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Camping options in Joshua Tree NP
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24inchstance
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject: Camping options in Joshua Tree NP Reply with quote

Hello Sambanistas!

At the end of April im going to be spending 2 months in Palm Desert. I was wondering if any of you have any experience with camping in the surrounding area..

I know I'll be going to Joshua Tree quite a bit.
As far as the camping goes around there, are there any places that are off of dirt roads in the park. A place you could make some noise if you wanted to?
Nothing crazy just music, babes dancing, people havin a good time type of get together...

How are the actual NP campsites?

Are there any areas you could get up into the mountains and camp primitive style in the Palm Desert area?

Any help\suggestins would be much appreciated!!!
Thanks fellas,

Cheers,

24
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pj welch
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can expect all of the campgrounds in JTNP to be very crowded and usually full every weekend from now until it starts to warm up in early May. The Bell and White Tank campgrounds on the East side of the park are my favorite. Know anyone who works for the Park Service? There is a private, employee campground near Lost Horse that is the best of all and because it is reservation only, the only people there will be you and your friends. If you want some space to yourself, try the BLM land East of the Park. Very nice area, lots of dirt roads and nobody for miles. I live a couple of blocks from the entrance to the Indian Cove Campground. Let me know when you are in JT and if I have time, I can show you some spots that are really beautiful. The flowers are blooming so you can expect a ton of people. Have fun!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Camping options in Joshua Tree NP Reply with quote

24inchstance wrote:
Hello Sambanistas!

At the end of April im going to be spending 2 months in Palm Desert. I was wondering if any of you have any experience with camping in the surrounding area..

Are there any areas you could get up into the mountains and camp primitive style in the Palm Desert area?


Here's my suggestions;
1. Drive up near Idyllwild. You can get out of the heat and spend some time in the trees. Many fire roads there that lead to some of the old fire towers that you could pull off and primitive camp. If you are just looking for a camp site one day, Hurkey Creek (near Idyllwild) is a good spot with lots of trails nearby.

2. Joshua Tree. I have found some primitive camping there but it was many years ago. We left the vehicle at a parking spot and hiked into some rocks where we set up camp.

3. Within an hour drive is Hwy 38 that goes up to Big Bear. This has a ton of camping and exploring opportunities. There are some camp sites as well as some primitive fire roads.


Bill
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24inchstance
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill and PJ,

Thanks a ton you guys!! Exactly what I was lookin for. PJ I'll hit you up once im there. I appreciate it! The samba always delivers. Word!

Shawn
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:50 pm    Post subject: what about February? Reply with quote

we are going a a two week road trip in february... how is ZJoshua Tree then? Also, is there stealth camping or is it just pay per view???
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1621
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll be cold at night, but you've got the propex and should be fine. It's been ten years since I lived there, but still a great town I'm sure. Be sure to load up some Gram Parsons and Flying Burrito Brothers on the iPod, and you might want to check the music schedule at Pappy & Harriets in Pioneertown - you never know who's going to show up to play.

The park should be beautiful that time of year, and you may see some early blooms. Nice anytime of year really, but late winter/ spring is my favorite. What else do you guys have planned on your trip?

No stealth camping in the park that I'm aware of. Besides, little vegetation to screen the Locavore Bus and you'd stand out fairly easily. Cheap sites though, and mostly cool folks that time of year. Seems I was always running into German climbers all the time - always a relaxed crew.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last febuary I was in J-tree on my FIRST westy trip and it was great. It was a little cold at night but not bad. I didn't even have my little catalytic heater then.

Here is some good info on J-tree. It's meant for climbers but there are some tidbits in there that might interest you. http://www.squidoo.com/firt-timers-guide-to-joshua-tree

Oh....and like it says in the guide if you are coming from vegas area or going through it you have to take the backroads route through Amboy. This route was made for a westy.

I've heard there is some camping on BLM land around the park but haven't been so I can't give you any more details.
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mwsnow
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are quite a few places to stealth camp near the northern boundary of JTNP, especially in 29 Palms.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks... just planning a two week trip East of us... was thinking to go visit some old favorites like Glen Canyon, Valley of the Gods, Antelope Canyon, Capitol Reef... who knows...
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For many years camping at J-Tree was free except for the developed Cottonwood CG -- but on our visit there last year there was a nominal fee at Jumbo Rocks. I do not know if a similar fee was put in place at the other less-developed CGs.

It can be quite cold (and possibly light snow) but with a heater and suitable clothing & sleeping equipment it is fine. Park where the sun will hit the van in the morning.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just up Pines to Palms Highway is Pinyon Flat cmapground, near the road but usually not busy. National Forest too, so it's cheap. Up the 74 about 15 miles I think. At least do the road once and the overlook. Also to the south is Anza Borrego State Park. You can get more secluded areas there. Little Blair Valley is one.
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mwsnow
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
It can be quite cold (and possibly light snow)


Yup. This is from my (former) front yard, 200 meters from the northern park boundary. It all melted in day or so. They do close Highway 62 between Palm Desert and Yucca Valley when this happens.

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aswah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for advance... I heard it is nice down there. Strange to see snow... There is one mountain within view that has snow on it around here... otherwise 50's and rainy or 50"s and sunny...

We will be bringing our 26 day old baby who will be 50+ days old by the time we drive down... propex heater... down blankets... we will be warm!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mwsnow wrote:
They do close Highway 62 between Palm Desert and Yucca Valley when this happens.


If that should happen, remember you can always "camp" at WalMart.

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^That one is on Monterey Ave. You'll have a peaceful night of I-10 traffic and freight trains. Laughing

Stick with everyone's advice; there are a lot of nice camp areas around the Palm Desert area.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="kamzcab86]...you can always "camp" at WalMart...[/quote]

Always in my back-up plan. The one trick I've learned is to park back by the automotive area -- usually the parking lot there is much smaller and you won't get a big rig idling all night right next to you -- also not much traffic as that department usually closes about 6 or 7 even if the store is a 24-hour SuperW.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Joshua Tree many times and would recommend camping there if you have never been there as it is very beautiful. But as many have said, be forewarned, it can get really really crowded.

One option; If you are near the southern end of the park, continue on down El Dorado Mine Rd which turns into Cottonwood Springs Rd and then continuing on past HWY 10 onto Box Canyon Road. This road is fairly straight until it narrows into the valley where you will find camping along the right side as it winds its way towards the Salton Sea.

Be careful if you have a 2WD as the soil is sandy and its easy to get stuck but if you search around you can find slightly more established sites with slightly better roads.

Also, there is BLM land near Joshua Tree you can just drive out on.

The following map shows the free BLM camping spots near Joshua Tree:
http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/overflow.pdf
(PDF Map)

There also exists a large spiral bound book of BLM maps for California and although I don't know exactly where to find one it is extremely handy when looking for a place to camp for free.

If you happen to end up on the east side of the Salton Sea you might wan to check out Salvation Mountain. Its really a wonderful place and Leonard is truly a unique and loving man.
http://www.salvationmountain.us/
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

I appreciate all the help. I cannot stand overcrowded (or even under crowded) established campgrounds... crowds is what I want to stay away from. My wife, Beaumont, Lucy and I (wow that's a lot to type) are now rethinking and probably go back to a great stealth spot north of Kernville then head over to Arizona up to Valley of the Gods, maybe Moab, Glen Canyon and some other spots we've camped at before. We really are looking for isolation and quietness (can life really be quiet with a 28 day old baby?)...

I cannot wait to go as I feel deprived of camping and the outdoors... though we did go two weeks ago and we are going in a few days for a short trip...


ASWAH
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Pinkham Canyon Road in JT is very nice. About 1/3 of the road there's a very nice area to camp, but I am not sure that we are allowed to camp in there. Unlike JT, in DV you can camp on the side of any dirt road once you are far enough of the main road (300 to 500 feet ?)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Camping options in Joshua Tree NP Reply with quote

Not sure where this will pop up.

We are planning to go to Joshua Tree just before Thanksgiving- Sat, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and then head back for the family gathering on Wednesday.

We're hoping to camp in the park. There a several first come first served. Anyone with recent experience- being a holiday and all, how early do you think we need to get there to get a spot?

Is there a preferred camp ground.

The link to dispersed BLM camping posted above is dead. Anyone have some spots if we do not luck out?

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Camping options in Joshua Tree NP Reply with quote

new link for dispersed camping and other options -

https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/camping-outside-of-the-park.htm
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