Primitive Camping

Primitive camping is allowed in previously used or disturbed sites outside of the "day-use-only" areas. In most cases these sites include a rock or metal fire ring; not all sites contain a fire ring. All fires must be in a fire ring or fire pan; new fire rings cannot be constructed. Camping tramples vegetation and disturbs soils. By reusing existing sites, you help protect the desert from further damage.

Careful planning and knowledge of camping guidelines and regulations will help ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for you, future visitors, and the fragile desert environment.

Selected Primitive Camping Sites The National Park Service encourages campers to use the following, selected sites (click here to view a map showing some of the sites referenced below):

Near Kelbaker Road: Rainy Day Mine Site: 15.2 miles southeast of Baker on Kelbaker Road, then 0.3 miles northeast on the unsigned and very sandy road to the Rainy Day Mine. Four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs.

Aiken Mine Road: 20 miles east of Baker, left turn on a signed rocky dirt road. Several campsites located close to the road, before the Lava Tube. High clearance recommended.

Granite Pass: 6.1 miles north of I-40 on Kelbaker Road, just north of Granite Pass, then west on one of several access roads. Campsites are located just north of the granite spires. High clearance vehicle recommended; no RVs.

Kelso Dunes: 4 miles west of Kelbaker Road on the unpaved Kelso Dunes Road. One campsite is located south of the road, 1/4 mile past the marked trailhead. Several others are available 3/4 mile beyond, near a clump of trees. Except at these sites, camping is prohibited along Kelso Dunes Road (including at the trailhead).

Near Cima Road:

Sunrise Rock: 12 miles south of I-15 on the east side of Cima Road. Trailhead for Teutonia Peak Trail is nearby on the opposite side of Cima Road.

Near Black Canyon Road:

Black Canyon Road: About 4 miles south of Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center on the east side of Black Canyon Road, above the wash and near a hill with excellent views of the Providence Mountains.

Another site is located about 4 miles futher south, also on the east side of Black Canyon Road, near rock piles.

Near Ivanpah and Cedar Canyon Roads

Caruthers Canyon: 5.5 miles west of Ivanpah Road on New York Mountains Road, then 1.5 to 2.7 miles north to campsites. High clearance and four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs.

Last updated: June 22, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311


(760) 252-6100

Contact Us