Hot! J Tree Digs – Camping, Cabins and Castles



Climbing trips are usually done on the fly and on the cheap. With Joshua Tree a quick drive from Phoenix, it’s easy to throw gear into the car and camp at the park for a weekend. There are nine campgrounds in the park with six first-come-first-serve sites ranging from $10 – 15 / site / day. All are near trails and climbing areas and this proximity means you’ll get to make the most of everything in Joshua Tree.

If you’re traveling with a group of people and have some time to plan, there are some other options. There are three group campgrounds in Joshua Tree that you can reserve for $25-40. But recently, my group of climbing buddies and I have discovered the luxury of rental cabins just outside the park. The prices range depending on the size and amenities, but most will break out to $50 per person for the entire weekend.

As we get older, the luxury of coming back to a warm house and hot shower, cooking a gourmet dinner and playing cards or soaking in a hot tub is a fair trade against instant access to the rocks the next morning. And well worth a few dollars more per night.

There are many rental choices just near the West Entrance to the park, but in the towns of Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley there are some unusual and fun options as well. There are two geo-dome cabins in Joshua Tree – one with a swimming pool in the main room!

And in Yucca Valley, you can stay in the California Castle looking out over the valley and even into Palm Springs. The castle can sleep as many as 60 people, has a movie theater, costumes, pool, and three kitchens. It maybe over-the-top, but also a one-of-a-kind way to spend a weekend.

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