Joshua Tree National Park

If you like to camp there are several campgrounds with varying degrees of camping comfort. Ryan, Hidden Valley, White Tank, Belle and Indian Cove are primitive campgrounds, with primitive pit restrooms scattered around the campsites. We found the many of the campsites in these campgrounds to be quite sandy and rocky  and difficult to negotiate even in my electric wilderness wheelchair. Users of  a manual wheelchair including the average 3-4 wheel scooter would find it nearly impossible to negotiate, even from tow vehicle to RV. With that said we did find several campsites within these campgrounds that could work in a pinch, and you maybe forced to during a busy park weekend.  Personally, we like Jumbo Rocks campground for several reasons including its location. My favorite reason is that Jumbo Rock is the only campground with a paved road, paved parking and paved turnout areas for RV and travel trailer parking.  Every campsite has a fire ring, a picnic table and many have a near flat grade to them. Some of the picnic tables and fire rings are located away from the paved area and very sandy. For many of the campsites the picnic tables and fire rings are near the paved area so you don’t need to negotiate the deep sandy areas. We did find several campsites where the ground was hard packed soil providing easy mobility around the campsite.  None of the campgrounds have running water, electricity, or sanitation. All the restrooms around the campground are primitive, and you will find them wheelchair accessible. If you travel in your RV without a full tank of water your only opportunity for water fill-up is at the West Ranger Station Entrance, otherwise find your best in-town source.  You do have an option to stay in the Black Rock Campground which is at the furthest west end of the park in the town of  Yucca Valley. This is not our first campground choice since to travel into the park you have to drive 20 minutes just to get to the West Ranger Station Entrance and then another 15 minutes into the main areas of the park. Make sure you have your Access Pass with you to take advantage of the reduced overnight camping fees. With your AccessPass your overnight camping fees are only $5 per night. If you do not have an Access Pass you can download the form from usgs.gov and mail it with $10 to the required address. You can also apply at a federal recreation site without having to pay the $10 processing fee. If you don’t have your Access Pass then you will have to pay the full overnight camp fee of $15, as of this writing 11-29,2012.

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