The preserve has three established campgrounds, all open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. None have showers, laundry facilities, or RV hookups, though the Hole-in-the-Wall Campground has a dump station.
The Mid Hills Campground was damaged in the 2005 wildfire but restored for use; about half of its 26 sites were back in commission at press time. It is 36 miles northwest of Essex, off Black Canyon Road. The mile-high camp is the coolest in the East Mojave. Pit toilets, fire grates, and drinking water are provided, but there are no public telephones. Cost is $12 per night.
Nearby Hole-in-the-Wall Campground perches above two dramatic canyons, 26 miles northwest of Essex, on Black Canyon Road near the Mid Hills Campground. There are 37 sites, 35 of which accommodate RVs; the fee is $12. You'll find pit toilets, drinking water, public phones, fire grates, and a dump station.
A highlight of the East Mojave is camping in the open desert all by your lonesome; backcountry camping requires no registration. Backcountry campers need to pack out all trash and take care to set up in only previously affected campsites 200 yards from any water source. It's advisable to contact an information center before establishing camp. And please respect private lands.
In addition to the campgrounds in the preserve, 30 acres of camping space are available in a privately owned campground in solar-powered Nipton, in the open desert beyond the town's historic B&B inn (double rates are about $80, continental breakfast included). Other facilities include hot tubs, showers, drinking water, a Wi-Fi network (free), a restaurant, five "ecocabins" ($65-$85 per night, breakfast included), and four RV hookups ($35 per night). For information, call tel. 760/856-2335 or visit www.nipton.com.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.