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



Backpacking, Camping, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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

Kayak the Marina Del Rey Harbor

Los Angeles / Marina Beach (Mother's Beach)

The Marina Del Rey harbor covers 1.5 square miles making it the world’s largest small-craft harbor.

Hike the Towsley Canyon Loop

Los Angeles / Towsley Canyon Trailhead

The Towsley Canyon Loop can be done in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise loop.

Hike to Fossil Falls

Los Angeles / Fossil Falls Trailhead

Fossil Falls is located east of Highway 395, a few miles south of Coso Junction, 45 min north of Ridgecrest.

Sara Kurth
9 Saves