Free Camping near Needles, CA
Snaggletooth is thus named because of the jagged, tooth-like rocks and boulders lining the ridges of the reddish-hued hills that mark this campsite. It’s actually part of the larger “Heart of the Mojave” desert region, and is managed by the Needles Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management. It’s an area set aside specifically for use by RV campers. You will find about a dozen flat areas that had been cleared of brush, but otherwise no amenities, no hookups, no nothing. But get ready for some amazing sunsets!
Snaggletooth Primitive RV Camp, Needles, CA
What makes Snaggletooth a great place to boondock is that it remains largely unnoticed by most RVers, particularly during the Winter season. When places like Quartzsite, Lake Havasu, Yuma, Joshua Tree South are completely filled with snowbirds, Snaggletooth remains largely unnoticed. You can set up camp here, and pretty much get away with staying well beyond the typical 14-day limit. The entire time, you may only see a handful of RVers just camping overnight. Otherwise, it’s peaceful to place to boondock amidst the solitude of the California desert region.
And yet, Snaggletooth still offers everything a boondocker would want… good Verizon 4G signal, close proximity to town, relative safety, and decent hiking trails nearby.
Snaggletooth Primitive RV Camp is part of the Chemehuevi Valley Special Recreation Management Area, a series of recreation areas established by the Needles Field Office for the enjoyment of the Mojave Desert’s unique offerings.
On the other side of US-95 lies the Chemehuevi Mountains Wilderness Area, another BLM managed property filled with hiking. There’s no RV camping allowed in the Wilderness Area, though you can tent camp. Otherwise, Snaggletooth Primitive RV camp offers primary RV camping for Chemehuevi hikers.
The town of Needles is only 20 miles to the north and offers all the amenities a boondocker would want. There are a few RV parks there where you can dump and refill your tanks. In addition, the town of Havasu Lake (on the California side) is about 19 miles away and offers a full service grocery store.
Temperatures get really hot here during the Summer, routinely into the 100s. This area is largely used during the Winter.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Super-easy access, right off the highway, plenty of room during the week and weekends, excellent Verizon 4G signal, completely free, no flying insects, rats or mice, quite clean despite how popular it is.
Cons: noise from the highway is noticeable, some trash can be seen lying around, access road can get bumpy and rutted
None. The town of Needles is 20 miles to the north and offers groceries, hardware, fuel, and RV parks for dumping and refilling.
Cellphone Signal Strength
Verizon 4G comes in excellent here. We got 4/5 bars.
RV Dump Station
There is no dump station here, nor any potable water. The closest dump station is at a few RV parks in Needles.
Insects, Pests, & Wildlife
Almost no pests here. We found no flying insects, saw no rats or mice scurrying about, no coyotes wandering, no raccoons.
Remains pretty quiet here aside from cars and trucks traveling on US-95.
Safe or Sketchy?
It seems to be pretty safe camping here. Not many other people camp here, so it remains pretty safe. You can leave your trailer or coach here unattended while going into town.
There’s no reservations, there’s not even first-come, first-serve. It’s all dispersed camping, you’re on your own.
Any Permits Needed?
How Crowded Is It?
Hardly anyone here. You will see a van or RV come in to camp overnight, but otherwise this place is rarely used for long term campers. There’s more seclusion for camping further into the campground, and less so near US-95.
Bureau of Land Management
Needles Field Office
Needles Field Office:
Tel: (760) 326-7000
Chemehuevi Valley Special Recreation Management Area, published by Bureau of Land Management, California State Office, 2014