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Red Rock Canyon State Park

The park is 25 miles northeast of Mojave on Highway 14, near Cantil.  Go west 1/4 mile on Abbott Drive.  Signage indicating the turnoff is clearly visible on Highway 14.

The park is 120 miles north of Los Angeles, via Interstate 5 and Highway 14.

Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converge with the El Paso Range. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors.

Historically, the area was once home to the Kawaiisu Indians, who left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains and other evidence of their inhabitation.  The spectacular gash situated at the western edge of the El Paso mountain range was on the Native American trade route for thousands of years.

During the early 1870s, the colorful rock formations in the park served as landmarks for 20-mule team freight wagons that stopped for water. About 1850, it was used by the footsore survivors of the famous Death Valley trek including members of the Arcane and Bennett families along with some of the Illinois Jayhawkers.  The park now protects significant paleontology sites and the remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and has been the site for a number of movies.

After wet winters, the park's floral displays are stunning. This winter was very dry so the wildflowers are more sparse this year, but the beauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features, make this park a camper's favorite destination.  Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels.


No camping (RVs, tents, trailers, vehicles) is allowed anywhere within the park except Ricardo Campground.  The campground is tucked up against the base of dramatic desert cliffs, with 50 primitive campsites, potable water, pit toilets, fire rings, and tables.  You must bring your own wood or purchase it from a ranger, and there are no hook-ups or showers.  A maximum of 8 people is allowed per site (there are no group sites).

Camping is first-come, first served; there is no reservation system. The campground can fill up on weekends in the spring, especially if the weather is nice or on holiday weekends, so arriving on a Thursday evening or Friday morning is recommended.

Camping is $12 per night per site, which includes parking for one vehicle per site, or $10 per night with seniors (62 years old or older).  Additional vehicles are $5 each, which includes all OHV, 4x4, and tow vehicles. There is a 30 foot maximum on RVs, and a dump station is available for $5.  Self-registration/payment is required before setting up camp or parking.  Vehicles (including OHV) must be parked within the rock lined areas provided at each campsite.  No horses or livestock allowed in the campground!  Quiet hours are 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 $5 per vehicle per day.  Overnight parking in the day-use lot is not permitted.

Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation

All licensed vehicles (street legal and OHV with green stickers) may travel on the primitive (dirt) road system within the park.  All drivers of vehicles (street legal and OHVs) within the park must be licensed, with the exception of Cantil Wash and the frontage road south of Cantil Wash, which are open to unlicensed operators of OHV green sticker vehicles when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please watch for Closed Route signs and check maps for open routes (please do not create new routes).  Drinking and driving laws apply both on the paved and primitive dirt roads.

Park Features


  • En route Campsites
  • Exhibits and Programs
  • Family Campsites
  • Guided Tours
  • Hiking Trails
  • Nature Trails


  • Campers (Max. Length) 30'
  • Parking
  • Picnic Areas
  • Restrooms
  • RV Dump Station
  • Trailers (Max. Length) 30'
  • Visitor Center

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