JTree camping advice


Original Post
ARK · · New York, NY · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 155

Hey everyone,
I'm planning to arrive in Joshua Tree on Sunday Oct 9th which is the day before Columbus day. Because of the long weekend, will the campgrounds still be packed? Do we have a chance of getting into hidden valley or should I reserve a spot at Indian cove? Any other suggestions would also be helpful.

Thanks!

Patrick Michel · · Groveland, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

If all camping is full, there is a private campground (with water, flush toilets, and showers) down the road, maybe 15 min from park entrance.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
Patrick Michel wrote:If all camping is full, there is a private campground (with water, flush toilets, and showers) down the road, maybe 15 min from park entrance.
Kind of vague, Patrick.

"Down the road" in which direction? Which road - hignway 62? Park Blvd? Is there a name to the campground or website?
Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 1,640
"If all camping is full, there is a private campground (with water, flush toilets, and showers) down the road, maybe 15 min from park entrance."...

http://www.joshuatreelake.com/

You can also camp on the BLM land (Out the same road) at the dry lake bed behind Copper Mtn College as well as other outlying areas (Giant Rock out in Alienville)
Br3tt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
ARK wrote:Hey everyone, I'm planning to arrive in Joshua Tree on Sunday Oct 9th which is the day before Columbus day. Because of the long weekend, will the campgrounds still be packed? Do we have a chance of getting into hidden valley or should I reserve a spot at Indian cove? Any other suggestions would also be helpful. Thanks!
I've had success at Indian Cove. You usually have to check every morning but there are always cancellations.

If you don't mind roughing it you can park and register at a wilderness station and, as long as you're a mile from the trailhead (and a couple hundred yards from the trail) you can post up anywhere. The latter is my preferred method as it's easier. Only downside is you can't have a fire (I believe this is the case but I may be wrong).

-Br3tt
vwall · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2012 · Points: 0

https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/backpacking.htm

"Your backcountry campsite must be located a minimum of one mile from the road and 500 feet from any trail or water source"

"No fires are allowed in the backcountry. Use a backpacking stove to heat water and food."

"Bring plastic bags to hold your garbage and pack it out. Buried trash gets dug up by animals and scattered by the wind; it is not a pretty sight. Do bury human waste in “cat” holes six inches deep. Don’t bury your toilet paper; put it in plastic (zip-locks work nicely) and pack it out. Leave no trace, as they say. "

C Miller · · CA · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 52,420

The Joshua Tree National Park page is always a good place to start.

Camping information

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 0

If you arrive on a Sunday, it's probably worth it to look around at HV or Ryan for a site. People tend to leave in the morning or early afternoon, and Columbus Day is not a holiday for everybody.

Indian Cove is nice but isolated from the heart of the park.

ARK · · New York, NY · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 155

Thanks everyone!

MClay · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 685

Planning on trying the backcountry camping option for a few days in late-May - Anyone with some advice/beta?

Looking at the NPS Backpacking page linked above several places are listed as good options for backcountry camping, I'm eager to know if any of these areas are close to any of the good bouldering areas. Never been to J-Tree before so any wisdom (bouldering or camping) is greatly appreciated.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 12,639
MClay wrote:

Planning on trying the backcountry camping option for a few days in late-May - Anyone with some advice/beta?

Looking at the NPS Backpacking page linked above several places are listed as good options for backcountry camping, I'm eager to know if any of these areas are close to any of the good bouldering areas. Never been to J-Tree before so any wisdom (bouldering or camping) is greatly appreciated.

Take lots of water and an umbrella for shade.  You know it'll be near 100F during the day, and, 70F as a low at night, right?

MClay · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 685

Yeah, aware of the temps as used to live in the Sonora desert. 70's at night seems ideal for sleeping under the stars. 

Planning on chasing shade early-to-mid-morning and then again in the late afternoon...possible?

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204

If it were me I would pick any of the backcountry spots to camp at night and then just pack up and drive to whatever bouldering area you want to explore. A lot of the bouldering is close to the car, so you can carry your umbrella and cooler and set up somewhere with a few problems you want to try.

But really I hate the heat so if it were me I would just drive up to Black Mountain or take the tram up to Tramway.

JoshuaMichaelGolden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 40

(Posted by Joshua's Dad).

BTW Columbus Day isn't really a holiday on the west coast. The first time I did consulting in the Boston area I was taken completely by surprise that this was a real holiday to them. The only people that take that off out here, really, are people that work at banks. Even the DMV is open on Columbus Day.

The other thing to be aware of is that October can actually be one of our hottest months in Southern California. J Tree can definitely be in the 90s or hotter. I second the recommendation of Black Mountain or Tram.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply