Mojave National Preserve in a Small Camping Trailer

joshua trees in mojave national preserve

If you’re not a winter weather pro, one option in the fall and winter is to head south. There are many great options for camping and overland adventures in the southern United States and northern Mexico. Today we’re going to share a few details about taking a trip to southeastern California to visit the Mojave National Preserve in a small camping trailer.

The Mojave National Preserve is a 1.6 million acre wilderness open for camping, hiking, 4-wheel driving and horseback-riding. While 700,000 acres of the preserve is totally undeveloped, there are three developed camping areas if that’s more your speed. Here are the details:

 

Hole-in-the-Wall Campground

If you’re interested in hiking, the Hole-in-the-Wall campground is surrounded by volcanic rock walls and makes a great camping spot for hikers. There are 35 campsites that can accommodate RVs and small camping trailers as well as cars and tents. If you’d like a little added adventure there are two walk-in camping sites available as well.

Two noteworthy hiking spots in the preserve are the New York Mountains area in the northeast and Granite Peak in the south.

granit peak mojave national preserve

Mid-Hills Campground

There are 26 campsites at the Mid-Hills campground surrounded by pine and juniper trees. At 1,200 feet higher than the Hole-in-The-Wall, Mid-Hills is cooler than the desert floor. Access to the campsites is about a 30 minute drive down an unpaved road. It’s not advisable for RVs or vehicles with low ground clearance. If your small camping trailer and the vehicle pulling it are ready for off-road, you should have less company at the Mid-Hills campground.

Black Canyon Group and Equestrian Campground

The Black Canyon campground is ideal for larger groups. The campsite is available to groups of 15-50 people (with reservations). Although it is designed to serve those with horses or llamas with them, demand can be lower in cooler months, so it might be a good location to host a bigger group if you are traveling with friends or family.

map of mojave national preserve

If you’re interested in off-road adventures in the Mojave National Preserve, you might want to explore the Mojave Road, an east-west stretch of minimally maintained road that is wild enough to require 4×4 for sandy and rough patches. The entire road is about 150 miles long (most of which falls inside the preserve). The National Park Service suggests you plan on 3 days to cross the entire stretch. There are areas for undeveloped camping along the road, but keep in mind that driving off the road into the desert or salt flats is prohibited.

As always, we suggest that you check in with the National Park Service page for the Mojave National Preserve for up-to-date information on road closures, camping conditions and other notices which might affect your trip. If you’re heading to the Mojave National Preserve this time of year (September) you can expect average daytime temperatures around 83° (F) / 28°(C) and nighttime temperatures around 56° (F) / 13°(C). You can see why (most years) the temperatures are great for a warm day and a cool night.

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