The Boy Scout Trail Zone

A map of the boy scout zone
In the Boy Scout Trail Zone, permittees must camp in a designated campsite.
 
A field of Joshua trees against a cloudy sky with sunbeams peeking through.
A view from the Boy Scout Trail.

NPS/Emily Hassell

The Boy Scout Trail Zone encompasses the popular 7.8-mile Boy Scout Trail. Due to its heavy use, backpackers are required to camp in a designated campsite. If you do not have a permit for the Boy Scout Trail Zone, you are allowed to backpack through the zone, but you can not camp in the zone. This zone ranges from ~2800 feet in Indian Cove to ~4000 feet at the Boy Scout backcountry trailhead. It offers sweeping landscape vistas and intimate views of the Wonderland of Rocks, an area filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and boulder piles.

Trails: The Boy Scout Trail and Big Pine Trail.

Bordering Zone: The Maze. To the west, the Boy Scout Trail is bordered by the Wonderland of Rocks, a day-use area where overnight camping is not allowed.

Closest Backcountry Trailheads to Enter/Exit: Boy Scout and Indian Cove

 

Designated Campsites

There is no at-large camping in this zone. Permittees must choose a designated site to camp in. Each site is unique and has a group-size limit and accommodates a varying amount of tents. Campsites are categorized into three sizes:
Small: 1-2 tents, 4 people maximum. Small sites include 1, 6, 9, 10, 13, and 14.
Medium: 3-4 tents, 7 people maximum. Medium sites include 2, 3, 4, 5, and 11.
Large: 5-8 tents, 12 people maximum. Large sites include 7, 8, and 12.

If you are a small group, please look for small or medium-sized sites first before booking a large site.

There are signs on the trail directing backpackers to their designated sites. Backpackers must comply with the rules and regulations on the sign at their campsite. Due to the heavy use of the sites, we recommend using wag bags and carrying out human waste.

 
 
An open campsite withe desert vegetation, mountains, and blue sky in the background

Site 1

Size: Small (1-2 tents, 4 people maximum)
Description: This site is located at the base of a small rock island and offers expansive views of the Wonderland of Rocks and the Morongo Basin. There is little to no shade and some wind protection on the east side of the rock.
GPS Coordinates: 34.110150, -116.170010

 
A map showing designated campsites
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape

Site 2

Size: Medium (3-4 tents, 7 people maximum)
Description: This site is located at the base of a small rock pile and offers views to the west and south. There is little to no shade or wind protection.
GPS Coordinates: 34.109910, -116.172970

 
a map of designated campsites on the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with mountains and vegetation

Site 3

Size: Medium (3-4 tents, 7 people maximum)
Description: This site is nestled into the south side of a rock formation and offers views of the Wonderland of Rocks to the south and west. It has little to no shade or wind protection.
GPS Coordinates: 34.106250, -116.171740

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 4

Size: Medium (3-4 tents, 7 people maximum)
Description: This site is nestled into the south side of a small rock formation and offers views of the Wonderland of Rocks to the south and west. It has some wind protection and some shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.107330, -116.173410

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 5

Size: Medium (3-4 tents, 7 people maximum)
Description: This site is located at the base of a rocky mountainside and offers expansive views to the north. It has some wind protection and no shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.106610, -116.176160

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 6

Size: Small (1-2 tents, 4 people maximum)
Description: This site is perched over a rocky canyon with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. It has some wind protection and little to no shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.093050, -116.192300

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 7

Size: Large (5-8 tents, 12 people maximum)
Description: This campsite is in a sandy wash and offers tent sites in the wash and outside of the wash. Use the tent sites outside the wash if it's summer monsoon season or there is a chance of significant rain, because the wash can flow with water. This site has views of the surrounding mountains and offers some wind protection and no shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.086220, -116.193710

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 8

Size: Large ( 5-8 tents, 12 people maximum)
Description: This campsite is in a sandy wash and offers tent sites in the wash and outside of the wash. Use the tent sites outside of the wash if it's summer monsoon season or there is a chance of significant rain, because the wash can flow with water. This site has views of the surrounding mountains and offers some wind protection and little to no shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.084050, -116.195020

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 9

Size: Small (1-2 tents, 4 people maximum)
Description: This site is at the base of a small rock outcropping. It offers expansive views to the south and has little to no shade or wind protection.
GPS Coordinates: 34.078680, -116.195670

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 10

Size: Small (1-2 tents, 4 people maximum)
Description: This site is located on the north side of a small rock outcropping. It offers expansive views to the north and east. It has some wind protection and no shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.071860, -116.188040

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 11

Size: Medium (3-4 tents, 7 people maximum)
Description: This site offers tent sites in a sandy wash and at the base of a small rock outcropping. Use the tent sites outside the wash if it's summer monsoon season or there is a chance of significant rain, because the wash can flow with water. This site has views to the east and north. It offers some wind protection and little to no shade.
GPS Coordinates: 34.068300, -116.184070

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 12

Size: Large ( 5-8 tents, 12 people maximum)
Description: This is an open site in a flat sandy wash. It offers expansive 360-degree views and has no shade or wind protection.
GPS Coordinates: 34.062810, -116.184870

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 13

Size: Small (1-2 tents, 4 people maximum)
Description: This site is located at the base of a rocky mountainside. It offers expansive views to the west and south. It has some shade and little to no wind protection.
GPS Coordinates: 34.056120, -116.178080

 
A map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail
 
A backcountry campsite in a desert landscape with boulders, mountains, and desert vegetation

Site 14

Size: Small (1-2 tents, 4 people maximum)
Description: This site is located on the east side of a small rock island. It offers expansive views to the north and east. It has little to no shade or wind protection.
GPS Coordinates: 34.052020, -116.178040

 
a map of designated campsites along the boy scout trail

Last updated: September 27, 2023

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