Saturday, June 7, 2008

General campsite information--Joshua Tree National Park

Reader Dana asked about camping in JTNP. I've camped at Sheep Pass (a group campsite) and Indian Cove, both great sites. In fact, there's not a bad camping spot in the park.

Here's some general campsite information: Indian Cove and Black Rock are wonderful, scenic campsites located off of Highway 62, outside the main park boundaries. To access the central area of the park you'd need to drive or pack in. Indian Cove and Black Rock are the only campsites in the park that take reservations (for stays between the month of September and Memorial Day).

Cottonwood is a campsite at the south entrance to the park, off the beaten path. In the central part of the park, where most of the rock formations and hiking trails are located, you'll find Ryan, Belle, White Tank, and Sheep Pass. Jumbo Rocks and Hidden Valley are the largest campsites but may grow congested at times. Anywhere you camp in Joshua Tree National Park, the view and atmosphere will be awesome!

I'd advise making reservations as soon as you can for Black Rock or Indian Cove as the sites can get booked early. Since the rest of the sites operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, plan to arrive before a weekend if possible. Holidays and school vacation weeks are very busy as well as the high season: March through May and October through November.

Plan for the weather. Summer temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees. In winter, nighttime temperatures can drop to freezing. For more information or to book a campsite, check out this website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clarification for your readers: only Black Rock and Indian Cove take reservations. All other campgrounds are first-come, first-served. During the "high seasons" (roughly mid-March through mid-May; October through mid-November; plus dates around Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and spring break), don't even *imagine* you'll be able to find a campsite at the non-reserved locations if you arrive on a Friday or Saturday!

Additional information about rock climbing at Joshua Tree can be found at: