Stay at this great campsite in Joshua Tree National Park surrounded by massive boulders and endless joshua trees.

Joshua Tree National Park is known for its world class rock climbing, out of this world landscapes, and some of the darkest skies around. Having a base camp inside of the park is incredibly important as it's quite massive and I found that Hidden Valley Campground is strategically placed smack dab near the centre of the park. It's also extremely photogenic, as is the entire park, actually. Scouting throughout the day and finding potential spots to photograph can definitely save you time during the night, however it is not entirely necessary, as I found out. By simply strolling around the park at night, a seemingly endless amount of potential photographs appear as the stars do.

The Milky Way is quite visible and if you've never seen it then be prepared to be blown away. It can be brighter on certain nights, and be ready to stay awake longer than you wanted to as it crawls across the horizon with the Earth's rotation. The sun can produce a fair amount of light for a camera even up to an hour or two after sunset, but it can definitely be fun to play around with that.

You can never get enough photos of the Milky Way and so shoot away, until you either collapse of exhaustion or your batteries die out. Good luck and have fun!

For more information on Hidden Valley Campground and the other campgrounds in Joshua Tree, head to nps.gov.

Oh, and definitely watch out for rattlesnakes at night, yikes!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp stove
  • Camera and wide angle lens
  • Sturdy Tripod
  • Water (as there is none inside the actual park)
  • Sweater and Pants (as it can get a little chilly at night)
  • Flashlight/Headtorch
  • Your favourite snacks!
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Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Hiking, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Best Combination of Rock Formations and Campground

This is my favorite campground in Joshua Tree National Park. I know I'm not the only one that thinks that because it's usually full. There are some amazing sites right up against the rocks, allowing you to scramble through the boulders without going far from your camp. For me this is the best balance of fascinating rock formations, desert sand and maintained camp spots. At night while you're watching the stars the fire will bounce of the rocks and illuminate your site. If the area is full it's good to ask around and see if anyone is leaving that day. Check out is at noon, so if you arrive early it may not look like anyone is getting ready to go leave yet. You can pay for the spot and leave the yellow tag on the wooden post in front of the spot .

My favorite

One of my favorite spots to camp in CA. There is nothing like sleeping under the starts out there. And it cools off perfectly at night. Winter is pretty cold but also doable, I've camped out there year round!

cold at night, hot during the day but so peaceful and awesome. definitely dessert and some amazing star gazing.


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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