Bureau of Land Management, California

Learn about camping and boondocking on BLM land in California

Snaggletooth Primitive RV Camp

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… ... Read more

Joshua Tree BLM South, Chiriaco, CA

Joshua Tree BLM South, Chiriaco, California Chiriaco Summit is the name of a gasoline station stop along I-10, about 5 miles east of Cottonwood Springs Rd, right where it crosses Interstate 10. It happens to be the closest place name associated with Joshua Tree BLM South. This area of BLM land had long been used by Joshua Tree National Park as an overflow camping site. The campgrounds inside Joshua Tree NP get booked up very quickly, and as a result, many campers hoping for a starry-night weekend amidst boulders and joshua trees, get sent to this place. But it turns out, it’s ... Read more

Joshua Tree BLM North

Joshua Tree North BLM How Crowded: There’s usually a lot of campers here during the winter season, but because this area is so vast and flat, there’s plenty of room here. How Noisy or Peaceful: A lot of the noise comes from people riding off-road vehicles, but otherwise it’s fairly peaceful here. Cellular Phone Signal: Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, all come in strong here. Road Conditions: Paved road getting here, but on the land itself, it’s mostly hard, dry dirt. During heavy rains, this area gets muddy, and turns into a lake. Amenities Within Campground: No amenities. Cost of Camping: Completely free.

Hot Springs LTVA, Holtville, CA

Hot Springs LTVA, Holtville, California While technically not free camping, Hot Springs LTVA offers “dirt cheap” boondocking in the California desert for the entire snow bird season. We’re talking $180.00 for 7 months (that’s roughly $0.85 per day). That’s good from September 15 through April 15. The rest of the year, it actually is free. However, it has the normal 14-day maximum stay. But, at this time of the year, the weather gets really hot, like up into the 100s. And you don’t have to spend all that time at this location. That price is good for all of the Long Term ... Read more

Hayfield Rocks BLM

Hayfield Rocks, BLM Camping Note: Hayfield Road is hard packed gravel, though the access road into the campsite can get soft at times. We recommend 4WD vehicles only. How Crowded: Usually no one here during the week, but it does become occupied on the weekends with off-road enthusiasts. How Noisy or Peaceful: Mostly peaceful and serene during the week, but road noise from off-road enthusiasts is common on weekends. Cellular Phone Signal: AT&T comes in well, with Verizon and T-Mobile coming in average. Road Conditions: Gravel road, but soft in some places. 4WD vehicles only. Amenities Within Campground: No amenities. Cost of Camping: Completely free.

Gold Park Road

Gold Park Road, BLM Camping Note: Gold Park Road has areas of soft sand, and it’s easy to get stuck here. Only bring 4WD vehicles here. Also note, this area is located in a wash, avoid camping here when rain is in the forecast. How Crowded: Usually no one here due to being a lesser-known camping area. How Noisy or Peaceful: Mostly peaceful and serene here, though sometimes off-road riders will come through here. Cellular Phone Signal: Verizon, T-Mobile, comes in fairly well. AT&T is weaker, though still usable. Road Conditions: Gravel road, but soft in many places. 4WD vehicles only. Amenities Within Campground: No ... Read more

Buttercup Sand Dunes, Winterhaven, CA

Buttercup Sand Dunes, Winterhaven, California What actually makes Buttercup Sand Dunes such a popular place for overnight boondocking is that it’s so very close to Interstate 8. It’s literally just get off the freeway, and you’re right there. There’s no driving for several miles, and there’s no washboarded roads. It’s all paved and you can literally pull off the road, and you’re on firm, flat ground. Even better yet, is the fact you can see the area from the Interstate, and be able to determine if its too crowded or not. Buttercup is also home to the last-remaining section of wooden plank ... Read more

Where to Find BLM Land Near Anza Borrego Desert State Park

There is lots of BLM Land surrounding Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Much of it lies adjacent to the southern half of the Park. There is a mixture of BLM "public land" and BLM "wilderness". Both are open for camping, however vehicles...

Dispersed Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

Much of the dispersed camping near Joshua Tree National Park lies in a few sites on BLM land to the north and south of park boundaries, with plenty of space for several large RVs. There is also backcountry camping inside the park, but...