STARS: 4 out of 5
SOUTH JOSHUA TREE BLM BOONDOCKING NEAR CHIRIACO SUMMIT AND SOUTH ENTRANCE TO JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK: GPS 33.674534, -115.802651
This is an easy and convenient boondocking spot for an overnight or a longer stay. It's right off the 10, so it's great if you just need a break in your travels. But it's pretty enough and close enough to the national park that it's great as a long stay as well. You can technically stay up to 14 days, although some of our neighbors said they had been here for several weeks.
We hadn't had the chance to scope it out like we often do before we boondock. When we went in the first road (I will explain what I mean in a minute), someone was coming out that had just gone in, so we figured it must be packed down farther, so we grabbed the first spot we could fit in. There were other people near us, but we wanted a sure thing.
Turns out there are LOTS of spots, if you know where to go.
So here's the scoop: As you turn onto Cottonwood Springs Rd from the 10, you will see spurs off the side of the road. Just past the high tension power wires you will see a well-traveled dirt road that runs parallel to the wires (a left hand turn). This is the road we camped off of and is where most people seem to go. Just past that dirt road, is another well-traveled dirt road on the left that is just before a berm. That road has many, many sites that could accommodate any size rig.
The first road on the left has a break in the road where there is a big wash out (see photo). But after that wash out the road continues. To get there, though, you need to be on the second dirt road and cross over by going through one of the campsites.
It is important to note that many of the camping areas have connections between these two roads. No matter what size rig you have you can find a place that will fit you. Many places.
Do beware, however, that in places the sand gets very deep very suddenly. Get out of your rig and check the ground before you drive into an area.