Best Camping in and Near Joshua Tree National Park

Camping inside a National Park is always a special experience. Lucky for you, Joshua Tree has plenty of options for your next camping vacation. Whether you are looking for the perfect place for a weekend getaway or if you are a scout group looking to learn a new skill, Joshua Tree is the perfect location. Stone Adventures spends countless days in the park and knows the best areas to make your trip come to life. We all know the biggest question to any trip planning is  “Where are we staying?. With all of these options, you will have the tools you need to make answering that question easier.

Need help with your trip to Joshua Tree ? Head over to our blog all about planning the perfect trip to Joshua Tree!

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First Come, First Serve Reservations
Hidden Valley Jumbo Rocks
Belle Indian Cove
White Tank Black Rocks - rv hookups
Ryan Cottonwood - rv hookups


There are great camping areas in the park for those wanting to soak up all their time in this desert oasis. Anyone wanting to get a head start on hiking or climbing will want to stay inside the park. However, you need to make sure that you properly prepare. The campsites come with a fire pit, a picnic table and a metal BBQ. However, the park does not have running water so you will want to pack in drinking or cooking water. If you are arriving early in the morning, you might be able to snag a spot on the “first come, first serve” sites. Those run on an honor system and that should be respected. You will need to go to the bulletin board with your chosen campgrounds information. From there you can pick up a yellow envelope, this will be how you mark your campsite as taken. If you find a site that has an envelope, that means that it is already occupied. Once you find a campsite of your own, drop your fees into the lock box and place your ticket up so others know it is reserved. If you would like to reserve a stop online ahead of time, you can do that as well. These campsites are usually more compatible with RV’s, although, only a couple have actual hookups. Waking up in a national park is always a wonderful experience, but these sites can fill up fast.


One of the most popular forms of travel in Joshua Tree is the camper van. It could be a sprinter van, converted school buses, or a small RV. The park has limited parking especially for big RV’s or trailers. For those who want the comfort of RV camping but want better accessibility, van life is for you. There are a few companies who rent out camper vans for fun road trip adventures. They are the perfect fit for campgrounds in the park, the surrounding areas or the ones on Hipcamp. There are plenty of companies to choose from so it’s absolutely worth checking out before you head to Joshua Tree.

One of the many van creations floating around Joshua Tree.
One of the many van creations floating around Joshua Tree.

For those who have already embraced van life, you might be familiar with the term BLM land. This is an area that provides free dry camping on public lands for an extended period of time. It is a very popular option for those in the van community. If you are not familiar, The Bureau of Land Management website will allow you to research the ins and outs of BLM camping. Campsites like these are helpful when camping is full in the area as it’s usually a large piece of land where many people can find a place to stay. These maps given by NPS can help you find the BLM land around Joshua Tree.

BLM camping
BLM camping2


This website has been described as an “airbnb for the outdoors”. It is a new way to find lodging for those with an adventurous spirit. In Joshua Tree and nearing towns, you’ll find quite a few options ranging from tent camping, yurts, or luxury RV stays. A large portion of Hipcamp listings are for tenting camping that have multiple campsites to rent out. These listings have a hostel style environment by creating a communal dinner area, showers and campfire settings. Some have outdoor kitchens, open air hang out spaces, and peaceful lounge areas. However, if what you are looking for a vacation that involves a more secluded or private area, you can find those as well. Want to take a break from camping? Find more luxurious accommodations while still being surrounded by the Joshua Tree scenery. With all these versatile options, Hipcamp is a great way to find unique vacation spots near the park.


A tip for anyone using sites like Hipcamp or Airbnb. Please be attentive to the ratings and reviews to any place you are wanting to stay. This is how these sites foster a safe environment for travelers and homeowners.



Many might not consider airbnb to have many options for campers. Although some campsites are listed, most lodging options are shared rooms, private guest areas, and houses. For some, camping just involves a tent and a sleeping bag. However, that might not be sustainable for some travellers making it out to Joshua Tree. Airbnb offers unique lodging for those who fall into that category. Among our favorite listings here in Joshua Tree, there is a tiny home, a yurt, and a retro airstream. All of which still have that camping vibe many searches for on National Park holidays.


A tip for anyone using sites like Hipcamp or Airbnb. Please be attentive to the ratings and reviews to any place you are wanting to stay. This is how these sites foster a safe environment for travelers and homeowners.

From the “Where?” to the “What?” 


Now that we have tackled the “where?”, it’s time to fill up that camping itinerary. Joshua Tree is a rock climbing haven but its endless opportunities can be hard to navigate yourself. We can schedule you a private climbing trip with a professionally certified guide. Or our guides could take your family on an adventure day and scramble around on the beautiful rock formations. Let us find you hikes in the park during sunset and experience the breathtaking Joshua Tree skyscape. These are experiences that can’t be replicated anywhere else! No matter what you are looking to do, Joshua Tree will be a vacation to remember.