Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – we earn a commission if you make a purchase using our links. We only link to products and companies we use and recommend. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this site. Read the full disclosure here

Sharing is caring!

With over 2.8 million visitors last year, Joshua Tree National Park in California is becoming one of America’s most popular national parks. With incredible desert vistas, dark skies perfect for watching the stars at night, and the famous Joshua Trees, this national park has something for everyone. Our Ultimate Guide to RV Camping and Campgrounds in Joshua Tree covers everything you need to know about camping, campgrounds, things to do and even RV rentals for Joshua Tree National Park.

Which Campgrounds in Joshua Tree Accommodate RVs?

RV campers planning a trip to Joshua Tree National Park have eight unique campgrounds to choose from. RVs and travel trailers are welcome at Indian Cove, Ryan, Black Rock, Cottonwood, Hidden Valley, Jumbo Rocks, Belle and White Tank campgrounds in Joshua Tree. 

Not all campsites in these campgrounds will accommodate campers and RVs, so be sure to check the site requirements before booking. The largest campsites in the park can accommodate RVs of up to 42 feet. If your rig is larger than this, consider camping on the Bureau of Land Management land just outside of the park or in a nearby private campground.

 Are There Hookups at Any Campgrounds in Joshua Tree?

There are no electric, water or sewer hookups at any of the campgrounds in Joshua Tree. 

Generators can be used in the campground during designated hours. Generators are allowed from 7 a.m.- 9 a.m., noon-2 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

RV Camping in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree has quickly become one of the most visited national parks in the country. As a result, campground reservations are a must throughout much of the year. Campgrounds usually fill from October through May, even during the week.

To make sure you have a campsite during this busy season, make a reservation in advance. Other options include visiting during the off-season or getting to the park early the day you plan to begin your stay to try to find an open site. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance on recreation.gov.

During the summer months, all open campsites are first-come, first-served, and there is usually plenty of space available. Some campgrounds occasionally close during the summer, so stop at a ranger station or visitor center when you arrive to make sure the campground you plan to visit is open.

Outdoorsy-Logo

Reservation-Only Campgrounds in Joshua Tree

Indian Cove Campground

Indian Cove Campground is on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park off of Highway 62. The campground is in a large rock formation that brings visitors to Joshua Tree. The boulders provide many of the campsites with great views as well as privacy. Camping under the stars amidst these huge boulders is an unforgettable experience. 

Indian Cove has 91 individual campsites. Most campsites at Indian Cove can accommodate an RV or travel trailer of up to 25 feet. Eight sites can accommodate a maximum combined length of 35 feet. Be sure to check the restrictions for each site before booking.

At Indian Cove Campground, there are vault toilets. No potable water is available at the campground, so be sure to bring enough for your stay.

From June 10 through August 29, half of the campsites in the campground are closed, and the other half are first come-first served. Reservations can be made for all sites starting August 30.

Indian Cove Campground Joshua Tree National Park

Black Rock Campground

With 99 campsites, the Black Rock Campground is one of the largest campgrounds in Joshua Tree. The campground is on the north side of the park and is only five minutes from Yucca Valley, where you will find grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants. 

Black Rock Campground is an excellent choice for RVers with larger rigs. There are six sites in the campground that can accommodate a maximum RV or truck/travel trailer combination of up to 40 feet. Seven campsites can accommodate a maximum vehicle length of 42 feet. 

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate. 

Black Rock Campground has potable water, flush toilets, and a dump station. 

From June 10 through August 29, half of the campsites in the campground are closed, and the other half are first come-first served. Reservations can be made for all sites starting August 30.

Black Rock Campground Joshua Tree National Park

Cottonwood Campground

One of the most remote campgrounds in the park is Cottonwood Campground. Located in the southeastern corner of the park near the Cottonwood Visitor Center, the campground is about 30 miles from Indio, California. 

Cottonwood Campground is located outside of the habitat of the famous Joshua Trees but does feature fantastic desert views. The campground also has regular ranger programs in its amphitheater.

Cottonwood Campground has 62 campsites. All campsites can accommodate an RV or truck/travel trailer combination of up to 35 feet. Around 15 campsites can accommodate even larger rigs. 

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate. Cottonwood Campground has potable water, flush toilets, and a dump station. 

From June 10 through August 29, half of the campsites in the campground are closed, and the other half are first come-first served. Reservations can be made for all sites starting August 30.

Cottonwood Campground Joshua Tree

Jumbo Rocks Campground

The largest and most popular campground in Joshua Tree is Jumbo Rocks Campground. Jumbo Rocks Campground is the most centrally located campground in the park and is adjacent to the fantastic Skull Rock formation and trail. Jumbo Rocks is the perfect location for exploration of all areas of Joshua Tree and it’s excellent for observing the night sky as well.

Jumbo Rocks Campground has 124 individual campsites. Twenty-one campsites can accommodate a combined RV length or truck/travel trailer length of 35 feet.  

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate. There are also pit toilets at the campground. No potable water is available at the campground, so be sure to bring enough for your stay.

From June 10 through August 29, all campsites are first come-first served. Reservations can be made for all sites starting August 30.

Jumbo Rocks Campground Joshua Tree National Park

First-Come, First-Serve Campgrounds in Joshua Tree

Belle Campground

Belle Campground is in the northern part of Joshua Tree near the Twentynine Palms entrance. Belle Campground is an excellent place for checking out Joshua Tree’s amazing dark sky at night. Joshua Trees are also located throughout the campground, making a stay at the campground genuinely unique.

There are 18 individual campsites at Belle Campground. Ten of the sites can accommodate an RV or truck and travel trailer of up to 35 feet. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate.

At Belle Campground, there are pit toilets. No potable water is available at the campground, so be sure to bring enough for your stay.

All sites at Belle Campground are first-come, first-served whenever the campground is open. The campground is closed from June 10 through August 29 of each year. 

Belle Campground Joshua Tree National Park

Hidden Valley Campground

Hidden Valley Campground is well known for its popularity with rock climbers. Climbers from all over the world come to Joshua Tree to climb its “sticky” granite boulders and rock formations. 

If you choose to camp at Hidden Valley, you will be able to watch these climbers as you sip your coffee at your campsite. You will also be close to some of the most popular hiking trails and climbing areas in the park.

Hidden Valley Campground has 44 individual campsites. Most campsites can accommodate an RV or truck and trailer combined length of up to 25 feet.

Each campsite at Hidden Valley has a picnic table and fire grate.

At Hidden Valley Campground, there are pit toilets. No potable water is available at the campground, so be sure to bring enough for your stay.

Hidden Valley Campground Joshua Tree National Park

Ryan Campground

Another campground with an excellent, central location in Joshua Tree is Ryan Campground. Ryan is adjacent to the famous California Riding and Hiking Trail. This trail is popular with both equestrians and hikers. 

Ryan Campground has 31 individual campsites. Most campsites can accommodate RVs and travel trailers. 

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate. There are also pit toilets at the campground. No potable water is available at the campground, so be sure to bring enough for your stay.

Ryan Campground is closed each year from June 10 through August 29. 

ryan campground

White Tank Campground

Located in the northern end of the park, White Tank Campground is in the heart of the darkest section of Joshua Tree. The location makes it an excellent campground for night sky viewing in the desert.

White Tank Campground has 15 individual campsites, all of which can accommodate RVs and travel trailers up to 25 feet. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate.

At White Tank Campground, there are pit toilets. No potable water is available at the campground, so be sure to bring enough for your stay.

White Tank Campground is closed each year from June 10 through August 29. 

White Tank Campground Joshua Tree National Park

How Much Does It Cost to RV Camp in Joshua Tree?

Campground fees range from $15-20 per night. Reservation-only campgrounds charge $20 per night, while first-come, first-served campsites are $15 per night.

Outdoorsy-Logo

Best RV Campgrounds Near Joshua Tree

There are many great options for RV camping in the Joshua Tree area. From private campgrounds to the wide-open spaces of the Bureau of Land Management land, you are sure to find a campsite that will work for you.

Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort

For a unique camping experience only 45 minutes from Joshua Tree, check out Sam’s Family Spa. In addition to full hookups, this RV park has a hot spring-fed swimming pool and three therapeutic pools. Relaxing in a hot spring pool after a day of hiking in the park can’t be beaten! 

Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground

A great option on the northern side of Joshua Tree is Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground. This campground features electricity and water hookups along with the internet. 

The main highlight of the campground is the beautiful lake, which is the perfect spot for fishing or just kicking back. There is also a playground on site.

Free Camping Near Joshua Tree

Camping on BLM land outside of Joshua Tree is an excellent option if the campgrounds or full or if you are seeking more privacy. BLM land is available on both the north and south sides of the park. Keep in mind that there are no facilities, and all trash must be packed out. The only restriction is that you cannot camp within 300 feet of the roadway. Campers can stay on BLM land for up to 14 consecutive days.

11 Camping Tips for Joshua Tree

1. Beat the Heat – Joshua Tree is in the high desert region of California. Temperatures in the summer can soar well over 100 degrees daily. The summer months are scorching and even dangerous for hiking within the park.

2. Visit in the Off-Season – During the fall, winter, and spring, the weather is mild and dry, with average temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees during the day and 40 to 60 degrees at night. Rain is rare at Joshua Tree, with the park getting less than 8 inches per year. Many people come to the area during the winter months to take advantage of the warm, dry climate.

3. Stay Hydrated – The primary consideration when visiting Joshua Tree National Park is trying to avoid the heat. During the summer months, the park regularly has temperatures over 100 degrees, making it unpleasant and even dangerous. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are genuine risks to visitors, so please exercise caution and stay hydrated if you choose to visit during the summer.

4. Visit in Spring to See the Wildflowers – To enjoy the many hiking trails and outdoor activities that Joshua Tree has to offer, it is best to visit in the spring, fall, or winter. The spring, in particular, is a great time to visit for pleasant weather. The wildflowers are also in full bloom.

5. Visit on Weekdays – Because of the great weather and abundance of wildflowers, spring is also the busiest time of year in the park. You can still avoid crowds during this time of year by planning ahead. If possible, try to visit the park during the week. The weekends usually bring a surge of visitors to the park. Also, try to avoid visiting around significant holidays if you can.

6. Don’t Harm the Trees – One of the essential rules you must follow at Joshua Tree is taking care to protect the trees themselves. Joshua Trees are not hardy like other trees and are easily damaged by humans. Climbing or hanging on the trees, or attaching items such as hammocks or lines to the trees, is not allowed. Park rangers strictly enforce this rule, and you could receive a fine for damaging the trees.

7. No Cell Service – Cell service in Joshua Tree is minimal with all carriers. Be prepared to go without service. You may be able to make a call or text, but it is not guaranteed.

8. Know Where to Resupply – On the north side of Joshua Tree, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more are along Highway 62. On the south side of Joshua Tree, the town of Indio offers anything you would need during your stay.

9. Store Food Securely – There is wildlife throughout Joshua Tree. You will need to store your food securely in your camper and keep your pets leashed and attended at all times.

10. Fire Restrictions – Fire danger in Joshua Tree is always somewhat high, so fires can only be built in designated fire rings or grills at each site.

11. Camping Limit – Joshua Tree has a 30-day camping limit each year and a 14-night limit during the high season from October to May.  

RV Rentals Near Joshua Tree

If you do not have an RV, consider an RV rental. RV rentals are a popular option for those without RVs or for people traveling from other parts of the country who want to camp in Joshua Tree. 

If you plan to fly to the area, the closest major airports to Joshua Tree are Los Angeles San Diego and Las Vegas. Los Angeles is a two-hour drive from Joshua Tree, and Las Vegas is a little over three hours. If you choose to rent an RV, there are several options. This information will help you make the best decision for your situation.

RELATED READING: 10 Best RV Rentals in Los Angeles ~ Hot 2020 Deals RELATED READING: 10 Best RV Rentals in Las Vegas ~ Best 2020 Deals RELATED READING: 10 Best RV Rentals in San Diego – 2020 Hot Deals!

Corporate RV Rental Companies

Cruise America is one of the leading corporate RV rental companies in the nation. They have multiple locations in the Los Angeles area, making them convenient for your trip to Joshua Tree. Rentals are also available at the Cruise America location is Las Vegas, Nevada. There are several rental options ranging from truck campers to larger RVs. The largest option can fit up to seven people. You can also bring your pets. 

Camper Vans are quickly becoming a popular way to travel and camp on a budget. To try out the craze, check out Escape Camper Vans. Their rentals come with a convertible bed, kitchen with sink, refrigerator, and stove, and a small dining area. There is no bathroom in these rentals You can rent bedding, kitchen sets, and other items for an additional fee. 

There are four models to choose from that sleep anywhere from t. o to five people. The new Indie Campers even have a bathroom. The closest pick-up location to Joshua Tree Campground is Los Angeles. There is also a location in Las Vegas.

RELATED READING: The Ultimate Guide to Renting an RV

Private RV Owners Who Rent Their RV

If you prefer to rent an RV or travel trailer from an individual but want the peace of mind that comes from renting from a company, Outdoorsy may be right for you.

There is a large variety of RVs and travel trailers to choose from, so you are sure to find something that meets your needs. Both companies provide insurance, lease, damage deposits, and handle the payment process so you can rest easy. We recommend Outdoorsy because of their excellent review ratings from folks who have rented RVs!

Click Here to Browse RV Rentals Near Joshua Tree!

Things To Do in Joshua Tree

1. Visit Arch Rock

This is a beautiful site to visit at night as the open vistas allow for incredible night sky photography and create the perfect foreground for photographing the Milky Way from May through September. You have to do a little easy climb to get to the top but it’s a nice photo spot and there are great views all around this area.

Arch Rock in Joshua Tree

2. Catch Keys View

Keys View is found at the end of Keys View Road, a branch road that stems from Park Boulevard, it provides a breathtaking panorama of Coachella Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges of Santa Rosa and San Jacinto, as well.

Keys View Joshua Tree

3. Hike the Hidden Valley Trail

Joshua Tree National Park has numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy to arduous. For a scenic, short and easy hike, walk the Hidden Valley Trail. It’s only a one-mile loop. Hidden Valley is almost completely enclosed by huge rock formations.

Hidden Valley Joshua Tree

4. Explore Barker Dam

Another relatively short hike that is a must-do in Joshua Tree is the Barker Dam Nature Trail. It’s a flat loop, about 1.2 miles long. On this trail, you might see bighorn sheep, desert flowers, as well as boulders, Joshua trees, and other desert plants and grasses. Also, look for petroglyphs left by Native Americans. Keep a sharp eye out for the sign: the petroglyphs are on a big rock right near the sign. You’ll also see lots of birds in the area, especially if it has rained recently and there is water at the dam. You can also climb the boulders and rock formations here.

Joshua Tree national park Barker dam

5. Stargaze

If you are there on a clear day stay until dark and do some stargazing. Joshua Tree gets really dark at night so it’s a perfect spot to see billions of stars and galaxies from just about anywhere in the park.

joshua tree at night

6. Experience the Cholla Cactus Garden

There is a quarter-mile loop where you can view a concentrated area of cholla cactus and nearby is the Ocotillo Patch. Just be aware that these two areas are pretty far from the other park attractions.

Cholla Cactus Garden joshua tree

7. Go Off-Road on Geology Road

If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle take an 18-mile off-roading adventure through Pleasant Valley. It’s a super fun way to explore the desert scenery!

geology trail joshua tree

8. Enjoy the Ocotillo Patch

The ocotillo is a cactus that looks like a tall, spindly cactus, but it’s actually a shrub. Unlike many plants that shed their leaves once a year in the fall, the ocotillo grows and sheds its leaves each time it rains. Sometimes it blooms with crimson red flowers, too. These plants are really cool to see.  And they are a perfect subject for spectacular photos with the red blooms in contrast to the deep blue desert sky.

ocotillo patch joshua tree

9. Hike the Skull Rock and Jumbo Rocks Loop

Be sure to walk the Skull Rock and Jumbo Rocks loop. Named after a rock that looks like a skull, the trail includes tons of amazing rock formations. The hike is only about a mile and a half, and it’s very easy for beginners.

skull rock joshua tree

10. Hike Ryan Mountain

From Park Boulevard, the hiking trail to Ryan Mountain does not look easy. But wait until you get to the top where there are 360-degree views of the entire park. The 3-mile hike is pretty difficult. The hiking trail has almost no shade and there isn’t much to see on the hike itself. But when you reach the top, at 5,457 feet, the view is spectacular, making it worth the effort.

Ryan Mountain Joshua Tree

 

Conclusion

No matter where you choose to stay at Joshua Tree National Park, camping in the area is a wonderful experience. There is nothing like waking up to a beautiful desert sunrise or watching the stars at night. We hope you have a great trip to Joshua Tree! 

Outdoorsy-Logo

|

Sharing is caring!