Camping in the greater Joshua Tree area (The Morongo Basin) offers many options. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) California State Park, National Forest lands and JTNP have camping opportunities.. Campsites range from formal sites for both large and small groups with fire rings, toilet facilities and parking to back country wilderness camping. See back packing for backcountry camping.

Joshua Tree National Park

Campground Sites Group Sites Elevation Dump Station Water Flush Toilet Pit Toilet Fire Grates Fee
Belle 18 0 3,800 ft No No No Yes Yes none
Black Rock 100 0 4,000 ft Yes Yes Yes No Yes $12.00
Cottonwood 62 3 3,000 ft Yes Yes Yes No Yes $10.00
Hidden Valley 39 0 4,200 ft No No No Yes Yes none
Indian Cove 101 13 3,200 ft No No No Yes Yes $10.00
Jumbo Rock 125 0 4,400 ft No No No Yes Yes none
Ryan 31 0 4,300 ft No No No Yes Yes none
Sheep Pass 0 6 4,500 ft No No No Yes Yes none
White Tank 15 0 3,800 ft No No No Yes Yes none

Obtain reservations for sites at Black Rock, Indian Cove,
and all group sites by calling 1-800-365-2267. Other campgrounds are
first-come-first-served and fill early on fall and spring weekends.
Group site fees are: $25.00 at Cottonwood, $20.00 / $35.00 at Indian Cove,
and $20.00 / $35.00 at Sheep Pass.

Permits are required for overnight camping & can be obtained -Visitor Center@29Palms 760/367-5500 December 18

Private Non-commercial Vehicle $ 10.00 (Seven Day Pass)

Individual Entry (Bike, Foot) $ 5.00 (Seven Day Pass)

Annual Pass $ 25.00 (Season)

Gold Access Passport (Blind or permanently disabled individuals) Free (Lifetime - good in all national parks)

Golden Age Passport (one time fee - for those 62+ years young) $ 10.00 (Lifetime - good in all national parks)

Golden Eagle Passport (good one year from date of purchase) $ 50.00 (good in all national parks)

Visitor Centers are open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Joshua Tree National Park is opened year round.

The Main Entrance and Visitor Center are in Twenty-nine Palms, at the corner of Utah Trail and National Park Drive.

Backcountry Camping

Joshua Tree National Park is a backpacker's dream with its mild winter climate and interesting rock formations, plants and wildlife. It embraces 792,000 acres of which 630,800 acres have been designated wilderness. By observing the guidelines, your venture into the backcountry should be safe and enjoyable. It is your responsibility to know and abide by park regulations. If you have questions, contact a ranger.

If you will be out overnight, register at a backcountry board. There are twelve backcountry boards. Their location is shown on the map in the park publication, the Joshua Tree Guide. An unregistered vehicle or a vehicle left overnight somewhere other than at a backcountry board is cause for concern about the safety of the vehicle's occupants. It is also subject to citation and towing.

Your wilderness camp must be located one mile (1.6 km) from the road and 500 feet (150 m) from any trail. Make yourself aware of any day-use areas in the vicinity (they are indicated on the topographic maps at the backcountry boards) and make your camp outside of them.

Washes may seem inviting places to sleep because they are relatively level, but it is important to realize that they got that way because of flash floods bulldozed the rocks and vegetation out of the way.

Water sources in the park are not potable and are reserved for wildlife so you will have yo carry in an adequate supply for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. You will want to give some thought to the trade-off between the water required to hydrate dried food verses the weight of fresh and canned food. If you want to heat something, you will need to pack in a stove and fuel as fires are prohibited in the backcountry.

Bring plastic bags to hold your garbage so you can pack it out. Buried trash gets dug up by animals and scattered by the wind; it is not a pretty sight. Do bury human waste in "cat" holes six inches (15 cm) deep. Don't bury you toilet paper; put it in plastic (zip lock works nicely) and pack it out. Leave no trace, as they say.

It is easy to get disoriented in the desert; washes and animal trails crisscross the terrain obscuring trails, boulder piles are confusingly similar, and there are not many prominent features by which to guide yourself. Do get a topographic map and compass and learn how to use them before you head out.

Know your limitations. You should not attempt to climb cliffs and stiff terrain without adequate equipment, conditioning, and training. Accidents can be fatal.

Carry a minimum of one gallon (3.8 liters) of water per person per day just for drinking; two gallons (7.6 liter) in hot weather or if you are planning a strenuous trip. You will need additional water for cooking and hygiene.

Don't forget the other essentials: rain protection, a flashlight, a mirror and whistle, a first aid kit, pencil and paper, a pocket knife, and extra food.

The desert sun can damage eyes as well as skin. Wear a hat and sunglasses and use sun block lotion liberally. Temperature changes of 40° (22° C) within a 24 hour period are common. Bring a variety of clothing that you can layer on and off as conditions change.

Although rain is relatively rare in the desert, when it comes it can really pour down. Even when it isn't raining where you are, rain in the mountains can run off so fast as to cause flash floods. Stay alert.

To minimize vegetation damage and soil erosion, stock animals are restricted to marked trails and washes. Plan to pack along sufficient water and feed (pellet form only) as your animals are not allowed to drink from any of the water sources in the park nor graze the vegetation.

A permit is required if you wish to camp in the backcountry with horses or other stock animals.

Keep your backcountry experience a safe one and let your actions protect the park as well as yourself. Please follow the following tips.

Joshua Tree contains abandoned mines and associated structures that are potentially dangerous. Supervise children closely and never enter abandoned mines.

It is easy to become dehydrated in arid desert environment. Even if you plan to drive through the park, you should have some water with you. Drink the water and do not economize. When the water is half gone, it is time to turn back. Carry enough water, at least one gallon (4 liters) per person per day; two gallons (8 liters) when it is hot or when you are involved in strenuous activity.

Campfires are not allowed in the backcountry.

Watch where you put your hands and feet, especially in summer when snakes are active.

Permits are required for overnight camping & can be obtained -Visitor Center@29Palms 760/367-5500 December 18

Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground
Camping, Showers, fishing pond
2601 Sunfair Rd
Joshua Tree Ca
760 366 1213

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