When we visited Joshua Tree National Park in late 2017, we were forced to take refuge for a few days at Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground due to a storm and a short-term illness that forced us back to the pedestal. This is our campground review.
Campground/RV Park: Joshua Tree Lake, RV & Campground
Location: 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Phone: (760) 366-1213
Date(s) Stayed: 12/18/17-12/22/17
Length of Stay: 4
Site #: #201 Pull-Through
Cost per night (with taxes): $34/night (2017 rate + military discount)
Discount Used: 10% Military
Connections: Electric and Water & Dump Station
Extra Fees: $20 for 60 gallon water fill and dump (I’m assuming for outsiders?)
Where is Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground?
Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground is located on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park and at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. It offers panoramic views of the North face of Joshua Tree National Park, exceptional desert vistas, and spectacular night skies.. Open all year, it’s a perfect location for families visiting Joshua Tree National Park and stargazers as it’s part of the Dark Sky Initiative.
It’s also about 30-40 minutes from Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Corps Base.
Important to note, the owners do not recommend using GPS to get to the campground. Instead, use the directions on their website.
Rates and Reservations
RV reservations are available online only on their website. As per Joshua Tree Lake Campground 2019 rates below:
RV (Electricity & Water + Dump station- no sewer connection):
20 & 30 amp Electric Hookups: $35 per night (1 or 2 people)
50 amp Electric Hookups: $40 per night (1 or 2 people)
RV (Electricity & Water & Sewer) (in select sites only):
20 & 30 amp Electric Hookups: $40 per night (1 or 2 people)
50 amp Electric Hookups: $45 per night (1 or 2 people)
Persons with 50 amp Electric Hookups will pay $35/night upon booking the reservation, but will be required to pay remaining balance at check-in.
Dry camping RV sites without hookups with use of dump station:
$25 per night (1 or 2 people). Those paying for dry camping can access potable water fill for $3.
Their reservation policy dictates that if you do not arrive for your reservation, nor alert them to any changes in your reservation, you will be charged for the first night of your reservation and will be refunded for the remainder of your stay if applicable. Also, a 10% processing fee will be withheld from your refund total.
Also per the Joshua Tree Lake Campground website, they also have extra fees in case you’re planning your budget. Each extra adult is an additional $10 per night and each child under 12 years old is an additional $5 per night. Be aware that each pet is $2.50 per night also. And lastly we thought it was odd that they charge extra to use their WiFi at $5 per night
Arrival and Check In
We arrived with with no reservations. There were only a few RV’s parked so there was plenty of availability.
We were met in the office by the owner who was amicable and helpful. There is a very small camp store located inside the office that had dated souvenirs.
Our intent was only to stay one overnight so we could scope out nearby boondocking spots however, we ended up staying a few more days due to a medical emergency and wind storm. The owner was more than accommodating in allowing us to extend our stay. During our stay, there were only five other RVs so it was quiet.
Sites and Amenities
We found the grounds typical of desert campgrounds. Though it was dated, it was clean and picked up. The pull-through sites were spacious from what we could tell however, again, there weren’t but a few RVs there so we couldn’t gauge . Navigating the campground was easy as there were very few obstacles. Each site was equipped with a fire pit and picnic table. There are quite a few tent-camping spots.
- RV Camping with power & water
- Fishing at the lake which features a lakeside pavilion
- Wireless Internet (extra fee for service)
- Hot showers and toilets
- Picnic area available for day use
- Drive up tent camping area
- Playground for children 10 and under
- Dump station: campers & drive-ins
- Rental for group functions, weddings, festivals, & events
Also worth noting…
The campground owner created a small fishing pond however, no swimming is allowed. Also, there is a small arena where a local astronomer conducts star parties and educational events.
The bath house was average to fair. It is very dated but clean. There were two stalls with showers and three sinks. The lighting in the bath house was poor. The water pressure was acceptable. We are unable to review the laundry room as we didn’t see or use it. Recycling and trash dumpsters are located near the entrance/exit. There is no pool.
Since we didn’t use park or campground WiFi (we use our own hot spots) we are unable to give a good assessment on their WiFi. However, we did have about 2-bars on both, our Verizon jetpack and AT&T hotspot. We did find it odd that they charge for WiFi.
We do appreciate their specified quiet hours between 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. Checkout time is 11:00 am.
Though it’s not a bad or unsafe campground, Joshua Tree Lake Campground needs some maintenance upkeep and updating. Their added fees (WiFi, pets, children, etc.) on top of their rates make it quite an expensive stay for what it is. But, I guess if you’re pressed to stay near Joshua Tree National Park and need campground amenities, this out-of-the-way campground may be what you’re looking for.