5 Best Campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park


Hidden Valley Campgrounds

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular sites in the United States for camping. Named for the twisted, bristled, and beautiful Joshua Trees, this park features a rugged, rocky landscape that is breathtaking and strange. Many describe the scenery as being “otherworldly.”

If you want to camp under the stars and find yourself exploring an alien world without leaving Earth, you have several campgrounds here to choose from. Each provides a unique backdrop and suits different needs based on your camping style and what you would like to do in the park.

After much research as well as some personal experiences we have ranked the top 5 campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park and this is our result.

1. Hidden Valley Campground

2. Jumbo Rocks Campground

3. White Tank Campground

4. Belle Campground

5. Ryan Campground

1. Hidden Valley Campground

Today, we’re going to give you an in-depth look at the 5 best campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park so you can make arrangements to pitch your tent or park your RV and settle in for an experience like no other.

The Hidden Valley Campground is widely-renowned for being the best site at the park by campers and travel bloggers alike. This campground is so popular, in fact, that it can be pretty difficult to snag a spot in the high season.

The Hidden Valley Camping Experience

If you do manage to secure a spot for yourself at the Hidden Valley Campground, you will find that you’ve hit the jackpot in so many ways.

  • It’s the closest site to the West Entrance of the park. You won’t have to travel far, and you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful areas of Joshua Tree.
  • Hidden Valley is conveniently located near many of the tourist hotspots and near one of the best climbing spots. You will also find yourself close to several hiking trails if you feel like doing a bit of exploring.
  • Both tents and RVs are welcome in the area. You don’t have to avoid certain spots just because you prefer to camp one way. However, no generators are allowed. Part of the magic of Joshua Tree is that it’s quiet, a complete escape from the busy, noisy lives we normally lead.

This campground follows the “first come, first served” rule. You can’t make a reservation to stay here. Because of this, you really should arrive earlier in the week. Your chances of finding a spot are slim to none on the weekends.

This Campground is Ideal For…

  • Hikers and climbers
  • Those who want a peaceful, quiet getaway
  • RV campers
  • Tent campers
  • Tourists and those who want to visit tourist hotspots
  • Anyone coming to see the iconic Joshua trees
  • Weekday campers

You can find Hidden Valleys website here.

2. Jumbo Rocks Campground

The Jumbo Rocks Campground at Joshua Tree is the largest in the park. It boasts 124 campsites made to fit all types of campers, even larger RVs. If you can’t secure a site at the Hidden Valley Campground, Jumbo Rocks is your next best option.

The Jumbo Rocks Camping Experience

You should have a much easier time pitching your tent at the Jumbo Rocks site, as there are far more available spots than Hidden Valley accommodates. When you set up here, you can expect to make memories that will last for a lifetime.

  • This campground is open to both RVs and tents of different sizes. Some spots even allow RVs up to 32 ft. in length. Other spots are so small that even the smallest tent stretches the limits, but that makes it perfect for single campers.
  • Jumbo Rocks got its name from the giant rock formations featured on this campsite. These beautiful earth-toned boulders become a brilliant golden color as the sun sets, and camping in their shadow is quite a unique experience.
  • The campground still features plenty of the Joshua trees that most people come from all over the country to admire.
  • There are still no generators allowed on the site. If you’re looking for a quiet spot away from the constant humming those machines make, then you are in luck. Your camping experience will be completely free of the buzz that usually fills the background on other camping trips.

This Campground is Ideal For…

  • RV and tent campers with shelters of all sizes
  • Anyone coming to witness the beauty of the Joshua trees
  • Those who wish to be closer to nature in more ways than one
  • Weekend campers who missed out on securing a spot at the Hidden Valley site

You can find Jumbo Rock’s Website here.

3. White Tank Campground

White Tank is a breathtaking campground at Joshua Tree National Park that offers a different atmosphere than most of the other sites. This place has been the more popular choice with more seasoned campers and non-tourists coming to the park.

The White Tank Camping Experience

Staying at White Tank will be a vastly different experience than staying at Hidden Valley or Jumbo Rocks. Certain types of campers will fall in love with the site immediately. Here’s why.

  • White Tank is a very secluded spot. There are only 15 sites available. This is perfect for campers who want a little less action and a bit more quiet time on their journey to get closer to nature.
  • There are no generators allowed, and any RV on the site must be less than 25 ft. in length. This makes the campground feel less crowded and certainly quieter, upholding the same rules that the other campsites have in place to foster an atmosphere of peace.
  • White Tank prominently features interesting rock formations all over the site, and some can even be climbed on or around. You get hands-on experience with all of the natural wonders that Joshua Tree has to offer.

This Campground is Ideal For…

  • Campers who want exclusive access to a magnificent camping spot
  • Seasoned campers or those who want to be further away from the tourist attractions
  • Joshua Tree campers who value near-complete silence at night
  • Single campers or campers in small groups

For updates, bookings and more, you can find the White Tank Website here.

4. Belle Campground

Belle Campground is one of the many gorgeous sites at Joshua Tree National Park, but there are several campers who agree that this site in particular is an underrated treasure for both tourists and seasoned adventurers alike.

The Belle Camping Experience

If you are searching for a place to pitch your tent that can be compared to the likes of White Tank, Belle Campground may be perfect for your needs. Whether you failed to secure a spot at White Tank or you want the best of both worlds, this site will bring it all together in a neat little package.

  • The campground only has 18 spots available on a first-come, first-served basis. It is nearly as exclusive as White Tank. Many of these 18 spots are only large enough for one tent.
  • There are still no generators allowed onsite, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on the quiet, tranquil atmosphere you would experience at the other campgrounds at Joshua Tree.
  • Huge rock formations and Joshua trees are sprinkled around the campsite; you still get the strange and exhilarating impression that you’re not camping on Earth, but rather an alien planet as the darkness falls and everything takes on an otherworldly shape.
  • Belle Campground is very close to other tourist attractions, including Skull Rock. If you want to get away from the large crowds while still participating in the fun, cheesy tourist activities, this site is perfect for you.

This Campground is Ideal For…

  • Campers who want a secluded spot to pitch their tents
  • Single campers or campers in very small groups
  • Those who want to explore tourist attractions without feeling crowded at night
  • Campers who want to fall asleep admiring the iconic Joshua trees that are so well-loved

For more information on Belle Campground, click here.

5. Ryan Campground

Ryan Campground is one of the last scenic sites actually inside the park to set up camp. Many refer to it as the “Hidden Valley Overflow” because those who can’t find a place to park in Hidden Valley often come to Ryan instead.

The Ryan Camping Experience

Though the Ryan Campground may not be as popular of a site as Hidden Valley, it still has plenty to offer that will make your trip to Joshua Tree National Park memorable.

  • The campground is spacious. Campers will be able to have their very own little patch of desert instead of feeling overcrowded without having to wait forever for a spot at the more exclusive campgrounds to open up.
  • Though it may be a little less impressive than the rocky cliffs at Jumbo Rocks or the Joshua tree riddled Hidden Valley, you still have a beautiful landscape to look out on and admire. There are still plenty of these rocks and trees to enjoy.
  • Ryan is located on the West end of the park near the tourist attractions that you may have come to see. You don’t have to trek a long way to experience everything that you came to see.

This Campground is Ideal For…

  • Any camper who wanted an experience similar to staying at the Hidden Valley site
  • Those wanting to go to the main tourist hotspots
  • Larger groups of campers (more space between sites)
  • Anyone who doesn’t need exclusivity or much privacy

Joshua Tree National Park is a highly desirable place to come and pitch your tent. The breathtaking backdrops, the wonder of nature, and the complete escape from everything that makes our daily lives tedious make this park a well-traveled destination. You can’t go wrong staying at any of the top 5 campgrounds in the park.

For more information on Ryan Campground, click here.

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Photos via NPS.org

 

Rickie Arms

Hi, I'm Rickie Arms, owner of Glampingorcamping.com. I am so invested in writing the best and most informative articles for you that I went out and bought a travel trailer just so I could write about it for you. I spend just about all of my off time both camping and glamping so I can share everything I have learned and will learn with you. I have spent my whole life camping and over the last 10 years, I have spent a large amount of time checking out glamping experiences with my wife and kids as well. Thank you for coming by and we hope to see you back here getting great information in the future. Rick Arms-

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