November 22, 2015
Coyote Dry Lake
Prior to heading into Joshua Tree National Park, we elected to boondock out of the park until after the weekend. This area on north Joshua is known by rv'ers as a favorite place to camp near the National Park. You can stay out here for free for up to 14 days. Although the hills add some beauty to this place, we rate it only as a “fair” location at best to hang out. We would prefer a more desolate hide out.
This section of BLM land is considered overflow camping for Joshua Tree National Park. You are allowed to be up to one half mile off a “dirt road” named Cascade, identified only by a row of telephone poles.
When we arrived, you could count the boondockers on one hand, tiny shiny dots on the bed of a huge dry lake. But when we awoke the next morning, there were dozens of tent campers and rv’ers spread out all around us…though still giving us almost a quarter mile of space. Come Saturday it was a day of off-road vehicles and clusters of parties until the wee hours of the morning. Entertaining yes and only a slight distraction from inconsiderate young adults doing their young adult thing. Still, there were no other rigs within shouting distance of us.
We did drive into the National Park over the weekend to view the offerings of the park, check out the campgrounds that could fit our rig and get a sense of what it will be like during Thanksgiving week. Every campground was packed, with every individual site and then some taken. Even the overflow parking for additional vehicles was full. The ranger staff informed us that Thanksgiving week was the busiest time of the year.
And for good reason. The park is stunning, with each diverse section bringing it’s own beauty. We stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center and walked the dog friendly Oasis of Mara interpretive loop. We toured Jumbo Rocks, Belle and Indian Cove campgrounds and were impressed with each one and it’s unique offerings.
So, our decision was made. We would return after the holiday and enjoy this beautiful park during a more quiet window.