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“Decent Campground, but Rangers Not Friendly or Helpful”

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Black Rock Campground
Reviewed 14 May 2011

We booked our campsite on reserveamerica.com about 2 months in advance for April 15-17 weekend at $15 per night. We thought this campground would have better amenities for the friends that were with us as they don't camp much. We originally wanted to stay at Indian Cove Campground. I tried to pick a site that would be around the least amount of people and we chose site #83. You can go to campsitephotos.com to see photos of almost all the sites and that's what helped me pick this site.

We arrived to check in on a Friday evening and went to the Ranger's Station. The guy there checked off our name and gave us a map to our site, but wasn't the most friendly. The campground was full for the weekend. The next day my husband went into the Ranger's Station to ask for help on hiking. It was a windy day and he asked for recommendations on hikes. The Ranger acted like he was wasting his time and really didn't want to be helpful. We planned on checking out Rattlesnake Canyon and on the way stopped off at the ranger station at Indian Cove Campground to get recommendations and the Ranger there was much more friendly and helpful in giving us tips for our hiking.

Our camp site was pretty nice and had a great view. There are 100 sites here, so when it's full, it's not going to be quiet. We wore earplugs to help us sleep. A full campground also meant the bathrooms got pretty dirty. It's funny that girls were trying to wash their hair in those little sinks. The one thing that was nice were the recycling bins located at the ranger's station. They have separate bins for plastic, cans, glass and propane containers.

We hiked Rattlesnake Canyon and 49 Palms Oasis on Saturday. On Sunday, we hiked Barker Dam Trail and Ryan's Mountain. We also tried to drive all the way through Joshua Tree from the west entrance to Cottonwood, but an accident made us turn around half way through.

If we were to visit Joshua Tree again, we would try to get a camping spot somewhere else, but wouldn't be opposed to staying here again. It would be nice if the Rangers were a little more friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank FreqTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 - 66 of 76 reviews

Reviewed 4 May 2011

Camped there for a night with one of my sons. We got in two photography hikes. Very nice campground, peaceful and filled with views. The weather was absolutely perfect. You definitely want to stay here in the Spring

Stayed: April 2011
Thank Hiking4photos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2011

Black Rock Canyon is really nice.

It has water (flush toilets!); it has a tents-only area (no RV generator noise--fantastic!); it has short and long hiking trails directly accessible from the campground; it has lots of birds and mammals (we saw Gamble quail, cactus wrens, jackrabbits, fluff-tail rabbits (their scientific name), a coyote, and a kangaroo rat); it has a small nature center; it is close to Yucca Valley and restaurants.
And it has relatively few rock climbers--which, although my husband is a rock climber, is rather nice when you are on a family trip.
All in all, a great choice. We'll be back.

Room Tip: Campsites 78-83 were all very nice. 77 wasn't.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank JB-in-SB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2011

I am not really a desert type of person (forests are more my thing), but I fell in love with all the rock formations the first time I stayed at Indian Cove in the main part of Joshua Tree. We usually go with a large group that reserves groups sites at Indian Cove, but we had recently gotten a trailer and needed to book an individual site, but by then there were no sites available at Indian Cove, so we booked at Black Rock (about a 1/2 hour drive away). I checked out Black Rock Campground beforehand and and knew it lacked the towering rock formations common to other areas of Joshua Tree Nat'l Part. I anticipated flat, bland landscape at Black Rock, but figured it didn't really matter since we were basically only going to sleep there while spending the days with the rest of the group at Indian Cove. However, as we pulled into the campground, I was really very pleasantly surprised. It is definitely desert landscape, but was actually very pretty. I expected rather flat terrain which was not the case at all. It is actually situated on a slightly rolling hillside with lots of Joshua Trees and other vegetation, but the spot at our site where we parked our trailer was flat. The flush toilet bathroom was fine and the personnel at the visitor's station were friendly and helpful. I definitely wouldnt mind returning to Black Rock Campgroud as a primary destination.

Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Gengil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2010

Midweek this camp is lovely and peaceful but does get busy at weekends. There are Joshua Trees all round the site and wonderful valley views. Having been to quite a few national parks this camp was not kept as clean as some and I didn't see anyone clean the toilet block in the 5 days we were there. (the sink area was definately not wiped down) Also the tent pitches were uneven and sloped, you will need proper steel pegs here, we even bent one in half trying to hammer it in to the hard ground. There seemed to be a problem with drinking water too as the two spigots closest to us were out of action. I didn't see anywhere to wash dishes or pour dish water, though a sign said not to do this in the toilet block. We enjoyed our stay here very much, we're not fussy about this sort of thing, but we were surprised that things seem to be being neglected a little. Perhaps due to cuts in funding?

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LondonKazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Black Rock Campground

Address: 9800 Black Rock Canyon Road, Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277-3597
Region: United States > California > Joshua Tree National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Joshua Tree National Park
Number of rooms: 100

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