Red Rock Canyon State Park
37749 Abbot Dr
Cantil, California 93519
Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs,buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where thesouthernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converges with the El Paso Range. Eachtributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors.
Historically, the area was once home to the KawaiisuIndians, who left petroglyphs in the El Paso Mountains and other evidence oftheir inhabitation. The spectacular gash situated at the western edge of the ElPaso mountain range was on the Native American trade route for thousands ofyears. During the early 1870s, the colorful rock formations in the park servedas landmarks for 20-mile team freight wagons that stopped for water. About1850, it was used by the footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trekincluding members of the Arcane and Bennett families along with some of theIllinois Jayhawkers. The park now protects significant paleontology sites andthe remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and has been the site for a numberof movies.
After wet winters, the park's floral displays are stunning.This winter was very dry so the wildflowers should be sparse this year, but thebeauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features make this park acamper's favorite destination. Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners,hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels.
Camping in developed sites only in Ricardo Campground. Thecampground is tucked up against the base of dramatic desert cliffs, with 50primitive campsites, potable water, pit toilets, fire rings, and tables. Bringyour own firewood, or purchase it at the visitor center. There are no RVhook-ups or showers. A maximum of 8 people is allowed per site (there are nogroup sites).
Camping is first-come, first served; there is no reservationsystem. The campground can fill up on weekends in the spring and fall,especially if the weather is nice or on holiday weekends, so arriving on aThursday evening or Friday morning is recommended.
Camping is $25 per night per site, which includes parkingfor one vehicle per site, or $23 per night with seniors (62 years old orolder). Additional vehicles are $6 each. There is a 30 foot maximum on RVs.Self-registration/payment is required before setting up camp or parking.Vehicles (including OHV) must be parked within the rock lined areas provided ateach campsite. No horses or livestock allowed in the campground. Quiet hoursare 10 pm to 6 am; generators must be off from 8 pm to 10 am.
The day-use parking area, open sunrise to sunset, is $6 pervehicle per day. Overnight parking in the day-use lot is not permitted.
Miles of trails meander through the dramatic landscape ofthe park, and hiking is an intimate way to experience the desert. Use desertsafety precautions- bring twice as much water as you think you need, andlayered clothing for sudden fluctuations in temperature.
Guided nature hikes and campfire programs are offered duringthe spring and fall. For current event schedules, visit the Red Rock CanyonInterpretive Association website.
The park is 25 miles northeast of Mojave on Highway 14, nearCantil. Go west 1/4 mile on Abbott Drive. Signage indicating the turnoff isclearly visible on Highway 14.
The park is 120 miles north of Los Angeles, via Interstate 5and Highway 14.
Phone: (661) 946-6092
California Department of Parks and Recreation: Red Rock Canyon State Park
Facebook Page: Red Rock Canyon State Park