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
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Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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