Campgrounds

a tent set up among Joshua trees at Ryan Campground

NPS/Brad Sutton

 

Sleep under the stars and enjoy some of the darkest night skies in Southern California. With 9 different campgrounds offering about 500 developed campsites, Joshua Tree offers options for individual travelers, families, and large groups.

 

Getting a Campsite

Most campgrounds in Joshua Tree are first-come, first-served, throughout the year. Reservations are available for Black Rock and Indian Cove campgrounds during the busy season from October through May. Book a site online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777 up to six months in advance of your visit.

Campgrounds do not usually fill in the summer. June through September is the quietest time of year in Joshua Tree. During the summer months, all campsites are first-come, first-served. No reservations are needed for summertime camping.

To claim a place at a first-come, first-served campground, find a vacant site. Complete a fee envelope and use it to deposit your cash or check payment in the collection box near the campground entrance. Retain the tear-off receipt from the envelope and clip it to your numbered site post. Pay only for the nights you plan to camp: refunds are not available.

Camping Fees

Camping costs $15 per site, per night at campgrounds without water. Camping is $20 per site, per night at the three campgrounds with potable water available in or near the campground: Black Rock, Cottonwood, and Indian Cove. (Indian Cove has no water in the campground itself, but there is water available at the Indian Cove Ranger Station. There is no RV water access at Indian Cove.)

Bring Water With You

Water is available at only a few locations around the edges of the park:

  • Black Rock Campground
  • Cottonwood Campground
  • Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms
  • Indian Cove Ranger Station (no RV water access)
  • West Entrance (25¢ charge; no RV water access)
Plan ahead and bring at least two gallons of water per person, per day for your trip to Joshua Tree.

Recreational Vehicles
There are no hookups for RVs at any campground in Joshua Tree. Black Rock and Cottonwood Campgrounds have RV-accessible potable water and dump stations. At Hidden Valley and White Tank Campgrounds, RVs and trailers may not exceed a combined maximum length of 25 feet.
 
Campground Name Elevation Individual
Sites
Fees
Group
Sites
Group
Fees
Horse
Camp
Water
Belle 3,800 ft 18 $15
Black Rock 4,000 ft 99 $20 $20 yes
Cottonwood 3,000 ft 62 $20 3 $35-40 yes
Hidden Valley 4,200 ft 44 $15
Indian Cove 3,200 ft 101 $20 13 $35-50
Jumbo Rocks 4,400 ft 124 $15
Ryan 4,300 ft 31 $15 $15
Sheep Pass 4,500 ft 6 $35-50
White Tank 3,800 ft 15 $15
 
Can't Find a Campsite?

All park campgrounds usually fill on weekend nights during the busy season, October through May. If you arrive too late to get a site in a designated campground, you have the following options:
 

Camping Regulations

  • A maximum of six people, three tents, and two vehicles may occupy an individual campsite, if there is space. Some sites only have enough parking for one vehicle. A vehicle towing a trailer, popup, tent trailer, or fifth wheel, or a motorhome towing a vehicle, is considered two vehicles.
  • Camping fees must be paid within one hour of selecting a campsite.
  • Check in and check out are at noon.
  • There is a 30-day camping limit each year. Only 14 of these nights may take place from October-May.
  • All tents, tarps, and other camping equipment must be set up within 25 feet (7.6 m) of the picnic table or fire grate.
  • Food must be stored securely where wildlife cannot get to it. Any scented or odorous items, including sunscreen and toiletries, must be secured as if they were food.
  • Campsites left vacant for 24 hours will be treated as vacant. Holding or reserving campsites for persons not present is not allowed.
  • Pets must remain on leash at all times and may not be left unattended. Learn more about bringing a pet to Joshua Tree.
  • No slacklines in campgrounds.

Quiet Hours and Generator Use

  • Quiet hours are from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.
  • Generator use is permitted only from 7:00-9:00 am, 12:00-2:00 pm, and 5:00-7:00 pm.

Fires and Firewood

  • Because of the park's very dry climate, fire danger in Joshua Tree is almost always very high. Be cautious.
  • Campfires are allowed only in designated fire rings or grills that are found in park campgrounds or picnic areas.
  • Keep fires small.
  • Bring your own firewood. You may not gather park vegetation, whether living or dead, to fuel your campfire.
  • If you plan to have a campfire, bring extra water to douse it thoroughly.
 

Group Camping

  • Group campsites are available at Cottonwood, Indian Cove, and Sheep Pass.
  • Group sites can accommodate 10-60 people.
  • Group site reservations may be made online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.
  • Reservations for group sites may be made up to a year in advance.
  • Cottonwood and Sheep Pass Group Campgrounds are for tents only. Indian Cove Group Campground can accommodate small RVs or trailers, with a maximum combined length of 25 feet.
 

Equestrian Camping

Black Rock and Ryan Campgrounds have designated horse camps (Ryan is closed in the summer months). See the horseback riding page for more information.

Did You Know?