Colorful rocks and desert cliffs mark Red Rock Canyon State as a beautiful getaway for your next RV vacation. Located in the desert canyons of California, at the convergence of the Sierra Nevada and El Paso Range, Red Rock Canyon State Park has been enchanting visitors since the days of gold miners in the 1890s. This majestic state park covers 27,000 acres that are open for exploration for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders.
Just two hours from Los Angeles, Red Rock Canyon State Park features one of the darkest night skies in the state, making it a hotspot for astronomers and novice skygazers. You will be captivated by the scenery of the park, where the jagged rocks and towering cliffs splash with colors like white, pink, red, and brown. You can hike past tall cliff spires that tower above at 300 feet. You can see Turk’s Turban, which is a collection of mushroom-like colorful rocks. Or you could hike past Camel Rock, a natural rock formation that looks just like a camel. If you make your camper trip to the park during the winter you will be greeted with beautiful blooming wildflowers.
Once you make an RV journey to Red Rock Canyon State Park, you can discover ancient petroglyphs and pictographs in the El Paso Mountains. The beauty and majesty of this state park is so renowned it has been the filming located for many films including The Outlaw, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and Westworld. No matter what time of year you drive your rig to Red Rock Canyon State Park, you’ll enjoy warm temperatures. In the summer, sunny days reach in the 90s to over 100 degrees Farenheit, while the winter produces temperatures in the 50s and 60s. The peak seasons for the park are fall and spring.
RV Rentals in Red Rock Canyon State Park
Transportation in Red Rock Canyon State Park
Red Rock Canyon State Park is about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles and just over an hour from Bakersfield. You can access the park by driving off of Highway 14, as it is located in between Mojave and Bradys. Highway 14 is the main road that cuts through the center of the park. However, there are several local roads that provide access to scenic areas and the campground. You’ll want to use caution driving a large RV or trailer on some of the unpaved local roads.
You can park at the Visitors Center, day-use area, and near some trail heads. Another lot is located in the north of the park, off of Highway 14. Parking may be limited for large RVs and trailers at some lots. Your best bet is to park your RV at the campground if you are staying overnight.
Campgrounds and parking in Red Rock Canyon State Park
Campsites in Red Rock Canyon State Park
Campsites at Red Rock Canyon are not available for reservations.
The Ricardo Campground is a first-come, first-served campground within the park, offering 50 primitive campsites for RVs or tents. You can enjoy stunning views of towering cliffs and buttes, as this campground is located at the base of desert cliffs. You’ll enjoy access to restrooms, fire rings, picnic tables, and potable water. Firewood can be purchased at the Visitor Center. While there are no RV hookups available in this campground, RVs and trailers up to 30 feet long are permitted. Weekends in the spring and fall can fill up quickly, so it is recommended to get to the park early to claim a campsite. Pets are permitted at the campground, but they are not allowed on established trails, except for service animals.
If you prefer to set up camp outside of the park, you can stay at private campgrounds and RV Parks nearby. There are several options for private accommodations south of the park near Mojave, or north of the park near Ridgecrest. Private campgrounds may offer modern amenities like cable TV, wireless internet, or swimming pools.
Seasonal activities in Red Rock Canyon State Park
Hiking is one of the main attractions of Red Rock Canyon State Park, since you can trek past towering colorful cliffs and awe-inspiring rock formations. Park your RV and trek out to Hagen Canyon, which you can get to through a 2-mile flat hike past budding wildflowers and enchanting jagged rocks. You can hike among scenic cliffs near Nightmare Gulch or the skyscraper formations of Last Chance Canyon.
Mountain bikers will love the chance to ride the roads in a beautiful desert oasis during a motorhome trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park. Cycling is permitted on all established roads and multi-use trails within the park. You can coast by the towering colorful cliffs or the scenic views of Camel Rock.
If you enjoy horseback riding you will be amazed by the jaw-dropping views you can find during your RV vacation to Red Rock Canyon State Park. Horseback riding is allowed on all roads within the park. Whether you want to ride past the colorful Red Cliffs or see the interested rock formations at Turk’s Turban, you’ll love horseback riding through the natural beauty of the California desert.
Throughout the peak season, the rangers at Red Rock Canyon State Park lead guided tours and hikes through various areas of the park. You can explore all the scenic treasures of the park while learning about the area’s natural and cultural history from the experts. Check the park’s website or stop by the Visitor Center to learn more about scheduled events during your camper visit to Red Rock Canyon State Park.
You can park your RV at the Visitor Center and learn about the unique geology and natural history of Red Rock Canyon State Park. Walk through self-guided exhibits to learn about a myriad of topics from fossils to Native American culture of the area. You can also stop by the gift shop to pick up some souvenirs. The Visitors Center is open from the fall to the spring season.
Red Rock Canyon State Park is a photographer’s dream with towering colorful cliffs and unique rock formations that you won’t find anywhere else. You can take a selfie in front of Camel Rock or capture sunset shots of the Red Cliffs. Turk’s Turban and Hagen Canyon are also popular spots for photography. Pack your camera in your trailer so can capture picturesque views of stunning wildflowers under the backdrop of California's desert sun.
Geocaching is thrilling activity the whole family can enjoy during your RV trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park. Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt where you can use GPS coordinates found on websites and smartphone apps to find hidden caches, or treasures, located in the park. You might find trinkets, logs, or maybe even buried treasure.
The day-use picnic area, located near the Visitor Center, is the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet meal under the natural serenity of wonders all around you. Dine under the backdrop of towering cliffs and colorful rock formations during your RV trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park. Picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
With one of the darkest skies around, Red Rock Canyon State Park is a prime spot for novice and avid astronomers alike. Make sure you pack your telescope in your camper and gaze up at a sky littered with stars or catch a glimpse of the milky way. You might also be able to attend an event hosted by a local astronomy club to learn about the galactic wonders above.
Wildlife Viewing and Birding
Only the most hardy of birds and animals can thrive in the rocky, desert landscape of Red Rock Canyon State Park. During your RV trip to this state park you can spot all of the desert creatures that call this wondrous landscape home including lizards, mice, and squirrels. If you are birding enthusiast, you will get a thrill from seeing desert birds like hawks and roadrunners.