Outside of Barstow is a beautiful area of painted hills in the Mojave Desert. You have to drive a bit on a dirt road that has some washboard bumps (2-3 miles), and you will have to bring in all your own water, but you will find a large campground with play structures for children and large open sites with differing views of the desert beauty. There are pit toilets, but there isn't a dump station. The picnic tables are covered for shade, because it's dry and sunny here and there is no other respite.
We had hoped to stay two nights, but our weather app (yes, there was enough of a signal to look at weather forecasts) said their was a pending wind warning. Since we didn't want to get caught in a sandy, windy mess, we left early.
We want to come back and try out some of the hikes and definitely the scenic drive of Rainbow Basin.
$6 per night/ $3 for holders of the Golden Age Pass
There were seven full hookup slots on an asphalt parking lot that were all taken and also several dry camping spots open for the taking. We took one of those.
The camp host, Ron, was very nice, and he was happy to share his knowledge of and passion for the adjacent air museum he volunteers for.
With our camping fee we received a free pass to the museum, that was really quite extraordinary. There were dozens of planes (bombers, fighters, transporters) from pre-WWII to Desert Storm. Across the road at the airport there was a decommissioned Air Force One for touring.
This stop was just an overnight for us to get ourselves somewhere else. The amenities were few, but the time spent was surprisingly pleasant and educational. It was a stop we were glad we made
We opted for one of the RV spots with electricity. Once we were able to orient ourselves, we realized the prettiest and most private spots were the ones without electricity.
There is water available that actually tastes good, and we were able to refill our tank on our way out. The dump station included a hose so we were able to do a little flush, as well as empty our tanks.
There were bathrooms and showers available, as well as a little store. During the summer season there is even a solar-heated pool.
We saw more wildlife than we have ever seen, and the Monument hikes were terrific! We will come back here!
We loved this place. We prefer to be farther off the interstate, but with the mature trees and hedges and the beautiful grassy riverfront, the traffic was mere white noise.
For a little more money we opted for a riverfront site. It was large and we could only see our neighbor to the north. A feature new to us was campsites that were pull-throughs from alternating sides so as to position your large window (front or back) for a river view.
Along the river bank, we saw many birds, including egrets. It was a peaceful, pleasurable stay that we hope to repeat.
I can't believe it, but most of the three days we stayed here, it either rained or threatened to. Nevertheless, this place is spectacular. Like the other review mentioned, finding a level spot for a big rig isn't easy. We are only 19' plus tow vehicle. We did just fine.
This place is completely dry. Fill up pn water at one of the visitor centers and settle in. There are lots of hikes and ranger-led activities to fill your time.