Camp on an Isolated Mesa

Rate this Adventure Los Angeles Table Top Mountain Trail

Added by Kyle Frost

  • Distance: 1/2 mile
  • Elevation gain: 200ft.
  • In the Mojave National Preserve
  • Similar to Joshua tree, but with no permits, and way less people
  • Camp on the top of this isolated mesa with incredible views

From the Hole in the Wall information center, drive north on Black Canyon Road. Table Top is a fairly identifiable mesa to the east. Pick what you think is a suitable approach point and park your car in a dirt pullout. Grab your backpack and make a beeline for the mesa, straight through the desert. There is no trail here, so pick your way through the scrub. Be careful, you'll likely need to traverse barbed wire in a couple places, but there are usually easy ways to get through.

It'll take a bit of route-finding to make your way up to the top. I opted to do a bit of 3rd class scrambling up the south side, but the longer northwest-ish ridge provides a much simpler approach.

Once on top, pick a spot to set up your tent. I'd recommend the south edge of the mesa. That way, you get spectacular panoramas at both sunrise AND sunset.

Fair warning, depending on the time of year, it can get very cold and windy up here with no protection. There is no entrance fee and no permits are needed for camping or hiking. Make sure you establish good landmarks so you can hit the road in the right place on your way back.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Plenty of water
  • Warm clothing
  • First Aid
  • 10 Essentials
  • Camp stove
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Kyle Frost

Designer and Adventure Photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. Fan of mountains, coffee, beer, and witty banter. Available for commissions and collaborations. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve Trail

Los Angeles / Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Trailhead

The most popular point of entry is through the Victory Trailhead, which has ample parking. You can park on the street or you can pay $3 to park at the trailhead parking lot.

Tori Marsh
6 Saves

Hike to the Teepee in the San Gabriel Mountains

Los Angeles / Cross Town Trail (Harten Lane)

Hidden in the small community of La Canada, California, the trailhead is pretty hidden! From the 210, take the exit for Highway 2/Angeles Crest Highway.

Tori Marsh
14 Saves

Hike Sunday Peak

Los Angeles / Sunday Peak Trailhead

This short and easy summit is located just outside of Kernville, California. To get there, follow Highway 178 towards Kernville and turn left on Highway 155 towards Wofford Heights.

Rachel Davidson
8 Saves