An RV trailer with slide out is pulled in to a campsite. A pickup truck and a young child with a bid face away is in the foreground
Mojave National Preserve provides opportunities for both RV and tent camping.


Camping in Mojave National Preserve is an enjoyable and rewarding pastime for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. Developed campgrounds are ideal for families and groups, while previously used undeveloped camping areas and nearly 700,000 acres of wilderness offer more wild camping experience. All campgrounds are first come first serve with the exception of the group campsites which require a reservation. Cashless payments can be made via Pay.Gov Make sure you understand that these payments do not secure or reserve a site. Public Wi-fi is available at Hole in the Wall Visitor Center.


Developed or Designated Camping Sites

If you're looking for a designated camping spot with 2WD vehicle access, that has an available restroom and other facilities nearby, one of the three developed campgrounds, Mid Hills, Hole-in-the-Wall, and Black Canyon is your best choice. These three campgrounds are open year round. (Be sure to check the main alerts or road conditions page to make sure snow or monsoon floods haven't affected road access).  These site are equipped with vault toilets, trash receptacles, fire rings and picnic tables, each site at Mid Hills and Hole-in-the-Wall can accommodate 1 to 8 people. Water is available at Hole in the Wall and Black Canyon Group Site, while water needs to be hauled in at Mid Hills. Potable water for filling bottles and camping jugs is available for all overnight and day use visitors at the Hole in the Wall Visitor center and Kelso Depot Parking Area. Spigots in the preserve are not set up for filling RV water tanks. 

Groups larger than 14 people will need to make reservations for the group campground at Black Canyon, across the road from Hole-in-the-Wall. All developed campgrounds are first-come, first-served, but the two sites at the Black Canyon Equestrian and Group Campground must be reserved in advance by calling the preserve.


Average Weather at the Developed Campgrounds

Average Day and Night Temperatures (°F)

Mid Hills Campground
5,600 ft elevation
Hole-in-the-Wall Campground
4,400 ft elevation

April to May

Day 45°F to 65°F
Night 35°F to 50°F

Day 55°F to 75°F
Night 45°F to 60°F

June to August

Day 60°F to 100°F
Night 55°F to 80°F

Day 70°F to 105°F
Night 65°F to 75°F

September to October

Day 45°F to 70°F
Night 40°F to 60°F

Day 55°F to 80°F
Night 50°F to 70°F

November to March

Day 30°F to 50°F
Night 10°F to 30°F

Day 40°F to 60°F
Night 20°F to 40°F

Horses and riders are welcome in Mojave National Preserve! Horses and/or other pack animals (llamas and mules) are permitted on all trails, backcountry roads, and open country (including wilderness areas) within the preserve.

Developed camping facilities are available at the Black Canyon Equestrian & Group Campground. Backcountry users should familiarize themselves with guidelines and regulations for backcountry travel and camping, as well as the following:

  • Free-trailing or loose-herding is prohibited throughout the preserve
  • Ranging/grazing is prohibited; Livestock must be fed certified weed-free hay or pelleted food before arrival and during their stay in the preserve.
  • All manure should be raked out and spread over a large area.
  • Horse camps should be at least 200 yards from a water source.
  • Up to 7 animals are allowed per group; othwerwise, a Special Use Permit is required.

Horse rentals are unavailable in the preserve. So, bring your own horse (B.Y.O.H.). 

Backpackers will enjoy sweeping views, solitude, nearly 700,000 acres of designated wilderness, and a truly dark nighttime canopy of countless stars. There is rarely naturally occuring water in the preserve, so prepare to carry all your own water or create an itinerary that stops by either park sources at Hole-in-the-Wall or Kelso Depot.

Camping outside of developed campgrounds takes extra skill in route-finding, handling unimproved roads, planning ahead, and attention to the Leave No Trace principles to protect the wildness of Mojave National Preserve backcountry. The follwing rules and guidelines apply:
  • Firewood collecting is not allowed, save the rare downed wood for the plants and wildlife that need healthy soil. Bring firewood with you from outside the preserve (if fire conditions permit)
  • Use only prexisting sites on durable surfaces, do not park on undisturbed soil or vegetation
  • Do not build new rings.
  • Do not make new sites. If you see crunched vegation, or have to drive over any, its not a legal site, find an alternative spot
  • Pack it in, pack it out, including your toilet paper - no body likes to see or pick up used toilet paper, especially your fellow campers 
  • Bury human waste at least 6 inches deep, or pack it out as well. 
  • Find a site that fits your group. Do not expand the size of the site to accomodate extra vehicles or tents.
  • Groups with 8 or more vehicles and or 25 or more people require a special use permit. Large unpermitted groups have caused extensive damage to vegetation and soil. 
  • Many dispersed camping areas require a high clearnance, four wheel drive vehicle to access safely. 
  • Some area, such as the Kelso Dunes past the day use area, have ample but washboard road access for two-wheel drive vehicles. 

Last updated: November 10, 2023

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2701 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311


(760) 252-6100
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