Needles Field Office


Typical camp site in the Mojave Desert.  BLM Photo

Please review California Desert District Supplemental rules 

The beauty and isolation of The Mojave Desert is immense and can only be truly experienced by camping. Mojave Desert camp sites vary greatly in amenities. Some are rustic and remote, with bumpy two-track roads leading to sites consisting of nothing more than a partially-cleared patch of ground with a stone-circled fire pit. Others may be located, just off paved access roads with charcoal grills picnic tables and vault toilets.   Whichever you choose the key is to be prepared. Bring what you will need, as a trip to buy forgotten supplies can be long.

Please practice Tread Lightly and pack out everything you brought to the site, including trash and waste. If others have failed to follow these desert rules of etiquette feel free to clean up after them as well. This will help insure the desert experience will remain unspoiled for you and others that follow.

 Primitive Camps:

Primitive camps offer a destination and points of interest.  Though not a "Camp Ground" they have tables and fire rings, and vault toilets at others. 

 Horse Thief Camp Primitive Site

Lost Arch Inn Primitive Site

Bonanza Spring

 Printable Camping Brochure

Dispersed Recreation Camping:

Camping on public lands away from developed recreation facilities is referred to as "dispersed camping". Most  public lands in California are open to dispersed camping, as long as such use does not conflict with other authorized uses or occurs in areas posted "closed to camping," or in some way adversely affects wildlife species or natural resources.

Camping or engaging in any other recreational activity with in 200 yards of a wildlife watering source for a period of more than thirty (30) minutes is prohibited. Water is a very precious resource in the desert save it for wildlife!

Dispersed camping is allowed on public lands in California for a period not to exceed 14 days within any period of 28 consecutive days. The 28 day period begins when a camper initially occupies a specific location on public lands. The 14 day limit may be reached either through a number of separate visits or through 14 days of continuous overnight occupation during the 28 day period. After the 14th day of occupation, the camper must move outside of a 25 mile radius of the previous location until the 29th day since the initial occupation. The purpose of this special rule is to prevent damage to sensitive resources caused by continual use of any particular areas. In addition, campers must no leave any personal property unattended for more than 10 days.

To further protect your public lands, campers must not dispose of any refuse, hazardous materials, sewage, or gray water, in any manner pollute the surrounding area. PACK IT OUT.

Please enjoy camping on public lands, but please take care of those lands like they were your own --- because they are!

Safety on the Public Lands


Bureau of Land Management
Needles Field Office
1303 S Highway 95
Needles, CA 92363
Phone: (760) 326-7000
Fax: (760) 326-7099
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email