Joshua Tree camping advise


Original Post
Thierry · Feb 18, 2016 · Murfreesboro, TN · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 0
Hello,

Partner and I have never been to Joshua Tree and probably staying for 3 or 4 days. We're arriving Sunday Feb 21 early evening. I should have thought of this sooner but what's our best campground to find empty spots? I was thinking Hidden Valley or Ryan. Will there be any availability anywhere? Is this just wishful thinking?!?
Any advice/comments are much appreciated.

Happiegrrrl · Feb 18, 2016 · Gunks · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 0
You have the best chance of getting an open spot on Sunday evening! Just go and see. If Hidden Valley is full, Ryan should have something, but if not, for sure you can get a spot at Jumbo, which is a little drive from the most popular climbing areas, but not really THAT far, and it has some very nice sites.

If you are set on Hidden Valley and cannot get a spot on arrival, or you get a spot that s not optimal, then pay day by day for the site you do use and in the morning walk the=rough HVCG and see if there are any opening up.

susan peplow · Feb 18, 2016 · Joshua Tree · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 2,060
Happie is probably onto something with that plan - although driving at dusk/evening looking for a site blows. The Park has been hugely busy, "all campground full" signs are basically flipped more than not. If it gets really bad, drive to the dry lake bed in JT. Bivy there, and deal with it in the morning light.

BLM Overflow Camping - JTNP

Muscrat · Feb 18, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,040
And don't be afraid to ask people if you can double up in their site. This is how i usually find a spot in JT. Good beer, and an offer to pay the site fee work wonders.

Tyler Lomprey · Feb 18, 2016 · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 5
Step 1. Bring extra beer and firewood.
Step 2. Send all good energy towards open spot.
Step 3. When no spots are open, ask every person if they only have one vehicle at their site.
Step 4. Offer beer/firewood, AND offer to pay for site to first person with only 1 vehicle.
Step 5. Make new friends and enjoy camping in Joshua tree national park :)

Nathanael · Feb 18, 2016 · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 151
susan peplow wrote:Happie is probably onto something with that plan - although driving at dusk/evening looking for a site blows. The Park has been hugely busy, "all campground full" signs are basically flipped more than not. If it gets really bad, drive to the dry lake bed in JT. Bivy there, and deal with it in the morning light.
You can also do the "backcountry" camping in the park which I prefer to bivying in the BLM land. Park at the boyscout trailhead, I think you're supposed to get a mile from the road, and then there's some cliffs you can camp next to. Leave most stuff in the car, just hike with your sleeping bag and pad.

George Wu · Feb 18, 2016 · Newport Beach, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 67
At the northwest corner of the park is Blackrock Campground. It's always got open sites because it's not near anything.

Also, in Twentynine Palms is a commercial campground named Joshua Tree Lake. The lake is a dinky little man made pond, but you do get showers and bathrooms with running water for the extra expense. The aforementioned BLM option is cheaper, so just throwing out another option.

Locker · Feb 20, 2016 · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 1,635
"And don't be afraid to ask people if you can double up in their site."

I personally find that rude and would never do it. I know that a lot of people do, but again, to me it's rude and intrusive.

If you're fucked, you're fucked! Deal with it! Go somewhere else, camp somewhere else.

Adam Stackhouse · Feb 20, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
Muscrat wrote:And don't be afraid to ask people if you can double up in their site. This is how i usually find a spot in JT. Good beer, and an offer to pay the site fee work wonders.
Not a fan of people doing that. Tried to loosen up one time and the people whom I let stay eventually told us to turn down our music, then to top it off, tried snagging our parking spot. Yeah, I had to tell them to get the hell out.

mediocre · Feb 20, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Locker wrote:"And don't be afraid to ask people if you can double up in their site." I personally find that rude and would never do it. I know that a lot of people do, but again, to me it's rude and intrusive. If you're fucked, you're fucked! Deal with it! Go somewhere else, camp somewhere else.
I agree. It gets old feeling like a dick just because you don't feel like being social.

Happiegrrrl · Feb 20, 2016 · Gunks · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 0
For as many people who don't want to share their site, there are probably an equal number who don't mind.

While I "prefer" not to share my site, I am amicable to being asked. The only time it sucked was the one where a friendly young couple asked, and I was happy to accept, thinking they would be fun to talk to and the campfire I was going to make wouldn't be lonely.

After I had agreed, AND politely say "No problem, no need to" when they offered to share the cost, and they had unpacked their bicycles, the said "Oh, we just need a place to ark the car. Our friend has a site but there are a bunch of us coming, and you know - the two cars per site deal...."

Here's the thing: If you don't want to share, and don't want to be put on the spot, or you want to be choosy with whom you share(nothing wrong with that, IMO), you just say something like "Sorry - I have friends on the way. Best of luck to you!" Not YOUR fault that those "friends" bailed out on you, if morning comes and your site still has just yourself.

I much prefer someone to ask rather than to come to the site latish and find someone has parked in what they assumed was the second, open, spot which is actually the one your friend who sleeps in their car instead of setting up a tent needs, and you have no fucking clue where the parked car's people are at.

Or the time I came home late and there was someone all set up in my site, taking it upon themselves to assume I would be willing to share. They had their crap all over the picnic table, well over half of it. (Filthy picnic tables with crap all over them are a pet peeve of mine.) I heard them chattering and giggling in their tent, a couple, and started growling like one of the Three Bears "Whose been camping in my campsite, and is STILL there?" Finally the dude sends the girl out(ya, I heard him tell her to go out because "she'll be more likely to let us stay if it's a chick."

Adam Stackhouse · Feb 20, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 12,265
Happiegrrrl wrote: Here's the thing: If you don't want to share, and don't want to be put on the spot, or you want to be choosy with whom you share(nothing wrong with that, IMO), you just say something like "Sorry - I have friends on the way. Best of luck to you!" Not YOUR fault that those "friends" bailed out on you, if morning comes and your site still has just yourself.
When I was younger/shy I would prevaricate to save everyone face, but now it's just a quick "Nope."

susan peplow · Feb 20, 2016 · Joshua Tree · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 2,060
Or the time that Russ and I went over to Apparition Rock, middle of the summer. Just want to get a late in the day shady route done. Clogged over there to find two ladies camped. We're on the trail some ways away and said, "hey do you mind if we do this route right here? We won't be long". The one lady gave the look of, sure have at it while her partner. Said, "I prefer not".

"I prefer Not", one for the ages and used regularly now.

Thierry · Feb 21, 2016 · Murfreesboro, TN · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 0
In a few more hours, I'll find out if it's to the Overflow we go. No matter what, I can't wait to be out there.
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

· Feb 21, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 1970 · Points: 0
It's a bummer there just aren't any other cool places to camp and climb in the dessert. Guess you'll all just have to camp on top of one another and listen to each other fack. WANNA FAAACK?!

vsc · Feb 21, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Have seen people get pissed off and mouth off when the original site owner doesn't want to share, acting like they're entitled to move into any site that has only one vehicle, as if the refuser was acting inappropriately. No, it's those imposers who are clueless, about basic human behavior. It's at the owner's discretion whether to share the site. If the answer is no, respect that the owner has the right to say no, and move on.

Guy Keesee · Feb 22, 2016 · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105
My friend Kris got there early on a Friday, nabbed a spot in Ryan, went out to boulder till I would arrive later that nite.

He returned from bouldering only to find his stuff gone- Tent, cooler, stove, water everything gone!

The two dudes sitting in CG.... "we don't know nothin.... site was empty when we got here..." !!!!

by now the place is full, Kris is sort of distressed and starts looking around in the dumpsters.... He finds his stuff!

Another camper sees Kris pulling his stuff out of dumpster and comes over.

Tells Kris that he witnessed the Rangers putting his stuff in dumpsters!

Rangers are confronted, but don't know a thing about this.

Kris $$$$ is in the little pole and he has his tag but the stub on the stick is no where to be found????

I show up, can't find my friend, go back to the BLM land (my little secret spot, not THE BLM Land) find Kris camping.....

Bottom Line..... anything can happen there, best to be flexible....

Burcheydawwwwwwg · Feb 22, 2016 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 375
Locker wrote:"And don't be afraid to ask people if you can double up in their site." I personally find that rude and would never do it. I know that a lot of people do, but again, to me it's rude and intrusive. If you're fucked, you're fucked! Deal with it! Go somewhere else, camp somewhere else.
+1

I can barely stand to be around the climbers I choose to be around!

Random ones are even worse!

Guy Keesee · Feb 23, 2016 · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105
Burch... be nice.

Tyler Lomprey · Feb 24, 2016 · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 5
didn't realize so many people were so anti sharing campsites. i always found it a great way to help each other out and meet new people. a little flexibility and open communication goes a long way. be a human and enjoy the human experience, don't be a stone headed dinosaur....

Fat Dad · Feb 25, 2016 · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5
I think you've proven their point. It's not being a "stone headed dinosaur" (whatever that means). It's sacrificing your own little private acre to chill at at the end of the day with your friends/family and share it with some douche (and their douchey friends) who thinks s/he was entitled to share it with you in the first place. Lots of cool people out there, and you might be missing a chance to meet some of them, but you're avoiding the risk of blowing your weekend hanging out with some self-invited chumps.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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