more astounding sensation, even on a hot day. This aspect makes this section a good escape place during a hot day in Joshua Tree. 

Cholla Cactus Garden 

This garden lies among the most beautiful places to visit while in Joshua Tree. This garden comprises Cholla cacti as the primary vegetation. Other sites in the desert have this vegetation and types of plants around. What makes this garden unique is that there is no other vegetation around. 

The Cholla vegetation spreads across a large garden area, giving out a breathtaking view to the visitors around here. The natural view gets even more spectacular early in the morning and late afternoon. During these periods, the sun strikes the Cholla needles, and they reflect, bringing a glowing appearance.

While heading out of this place, you may be able to spot other attractive vegetation like the Ocotillo Patch. These plants give a beautiful view that you can enjoy as you go further ahead outside the Key View. 

Ryan Mountain Hike

As you begin to hike up the Ryan mountain, you get to see a lot of spectacular views. At some point, you may start to get bored, but do not let that scenario lower you down. As you approach the top, you get views cutting across all sides of Joshua tree park. 

The highest level of this mountain stands at an elevation gain of 1,000 feet (304 meters) with a three-mile (4.8-kilometer) walk. 

The approaching trail near the peak also gives you views from the surrounding area since it is barren to the top. 

Cottonwood Spring Oasis

Traditionally it is so hard to find a spring in the middle of the desert. Cottonwood spring comes in to give you that beautiful rare view with its 500 gallons (2,273 liters) of water flowing through it every day. An earthquake formed this water body years ago, and since then, miners, who are mostly native Indians, have been conducting mining activities here. 

The history surrounding this oasis gives you the chance to see equipment that the natives used to process gold and many more. While you are at the Cottonwool spring, you may also get a chance for other Joshua Tree activities like birdwatching. Different types of birds come here due to the availability of shade from trees and the water right below. 

On some occasions, you may also spot different wild animals at this place. These animals usually come here for the same reasons as the birds. 

Cottonwood Spring Oasis

The Keys Ranch

Unlike most of the other attractions in Joshua Tree, this destination requires tour guidance. Keys Ranch is a national historic site that is quite unique. To many visitors here, the place may seem inhabitable, but it was once a real ranch. William F. Keys owned the ranch in the 1910s. 

This place features a house, store, schoolhouse, and workshop. The perfect time to enjoy visiting this place is during winter towards spring. This time of the year is the only period when rangers guide people around the ranch. During the tour, you get a chance to learn about the history and life of the family that stayed there. 

If you plan to visit the ranch, you need to make early reservations. You need to book a slot at least eight days early. The tour takes 90 minutes together with a little walking period. 

The Arch Rock Trail

When searching for what to do at Joshua Tree, this trail has got you covered. The 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) trail lets you enjoy the beautiful scenery from the sides as you take your trek. With many features around, the Arch Rock Trail falls among the most popular trails in the park. 

While walking around here, you will be able to come across the arch only halfway through the journey. From its beginning to its end, this trail covers 100 feet (304 meters). 

The Skull Rock

Just as the name says, many face-like formations surround this area. The Skull Rock is next to the drivable road making it relatively easy for visitors to access it. Many visitors always stop right at this point to gaze at the natural beauty of these rocks. While here, you do not have to sink so much into your imagination since the images from the stones come out clearly. 

A hiking trail of 1.7 miles (2.7kilometers) is also found here. The path moves across shrubby vegetation and several rocks, creating breathtaking scenery. Several Joshua trees also surround this place giving room for bird watching due to the shade from the trees. 

The Best Campgrounds in Joshua Tree

Several campgrounds with spectacular sceneries surround the Joshua Tree national park. The giant boulders, Joshua trees, and some mountains surround Joshua Tree campgrounds giving them that beautiful appearance. Below are the main camping grounds in Joshua Tree national park:

Indian Cove Campgrounds 

Giant monoliths together with small boulders characterize this campground. Other vegetation with small trees and the lower elevation make this place an attractive area for camping in Joshua Tree. From memorial day up to labor day, only 39 sites are usually accessible. However, you can make a reservation from October to May. 

You may access this campground via highway 62 just outside Joshua Tree. If you need to camp here, you need to use that route since the camp is not inside the central park.

Another interesting fact is that the camp hosts at least 101 sites. These sites are specifically for accommodating both tents and RVs. Your RV has to be 35 feet (10 meters) for you to bring it here. Two-hour stretches of generator usage are also allowed. 

Landscape at Indian Cove campground, Joshua Tree National Park

Black Rock Campgrounds

Black Rock Joshua Tree camping ground is on the west side of Joshua Tree town off Highway 62. Several Joshua trees are scattered around this place, giving campers the perfect taste of nature. Due to these trees, you also get a chance to enjoy watching the birds on several occasions. 

The Black Rock Joshua Tree grounds have 99 other sites that you may visit while camping here. There is only one issue when accessing these camping grounds. You will have to drive for around 45 minutes from Joshua Tree to this place. Others may find this fact interesting since they get to enjoy the driving trail, while others find it tiresome. 

While at this camping ground, you may also visit the Yucca Valley town, which is just 5 miles (8 kilometers) ahead. The campsite also offers other amenities like a fire ring and a picnic table in each section. You may also use your generator during the day but for only specific hours. The camping ground provides flushing toilets to its campers as well. 

Jumbo Rocks Campgrounds

With over 123 camping sites, Jumbo Rocks prove to be the largest and among the best Joshua Tree camping sites. This camping area is right in the middle of the park giving its campers a lot of advantages. While camping here, you can enjoy the magnificent views from the sheer cliffs, massive rocks, and the iconic Joshua trees. 

Jumbo Rocks host several campsites of different levels ranging from tiny to spacious. You get to select your spot depending on the equipment you have or the size of your RV. Some sections of this camping ground can keep RVs up to 32 feet (9.7 meters). On the other hand, you cannot use generators on these camping grounds since the management discourages noise pollution. 

Belle Campgrounds

When thinking of Joshua Tree national park camping, Belle campgrounds should cross your mind. The signature Joshua trees scatter through this land, giving it the perfect camping appearance. 

This camping ground is not as huge as the rest since it only has 18 camping sites. It is usually challenging to get a spot on these grounds since it works on a first-come-first-served basis. Early booking options are not available. 

Even though the sites here are beautiful, most are small and can only fit in tents. For that reason, in case you want to camp with your RV, this camping ground would be a bad choice for you. For those that get the chance to camp on these grounds, generators are illegal because of noise.

Hidden Valley Campgrounds

Most of the areas people love to visit while touring Joshua Tree are near Hidden Valley Campgrounds Joshua Tree. This aspect makes Hidden Valley a lot more popular than most of the other camping grounds around. If you desire to stay in these campgrounds, you should always make your way early in the week since the sites work on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Another reason for coming early is that many people usually flock to these camping grounds during peak seasons. Despite being so popular, there are only 44 sites around here. However, these few sites give their campers scenic views from the Joshua trees and other massive rock formations. 

This is the closest camping ground if you are at the west entrance station. The grounds also give its campers the most silent environment. For that reason, the use of a generator here is illegal. 

Hidden Valley Campgrounds

White Tank Campgrounds 

On the east section of Joshua Tree national park is the White Tank camping grounds. You can easily access this place through the road crossing in the middle of Cottonwood and North Entrance Station. If you love watching the stars at night, this camping ground could be your best choice. 

The location of the White Tank is more remote than most of the other grounds for camping in Joshua Tree. A good number of Joshua trees around brings a clean atmosphere in return. The distant location of these campgrounds from most other places gives campers all the privacy they may desire.

White Tank has only 15 camping sites. The number may sound small, but worth it when you get a chance to stay here. Each site is super spacious, with plenty of room for a tent or an RV. If you bring in an RV, it has to be less than 25 feet (7.6 meters). Due to the natural silence around, campers cannot use generators. 

Finding a site at these campgrounds requires proper timing. The sites are minimal, and many people desire to grab a spot at least once in a while. 

Cottonwood Campgrounds 

When it comes to the less scenic Joshua Tree campgrounds, Cottonwoods falls in the bracket directly. The camp lies at a vast distance from the main attraction sites, giving it fewer interactions and interference. Many people love this camping ground because it is calm and quiet. 

It may not be challenging to get a camping slot here since they have 62 sites. These sites spread across different sides, proving to be a lot spacious. At an elevation of 3,000 feet (914 meters), the camp gets warmer than other grounds for camping Joshua Tree sprees. 

Cottonwood Campgrounds is on the southeast section of the park. The campground offers fire rings and picnic tables for every camping slot. If you get a chance to camp here, you will get access to flushing toilets but with no showers. You may also bring in your generator, but you use it at intervals of two hours per day. 

Ryan Campgrounds

These Joshua Tree campgrounds are on the west side of Joshua tree park. Many people love this park, and on some occasions, it may crowd up, resulting in less privacy. Despite having that drawback, the camping ground hosts large camping sites giving its campers a spacious environment for any activity.

While camping here, you get to enjoy easy access to the California Riding Trail. At this trail, you may bike raid or take on walks. You may make bookings online for one of the 31 sites. While camping here, you cannot use your generator. 

BLM Lands

In case you have a tight budget, and you cannot afford the other Joshua Tree campgrounds, BLM lands come in to give you free but friendly camping spots right outside the park. There are two camping grounds around here. One of them is just 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) ahead on the Sunfire road. At this camp, you cannot set up a campfire since it is illegal. 

A more extensive camping ground is on the south side of the first one, and it has more natural attractions as well. Check for a side road going west or east, and you will land on your spot. While camping here, you may use campfires but only with a permit. Read our article and find out 34 Interesting Facts About Camping.

Camp Away

The above best campgrounds in Joshua Tree are among the most iconic and relaxing camping sites that you can find in the area. The choice that you make depends on your needs or the camping style that you love.

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