logo
  Facebook Twitter Flickr blog RSS

Desert Camping

Desert Camping Overview

Desert

Campgrounds in the California Desert number in the hundreds. Find Desert camping from Death Valley to Anza-Borrego with conveniences like flush toilets and showers, as well as popular and unique campgrounds to help you narrow the choice. These include National Parks, State Parks, County Parks and privately owned camping resorts. Desert camping includes everything from the beautiful and unforgiving Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, to the sand dunes and badlands of Anza-Borrego and the refreshing riverside campgrounds along the Colorado River. Desert campgrounds of notable interest include the campsites at Tecopa Hot Springs, Jumbo Rocks Campground in Joshua Tree National Park and Mayflower Park Campground on the Colorado River. We've included as much detail as possible so you have a better idea of what to expect and whether camping reservations are required in advance.

PETS: Dogs are allowed at almost all campgrounds but must be kept on a leash, picked up after, and never left unattended. Most beach camping allows dogs in the campground but not on the beach.

pdf CAMPING CHECKLIST - download our checklist of common camping supplies and you won't forget anything at home.

REI - rents camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, stoves, lanterns and more.

Looking for some late night campsite entertainment? Check out www.seasky.org for their celestial calendar including meteor showers.

Death Valley Camping

Death Valley Sand Dunes

Death Valley National Park is located east of Lone Pine via Highway 190 and north of Baker via Highway 127. Death Valley is the hottest, driest and lowest point in the United States and can reach temperatures over 120 degrees in the summer. Activities include sightseeing, road & mountain biking, off-roading, hiking and camping. Spring is the best season to see this Death Valley National Park for its 'desert in bloom'. Area attractions include the town of Furnace Creek where a museum, Visitor Center and resort can be found. There are a total of 9 campgrounds in Death Valley of which, we list the 5 most popular.

Blog Check our Death Valley blog for more details.

Flickr photo album See our Death Valley photo album on Flickr.

Death Valley Camping
Highway 190
Death Valley, California 92328
Reservations: (800) 365-2267
Map  |   pdf Park Map  |   Furnace Creek Reservations  |   pdf Furnace Creek Campground Map  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Mesquite Spring Campground is located in the northern region of the park and offers 30 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, and flush toilets. RV dump station available. First-come first-served.

  • Stovepipe Wells Campground offers 200 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, and flush toilets. RV dump station available. First-come first-served. Showers, groceries and laundry facilities are available in the Stovepipe Wells Village.

  • Furnace Creek Campground offers 136 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, and flush toilets. RV dump station available. Reservations recommended. Showers and pool access are available for a fee at the adjacent Furnace Creek Ranch. Groceries and other amenities are available in the Furnace Creek Village.

  • Sunset/Furnace Creek Campground offers over 1,000 campsites for tent and RV camping. Flush toilets. RV dump station available. First-come first-served.

  • Texas Spring/Furnace Creek Campground offers 92 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, and flush toilets. RV dump station available. First-come first-served.


Tecopa Hot Springs Campground is located off Highway 127 between Death Valley and Baker. Tecopa Hot Springs features natural mineral hot springs that are enclosed and separated for men or women. Another popular activity is rock hounding for amethyst, opal and petrified wood. The campground offers 200 campsites for tent and RV camping, some with hook-ups. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, grill, flush toilets and showers. Reservations recommended.

Tecopa Hot Springs Campground
Tecopa Hot Springs Road
Tecopa, CA 92389
(760) 852-4481
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Resort Website   |   Other Ideas

Bishop Camping

Millpond Campground is located off Interstate 395 north of Bishop. Situated at the base of the Sierra Nevada range, Millpond features a small swimming pond, campground, archery range, softball fields, tennis courts, horseshoe pits and picnic facilities. The Campground offers 60 campsites for tent and RV camping, some with hook-ups. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, grill, flush toilets, showers and concession stand. Reservations recommended.

Millpond Campground
Sawmill Road
Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 873-5577
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Brown's Town Campground is located off Interstate 395 south of Bishop. Situated next to the Bishop Golf Course, Brown's Town features a campground, horseshoe pits, game room and playground. The Campground offers 150 campsites for tent and RV camping, some with hook-ups. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, grill, flush toilets, showers and general store. Reservations recommended.

Brown's Town Campground
Highway 395
Bishop, CA 93514
(760) 873-8522
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Glacier View Campground is located off Interstate 395 north of Big Pine. Situated at the base of the Sierra Nevada range, Glacier View offers campsites for tent and RV camping, some with hook-ups. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, grill, flush toilets and showers. Reservations recommended.

Glacier View Campground
Interstate 395
Big Pine, CA 93514
(760) 873-5577
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Diaz Lake Campground is located off Interstate 395 south of Lone Pine. Diaz Lake is a small lake offering activities like boating, fishing, water-skiing and swimming. This campground by the lake offers 200 campsites for tent and RV camping, some with hook-ups. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, grill and flush toilets. Reservations recommended.

Diaz Lake Campground
5007 South Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545
(760) 876-4700
Map  |   Call for Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Joshua Tree Camping

Joshua Tree National Park is located off Highway 62 just north of Palm Springs. Sightseeing, road & mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding and camping are the major activities to be enjoyed in Joshua Tree. Joshua Tree offers 9 campgrounds and all but 2 are just above primitive standards. Black Rock and Cottonwood are the only camps with flushing toilets and running water.

Joshua Tree Camping
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, California 92277-3597
Reservations: (800) 365-2267
Map  |   pdf Park Map  |   Black Rock Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Black Rock Campground offers 100 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities include a picnic table, fire grates, and flush toilets. RV dump station available. Reservations required.

  • Cottonwood Campground offers 62 campsites for tent and RV camping. Flush toilets. RV dump station available. First-come first-served. Group campsites can be reserved.

  • Indian Cove Campground offers 101 campsites for tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. First-come first-served. Group campsites can be reserved.

  • Hidden Valley Campground offers 39 campsites for tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. First-come first-served.

  • Ryan Campground offers 31 campsites for tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. First-come first-served.

  • Sheep Pass Campground offers 6 group campsites only. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. Group campsites can be reserved.

  • Jumbo Rocks Campground offers 124 campsites for tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. First-come first-served.

  • Belle Campground offers 100 campsites for tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. First-come first-served.

  • White Tank Campground offers 15 campsites for tent and RV camping. Vault toilets. Bring your own water because there is none available at this camp. First-come first-served.

La Quinta Camping

Lake Cahuilla Campground is located southeast of La Quinta off Interstate 10 and Monroe Street. Features include a small fishing lake and swimming pool. Lake Cahuilla offers 56 campsites for tent and RV camping with hookups. Campsites at this campground by the lake include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets, showers and shade awnings. RV dump station available.

Lake Cahuilla Campground
58-075 Jefferson Street
La Quinta, CA 92253
(760) 564-4712
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Barstow Camping

Calico Campground is located off Interstate 15 northeast of Barstow. Calico is an historic ghost town. Once known for mining silver, borax and gold, Calico today attracts tourists. Attractions include the Maggie Mine, train rides, glass bottle house, restaurants, gift shops, and multiple shows including Tombstone-style gunfights. Learn more about Calico on our Points of Interest page. Calico offers 265 campsites for tent and RV camping. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, grill, flush toilets and showers. RV dump stations available. Reservations recommended.

Calico Campground
Ghost Town Road
Yermo, CA 92398
(760) 254-2122
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Colorado River Camping

Moabi Campground is located off Interstate 40 south of Needles, along side the Colorado River. Features include a boat launch, marina, store and canoe & kayak rentals. Moabi offers 35 full hookup RV campsites and unlimited tent camping. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets and showers. RV dump stations available. First-come first-served.

Moabi Campground
Park Moabi Road
Needles, California 92363
(760) 326-3831
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Mayflower Campground is located off Interstate 10 north of Blythe, along side the Colorado River. Features include a boat launch, day use area, shuffleboard and horseshoes. Mayflower offers 152 campgrounds for tent and RV camping. Features include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station available. First-come first-served.

Mayflower Park Campground
4980 Colorado River Road
Blythe, CA 92225
(760) 922-4665
Map  |   No Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Anza-Borrego Camping

Salton Sea Campground is located east of San Diego and south of Palm Springs along highways 78 and 86. The Salton Sea is a huge, 40-mile long and 20-mile wide lake that formed as the result of a dam breakage in 1905. Activities include lake camping, boating, hiking, fishing and wildlife viewing. Boat performance is increased due to its 228 feet below sea level elevation. Off-roading is popular in nearby Ocotillo Wells. Salton Sea offers over 100 campsites for tent and RV camping. Amenities at this campground by the lake include a picnic table, fire ring, flush toilets and showers. RV dump station available. Reservations recommended.

Salton Sea Camping
100-225 State Park Road
North Shore, California 92254
(760) 393-3052 or (760) 393-3059
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas


Anza-Borrego State Park is located east of San Diego on highway 78. This area is a playground for off-roaders with the Octotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area and Borrego Badlands within its boundaries. Other activities include hiking and wildlife viewing of bighorn sheep, roadrunners and other desert species. Anza-Borrego offers 4 campgrounds, 2 of which are handicap accessible and a horse camp.

Anza-Borrego Camping
200 Palm Canyon Drive
Borrego Springs, California 92004
Reservations: (800) 444-7275
Map  |   Reservations  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

  • Borrego Palm Canyon Campground offers 117 campsites for tent and RV camping (35' max). Amenities include a picnic table, fire grates, and flush toilets. RV dump station and hook-ups available. Reservations required.

  • Tamarisk Grove Campground offers 27 campsites for tent and RV camping (21' max). Flush toilets. Reservations required.


California Camping

San FranciscoLos AngelesOrange CountySan DiegoInland EmpireDesertCentral CoastSierra NevadaNorth CoastShasta CascadeGold CountryCentral ValleyHome Page