When we visited Joshua Tree National Park in December 2017, we were forced to take refuge for a few days at Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground in California due to inclement weather and a short-term illness. Here’s our campground review of the RV park and campground.
Campground/RV Park: Joshua Tree Lake, RV & Campground
Location: 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree, CA 92252
Phone: (760) 366-1213
Cost per night (with taxes): $34/night (2017 rate + military discount)
Discount Used: 10% Military
Connections: Electric, Water & Dump Station
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Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground – California
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.
Joshua Tree Lake Campground is planted about 30-40 minutes from Twenty-Nine Palms Marine Corps Base.
The owners do not recommend using GPS to get to the campground. Instead, use directions on their website.
Joshua Tree Lake Campground is open all year. So, it’s a perfect location for families visiting Joshua Tree National Park and stargazers as it’s part of the Dark Sky Initiative.
Rates, Reservations and Fees
RV reservations are available online only through their website.
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. A 15% processing fee will be withheld from your refund total.
Joshua Tree Lake Campground has added fees in case you’re planning your budget.
Each extra adult costs an additional $10 per night and each child under 12 years old is an additional $5 per night. 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
We did notice that outside campers and boondockers can fill up to 60 gallons of water and dump for about $20.
Arrival and Check In
We arrived with with no reservations because our original boondocking plans went awry. There were only a few RV’s parked so there was plenty of availability. It may have been sparse due to it being Christmas week.
After pulling in, we checked in at the office. The owner who was very friendly 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 near Joshua Tree National Park.
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 incredibly quiet and peaceful.
Sites and Amenities
We found the grounds typical of desert campgrounds. Though it was dated, it was clean and tidy. 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 really gauge.
Navigating the campground was easy as there were very few obstacles. Each campsite was equipped with a fire pit and picnic table.
There are quite a few tent camping sites as well.
- 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
There’s a small fishing pond however, no swimming is permitted. 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.
Our review of Joshua Tree Lake Campground
We feel that Joshua Tree Lake RV and 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 for RV hookups and to stay near Joshua Tree National Park, this out-of-the-way campground may be what you’re looking for.
We were NOT compensated for this campground review.
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