Hey there! Are you living in California? Do you have camper friends living in “Golden State”? If so, perhaps you or they’ve heard of the Joshua Tree National Park.
The park features a lot of campsites, but the most scenic and best campground in the Joshua Tree National Park is the Hidden Valley Campground.
The 800-acre land is slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island and is a haven for campers rock formation enthusiasts, and avid rock climbers. The huge wilderness area covers two deserts – the Mojave Desert and lower Colorado Desert, surrounding massive mountains, and dense forests of shrubs and Joshua trees, hence the name.
Indeed, the almost surreal landscape of the park will make you think as you’ve transitioned into another world.
The park features beautiful, established campgrounds for camping and RVing. The best and most preferred campgrounds are situated on the main road leading to the park which runs from east to west. These are the Park Boulevard, Hidden Valley, Ryan, and Jumbo Rocks.
These campgrounds render the most breathtaking sceneries and are nearest to the main attractions in the park. Other equally stunning campgrounds lie on the east side and require commuting.
If I were to choose the best, I’d say the Hidden Valley Campground. It’s the most popular, and the most proximate to the rock climbing areas of the park. The campground is a busy one during summers and seasons with good weathers so you should arrive early to reserve a site (first come, first served basis).
The Hidden Valley Campground
The campground is located at 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, California, 92277
Going To The Campground
The closest park entrance to this campground is the West entrance. Proceed east on Highway 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway), in the city of Joshua Tree turn right onto Park Boulevard ( also called Quail Springs Road). Proceed through the park entrance where the road changes the name to National Park Drive. Continue for approximately 10 miles, and the campground entrance will be on the left.
Things To Bring
Hear, hear! This is an important part. The park and nearby campgrounds lack concessions and convenience stores so bring everything you need. There are no drinking water, ice, or wood available in the campground. Also, you’ll find it hard to find a good cell signal within the area. Note that campfires are only allowed in the fire rings.
On the bright side, the campground offers basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, BBQ’s, and flush toilets.
Camping And Rock Climbing In The Park
Upon arrival in the area, you have to go to the registration station on the right side of the campground from the Barker Dam Road. The campground is at 4,200 feet (1,280 m) in elevation so expect to be greeted with the majestic aerial view of the Joshua Tree National Park.
The Hidden Valley Campground is the most scenic part of the park.
There are 44 camping sites in the campground. It’s best to arrive early and scout for sites shaded by big rock formations as it gets scorching hot in the afternoon.
The campground is surrounded by stunning boulders, rock formations, and Joshua trees, making it the perfect place for a photo op. After you’re done taking beautiful pictures, head over to the nearby Joshua Tree National Park which is only a walking distance away and engage yourself in rock climbing.
The park is a highly popular destination for rock climbers and for a good reason – the rock formations offer various difficulty levels, from beginners to pros.
After a day of rock climbing, head over your campsite and get the squad to chill at the fire ring. Make sure to include some barbecue and beers in your checklist for a merry night at the camp.
I’ve mentioned earlier that the park is a haven for rock climbers. The high desert mecca features more than 400 climbing formations of all difficulty levels. Whether it’s your first time or your nth time climbing, there’s a rock for your level. The park also offers more than 7000 documented climbing routes.
Most of the rock formations in the park are climbable, with high friction, steep faces, and thin vertical routes. Most of the routes in the park are bolted. Climbs are put up all the way from the ground while bolts are drilled at stance in a widely spaced manner. Each rock you’ll climb will definitely give you a rewarding experience.
If you’re new to the sport, it’s better to consult a guide at the park before climbing. The stones are high (as high as 250 ft) and you’ll get hurt if you’re not properly equipped and lack the necessary skills.
Rock climbing and camping is a queer combination you can only find in rare places such as in Joshua Tree national Park. It’s a unique and one of a kind experience. Imagine conquering and standing atop a massive rock formation and being rewarded with the majestic view of pure nature. Such a fulfilling experience it is!
Hey there! Have you been to the Joshua Tree National Park? What campground did you choose to stay? Did you enjoy staying there? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Did you enjoy and learn something from this article? If so, share this article and let others know about the Hidden Valley Campground and the Joshua Tree National Park!
I’m Cindy, a free-spirited outdoor enthusiast. Since childhood, Our family frequently goes on weekend camps and my father, who was a skilled hunter, used to teach my siblings and me valuable things about wildlife survival. I made this blog to share my knowledge, experiences, and tips.