Why a BLM over a regular camp ground

If you don’t feel like reading, this post is summarised by the 20 sec video at the end. A picture speaks a thousand words a 20 sec video says even more in this case!

I spent the last three nights staying in Joshua Tree park at the Indian Cove campground for $20/night. I was fortunate enough to be able to chose my campsite in person versus reserving the unseen online. I don’t know if all the National Parks are arranged like this but basically the plan is to pack you all in as close to your neighbour as possible. I don’t know about you but after paying $30 entrance fee to the park and then $20/night for a camping spot that sports the amenities of a fire ring and a picnic table – no electricity or showers and imaginary privacy well I have to wonder if this actually makes sense. I only had neighbours one night and they seemed like nice enough people but I couldn’t relax outside and enjoy the stars and silence because their party included music and loud talking till late into the night.

Indian Cove Campground Map – -the little numbers hard to read are the campsite numbers

It was a beautiful park don’t get me wrong, but I guess when I’m paying for a campsite I’d like a better sense of privacy so I can enjoy nature and the experience.

Family Photo at Indian Cove Campground this morning before we left

The main benefit to a campground over the BLM land is the ability to leave a table and chair out and have a decent sense that it will be there when you return. It is the ability to have a space to call your own for as long as you have the campground reserved. That’s the only real benefit though unless the campground offers showers and electricity too. The BLM style of camping is open space camping. The freedom to set up where you chose. Overall there is a general common consideration to net setup camp right next to someone else. So far I have had very good experiences in the BLM arena and tonight has been no different.

My idea of a vacation/camping on these trips i have been doing is to get away from people and plans and commitments of the working type. My commitment is to my dogs so being somewhere where a leash isn’t required for Zulu and where I can enjoy the sunset and the stars in silence if I chose is my preference.

Using the app iOverlander I found my interest peaked by the site referred to as Giant Rock. My initial plan was to stop by and check it out and continue on my day. It wasn’t only about 20 miles off my path but once I started down the dirt roads I quickly decided that to venture this far meant I would probably stay.

Giant Rock is actually very cool and so are the surrounding rocks as you venture just past ‘Giant Rock’. I had thought I might go ahead and camp in the vicinity but there were just too many people coming and going in the area and the possibility of night time rowdiness by locals was a risk to consider. I started winding my way down dirt roads headed to an unknown hoping to find the perfect parking spot. I passed one RV – a giant one that had already made himself comfortable for the night and just hoped I wasn’t getting in over my head by continuing to drive the unknown. Here is a link on the map to my camping location for the night.

The sunset this evening was spectacular!!

I do need to get better at judging what direction to park my RV. I thought I had it set up ideally based on the morning sun but this evening has seen an onslought of wind. Lots of wind gusts and broadsiding me pretty good. When I set up the winds were coming from the South but they have changed and are coming from the Northwest. It kind of feels like I’m back on my boat!!!

1 Response

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Bonnie, Came upon your site while planning my first Joshua tree trip. I have one night booked at Indian cove and was worried about the possible lack of quiet…I’m keeping my fingers crossed. BUT when the surrounding camp groups wanna be loud and rowdy…my group (my wife and two teenagers) will pull out our drums and we do a drum circle around the fire. It drowns out their rowdy noise and its so much fun to hear them stop and try to figure out where the drumming is coming from….lol! Anyway, I could not agree more on your post. I love just escaping daily life, getting away from everyone, and finding that silenced peace within mother nature. I do a boondocking style camp out in the Coconino forest (near Sedona, Arizona) twice a year. Its my beautiful Zen time! Anyway I love your site and feel free to contact me if you want any Sedona tips. I’m a California girl born and raise but a piece of my heart lives in that red desert! I don’t have a website but my Instagram is Inthegoddessgarden

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