Located in the northwest corner of the park, the road to Black Rock Canyon dead-ends at Black Rock Campground. Campsites are located on a hillside at the mouth of the canyon surrounded by Joshua trees, junipers, cholla cacti, and a variety of desert shrubs. Spring blooms usually begin with the Joshua trees in late February followed by shrubs and annuals through May. Places Black Rock Canyon Cottonwood Spring Samuelson's Rocks This quiet, family campground is a good introduction for first-time campers. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring with rest rooms and water nearby. If you forget to bring your firewood, shopping facilities are only five miles away in the town of Yucca Valley. Campsites vary in size and can accommodate both tents and RVs. A day-use picnic area and dump station are also available.
For horse owners, a separate area is provided for overnight camping or staging a ride. Campers register and pay camping fees at the nature center located in the middle of the campground. The staff at this small visitor center can help plan your hikes and sightseeing. Maps, books, nature guides, and children's activity books may be purchased there. The hills behind the campground offer a variety of hiking trails including the Hi-View Nature Trail. The interpretive guide for this trail, available at the nature center, identifies the vegetation along this scenic 1.3-mile walk. For those looking for longer trails, Eureka Peak, Panorama Loop, and Warren Peak take hikers to ridge lines overlooking the often snowy peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. The trailhead for a 35-mile section of the California Riding and Hiking Trail is located at Black Rock. Backpackers can register at the backcountry board here for overnight wilderness trips. But you don't have to hike to enjoy the Black Rock Canyon area.
Wildlife sightings are frequent in the campground. Visitors often encounter ground squirrels, jackrabbits, and cottontails. Frequent bird sightings include cactus wrens, Gambel's quail, great horned owls, jays, and roadrunners. A serious birder might be rewarded with a glimpse of a Scott's oriole, pinyon jay, or LeConte's thrasher. More elusive species such as bobcat, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, desert tortoises, and mule deer have all been seen in the area. As the sun sets, listen for the "singing" of coyotes living on the outskirts of the campground. Please do not feed wild animals in Joshua Tree National Park. People food is unhealthy for them and they can become aggressive and harm you.