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A Road Warrior’s Guide to Joshua Tree, CA

From the Dr. Seuss trees to the piles of rocks that scatter the landscape – Joshua Tree National Park is truly a unique and other worldly destination. For climbers, it’s the perfect escape when winter blankets most of the country. Here’s some beta to get you through a weekend, month, or season in JTree:

Camping

Campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park

*Camping Limit: There is a 30 day camping limit each year. (Only 14 of these nights may take place from October – May.)

Black Rock Campground
Cost: $20/night
Amenities: water, flush toilets, dump station, reservations available October – May

Indian Cove Campground
Cost: $20/night
Amenities: water at the Indian Cove Ranger Station, pit toilets, reservations available October – May
Group Sites: $35-50/night (depending on site capacity, reservations required)

Hidden Valley Campground
Cost: $15/night
Amenities: pit toilets

 Ryan Campground
Cost: $15/night
Amenities: pit toilets

Sheep Pass Group Campground
Cost: $35-50/night (depending on site capacity, reservations required)
Amenities: pit toilets

Jumbo Rocks Campgroundimg_4423-1
Cost: $15/night
Amenities: pit toilets

Belle Campground
Cost: $15/night
Amenities: pit toilets

White Tank Campground

Cost: $15/night
Amenities: pit toilets

Cottonwood Campground
Cost: $20/night
Amenities: flush toilets, water, dump station
Group Sites: $35-40/night (depending on site capacity, reservations required)

 

Backcountry Boards in Joshua Tree National Park

There are 13 backcountry registration boards located throughout the park at various trailheads. It’s free to camp in the backcountry, however, you’re required to park and register at a backcountry registration board.

Name Location
Black Rock Black Rock Canyon
Cottonwood Cottonwood Spring
Covington Upper Covington Flat
Geology 1.5 miles south on Geology Tour Road
Indian Cove 1.5 miles south on Indian Cove Road
Juniper Flats 1.1 mile south on Keys View Road
Keys West 6.7 miles from West Entrance
North

Entrance

.5 mile from North Entrance
Pine City 1.3 miles north on Big Horn Road
Pleasant

Valley

? miles south on Geology Tour Road
Porcupine Wash 8 miles from Cottonwood
Turkey Flats 13 miles from Cottonwood
Twin Tanks 7 miles from North Entrance

BLM Overflow Camping

Cost: Free
Amenities: None (Fires are not permitted.)
Directions: From the town of Joshua Tree, head east on Highway 62 for ~2 miles. Turn left on Sunfair Road and continue ~2 miles. Turn right onto Broadway. (The pavement will end roughly 100 yards down Broadway.) Drive 1 mile to a line of telephone poles running perpendicular (north to south) and turn left onto a one lane, unmarked dirt road. Continue half a mile, until another unmarked dirt road is passed. Camping is allowed for the next half mile on the east side of the road.

Section 6

img_4426

Shadows from a full moon camping in Section 6. (Photo by Gina Edwards)

This is the closest free camping to the park entrance. The land is part of the Mojave Desert Conservation Area.

Address: Onaga Trl, Joshua Tree
CostFree
Amenities: none (pack out all your trash!)
Directions: From the town of Joshua Tree, head down Park Blvd towards the Joshua Tree National Park. Turn left onto Onaga Trail (dirt road). Once you drive through a yellow gate find a pullout to camp. (Don’t leave anything set up/left unattended here – it might get stolen.)

Walmart Parking Lot

Address: 58501 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley
Hours: open 24 hours
CostFree
Amenities: bathrooms inside the store
DirectionsFrom the town of Joshua Tree, head west on CA-62 (Twentynine Palms Hwy).

*The Pit is closed to camping as of January 2016

Drinking Water Fill-Up

Coyote Corner

A spigot is located on the backside of the building and is great for quickly filling up large jugs.

Address: 6535 Park Blvd, Joshua Tree

Nomad Ventures

A spigot is located on the side of the building (near the dumpster) and is great for filling up large jugs.

Address: 61795 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree

West Entrance Station

A water fountain is located outside the bathrooms – not the quickest for filling up mass amounts of water, but works for a water bottle or two.

Address: Park Blvd, Joshua Tree

WiFi

Park Rock Cafe

This small cafe is located directly next to the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor’s Center. They have a fair amount of indoor and outdoor seating with a couple outlets located near the inside tables. They serve tea, coffee, and smoothies as well as breakfast foods, snacks, and sandwiches.

Address: 6554 Park Blvd #A, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Joshua Tree Library

This library is barely bigger than a phone booth – no really, it’s incredibly small! There are two tables and only one of the tables has outlets available. The one table with outlets often fills up quickly and you are not allowed to sit on the floor near other outlets (the staff is very strict about this). As a result, this isn’t always the best place to work and charge your computer.

Address: 6465 Park Blvd, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm; Thursday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Friday, closed; Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Sunday, closed

Crossroads Café & Tavern

This cafe has delicious food, lots of tables with outlets, and can be a good place to work on a rainy day when you’re in need of a hot meal and a place to work.

Address: 61715 Twentynine Palm Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm; Sunday, 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Santana’s Mexican Food

Free WiFi with indoor seating and outlets. You can also use the WiFi in your vehicle if you park next to the building.

Address: 61761 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: open 24 hours

Pie for the People

Indoor and outdoor seating is available with a limited number of outlets. If it’s a beautiful day out, the back patio is a great place to work.

Address: 61740 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm; Friday-Saturday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Sunday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

Natural Sisters Café

A very small cafe with indoor and outdoor seating.

Address: 61695 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Starbucks

Address: 57744 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 24 hrs

img_4424

Showers

Desert Shower

If it’s warm enough outside, fill up on water, drive down one of the many dirt roads, and find a nice quiet spot to scrub. Be sure to use bio-degradable soap and stay away from streams/rivers.

Cost: Free!
Address: quiet, secluded desert roads
Hours: 24/7

Coyote Corner

Coin/token operated showers are a bit of a drag – it can be hard to wash off a week or more of dirt in 7.5 minutes… but this is the only option in town (that I’m aware of). There are two shower rooms, which include a sink, mirror, toilet, shower, and plenty of hooks for hanging up towel/clothes/etc.

Cost: $4.00/token (1 token gives you 7.5 minutes of water in the shower)
Address: 6535 Park Blvd, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Laundromat

Joshua Tree Laundry

Address: 61627 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 7:00 am – 7:30 pm

Grocery Stores

Joshua Tree Health Foods

They have a decent selection of organic health food items, supplements, and Dr. Bronners soap, but pretty hefty prices.

Address: 61693 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturday, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market

A variety of local produce, baked goods, and local arts/crafts.

Address: 61705 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree
Hours: Saturday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

Walmart

Address: 
58501 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley
Hours: open 24 hours

Vons

Address: 57590 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 6:00 am – 11:00 pm

Stater Bro’s Markets

Address: 58060 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Yucca Valle
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
img_4425

 


Anything I left out that you’d find helpful for future guides? Have additional beta to share regarding Joshua Tree?

Please feel free to share in the comments below!


Other Road Warrior Guides:

A Road Warrior’s Guide to Bishop, CA 

A Road Warrior’s Guide to Red Rock

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Road Warrior’s Guide to Red Rock | Bomber Cams, Sinker Jams

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