There’s nothing like reconnecting with the great outdoors and sleeping under the stars. And at Joshua Tree National Park, everyone can be a happy camper!
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, and one of the top camping destinations in the US. With over 800,000 acres of pristine desert wilderness, 9 campsites, and three visitors centers, it’s no wonder campers come from across the world to trek through the rugged land.
Centrally located in California, this national reserve is a popular destination for hiking, rock climbing, nature spotting, and— of course— camping.
If you’re ready to pack up your camping gear and venture into Joshua Tree National Park, read on for everything you need to know before planning your trip.
As one of North America’s top camping destinations, it should come as no surprise that Joshua Tree camping is in high demand. Planning your trip early is key to reserving your campsite ahead of time and avoiding disappointment.
Joshua Tree camping reservations start as early as 6 months out for a single campsite and a year in advance for group camping or horse camping. Reserving your site early is the best way to ensure you’ll be able to sleep in the desert under the stars. Or if you want to keep the load light you may want to considered bringing an inflatable tent, why not make camping easier?
October through May is the busiest time of the year for Joshua Tree National Park camping. In fact, campgrounds often book out from mid-February to mid-May and around holidays. If you wish to visit during this time, it’s essential that you book your campsite early.
Visiting during the off-season (June to September) is another great option if you want to ensure availability. During these quieter months, no reservations are needed and campsites are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Keep in mind, however, that certain camps may be closed during the summer so it is important to check the specific site’s calendar for months of operation.
Rates for Joshua Tree camping can be as low as $15 per night, with options for equestrian camping and group sites.
There are nine campgrounds available inside Joshua Tree National Park, with varying degrees of amenities. Below we have outlined each campsite to help you understand which is the best fit for your trek into the great outdoors.
This small campsite offers stunning views of the dark night sky, and features minimal amenities, with no water, pit toilets, fire grates, camping chairs or picnic tables. It is located at 3,800ft elevation and is available year-round on a first come first serve basis. Again similarly with your tent, you can save weight and hassle by bringing an inflatable fishing kayak. With no cell reception or staff, Bell delivers a true camping experience.
Rental fee is $15.00 and allows a maximum of three tents, 6 people, and two vehicles per campsite.
With 100 campsites, including equestrian camping, Black Rock is a great option for those who want a fun camping experience without sacrificing too many modern comforts. Located in the northwest corner of Joshua Tree National Park, Black Rock is only 5 miles away from shopping facilities at the town of Yucca Valley. The site is also equipped with flush toilets, running water, cell phone reception, picnic tables, an amphitheater, and more.
The rental fee starts at $20 for tents, RV, and horse sites. Reservations are encouraged between October and May, as this campground is highly popular. You can book your reservation up to 6 months in advance.
A separate area is available for equestrian camping and reservations are required.
The rental fee is $20 per night or $40 for a group campsite. Reservations are encouraged between October and May, as this campground is highly popular. You can book a reservation up to 6 months in advance.
This campground offers minimal amenities with no running water, pit toilets, fire grates and picnic tables.
44 campsites are available at Hidden Valley on a first come first serve basis.
The rental fee is $15 per night.
One of the largest campgrounds inside Joshua Tree National park, Indian Cove has 101 campsites, including 13 large group sites.
Indian Cove also features minimal amenities with no water, pit toilets, tables, and fire grates. However, there is a Ranger Station at the entrance of the grounds where water is available.
The rental fee at Indian Cover is $20 per night for a regular campsite or $50 per night for group sites. Reservations are available and encouraged from October to May.
Features include pit toilets, fire grates, picnic tables, and no water.
The rental fee at Jumbo Rocks is $15 per night and all sites are available for reservation October to May.
No water is available at this campground, and it features pit toilets, fire grates, and picnic tables.
The rental fee is $15 per night.
White Tank is one of the smallest campsites in Joshua Tree, with only 15 sites available on a first come first served basis for $15 per night. The area also features pit toilets, picnic tables, and fire grates.
Sheep Pass has 6 group sites available by reservation only, offering the perfect site for families and larger groups to reunite in nature.
The rental fee for a group site is $50 per night. Reservations are required as Sheep Pass and all other group camping sites. Each site can accommodate anywhere between 10-60 people and you can reserve your site up to 1 year in advance.
In addition to the campgrounds inside Joshua Tree National Park, there are also many options just outside the grounds. Some of the most popular options for camping near Joshua Tree include:
Dispersed camping is also available in designated sections of the park.