Camp Under Red Rock Canyon

Los Angeles Ricardo Campground

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Red Rock is a small park with the big national park feeling. Enjoy the serenity of camping in the nooks of the canyon's sand formations and take in 360 degree sunset and sunrise views from top of the canyon.

Red Rock Canyon is a must stop for those driving along Highway 14 between the Owens and Antelope Valleys. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range and features scenic desert cliffs, buttes, and spectacular rock formations. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors. The sandstone formations are nicely varied, but the park doesn't have the big scale and sizable scope of a National Park which makes it perfect for day trips or easy overnight camping.

For an overnight stay, the Ricardo campground is a the only developed campground in the state park and a worthwhile one to check out at that. The campground is tucked up against the base of dramatic desert cliffs providing excellent shade during the hot season, with 50 primitive campsites, potable water, pit toilets, fire rings, and tables. Bring your own firewood, or purchase it at the visitor center. The $25 campsites are first-come, first served and the ground can fill up on weekends in the spring and fall, especially if the weather is nice or on holiday weekends, so arriving on a Thursday evening or Friday morning is recommended.

Miles of trails meander through the dramatic landscape of the park, and hiking is an intimate way to experience the desert. Most are self-guided and some are suitable for all ages. For a longer, day hike, check out the 8.8 mile Nightmare Gulch Loop that ventures through the joshua trees and slot canyons on the area. For a shorter stroll and breathtaking sunset views from up top the canyon, try the 0.75 mile Red Rock Trail.

The park entrance is clearly marked for northbound traffic, but the shoulderless exit pops up quick when driving southbound so keep your eyes open. After exiting the highway, follow the only paved road to the campsite that is rimmed by sandstone formations and filled with yucca trees to the visitor center.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Hiking or running shoes
  • Hat/Sunscreen (especially during summer)
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Firewood
  • Water (spots are hit or miss)
  • Toilet paper
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Activities:

Chillin, Camping, Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Autumn, Winter

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife

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How to Get There

about 1 year ago

A perfect desert night.

I spent a night here on my way out to Death Valley and was so pleasantly surprised by this incredible spot. This is drive up car camping with water, bathrooms, fire pits and picnic tables. Each site is easily numbered and identified. When i was here, there was no one else and I felt like I had the whole place to myself. There is a entry gate where you pay your fee. I'd recommend this spot to anyone.

about 1 year ago

Added by Clare Healy

Adventure storyteller, outdoor explorer, and taco eater from the west. If you're in the California area, let's go on an adventure.

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