Primitive camping is allowed in previously used or disturbed sites outside of the "day-use-only" areas. In most cases these sites include a rock or metal fire ring; not all sites contain a fire ring. All fires must be in a fire ring or fire pan; new fire rings cannot be constructed. Camping tramples vegetation and disturbs soils. By reusing existing sites, you help protect the desert from further damage.
Careful planning and knowledge of camping guidelines and regulations will help ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for you, future visitors, and the fragile desert environment.
Selected Primitive Camping Sites
Click here to view a map showing many of the sites in Mojave National Preserve. Read further descriptions below for more detailed information of primitive campsite locations. Remember your vehicle's limitations and do not drive on roads you are not well-prepared for. Tows are very expensive, and cell phone service is sporadic and unreliable.
Near Kelbaker Road
Rainy Day Mine Area: 15.2 miles southeast of Baker on Kelbaker Road, then 0.3 miles northeast on the unsigned and very sandy road to the Rainy Day Mine. Four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs. There are several campsites along this road. Try (35.185453, -115.844435) or (35.184616, -115.842014).
Aiken Mine Road: 20 miles east of Baker, left turn on a signed rocky dirt road. Several campsites are located along this road, before the Lava Tube. Look on either side of historic cattle corrals along the northwest side of the road. High clearance recommended. Try (35.174747, -115.776423) or (35.212451, -115.754157).
Kelso Dunes: 4 miles west of Kelbaker Road on the unpaved Kelso Dunes Road. One campsite is located south of the road, 1/4 mile past the marked trailhead. Several others are available 3/4 mile beyond. Except at these sites, camping is prohibited along Kelso Dunes Road. Camping is also prohibited at the trailhead. Try (34.890180, -115.704906) or (34.888239, -115.716633).
Granite Pass: 6.1 miles north of I-40 on Kelbaker Road, just north of Granite Pass, then west on one of several access roads. Campsites are located just north of the granite spires. High clearance vehicle recommended; no RVs. Try (34.814501, -115.614250) or (34.812656, -115.620957).
Near Cima Road
Sunrise Rock: 12 miles south of I-15 on the east side of Cima Road. Trailhead for Teutonia Peak Trail is nearby on the opposite side of Cima Road. Try (35.316808, -115.544942), which is OK for most 2WD vehicles, or (35.317035, -115.547231), which is High Clearance/4WD recommended.
Near Morning Star Mine Road
Billy Boy Mine area: Four miles north of Cima on Morning Star Mine road. When the road curves to the east, the primitive campsite is to the north, very close to the road. This is a good choice for RVs. (35.293849, -115.494188)
Near Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road: About 4 miles south of Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center on the east side of Black Canyon Road, above the wash and near a hill with excellent views of the Providence Mountains. (34.982297, -115.388995)
Another site is located about 4 miles futher south, also on the east side of Black Canyon Road, near rock piles. (34.935308, -115.412278)
Near Ivanpah and Cedar Canyon Roads
New York Mountains: 5.5 miles west of Ivanpah Road on New York Mountains Road. There are dozens of campsites along this road and along the intersecting Caruthers Canyon Road. High clearance and four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs. Try (35.216125, -115.313074) or (35.212588, -115.313540).
Keystone Canyon: Approx. 15 miles south of Ivanpah Road and Morning Star Mine Road junction. High clearance and four-wheel drive recommended; no RVs. Try (35.278757, -115.251838) or (35.272988, -115.270310).