Hole in the Wall Campground

Hole in the Wall campground is found deep in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, California. The Campground is a popular location for hikers, star gazers and explorers of the Old Mojave Road.

The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike in the Mojave National Preserve.
The Ring Trail is a short fun little hike near Hole in the Wall Campground

The campground is nestled up against a small hillside and offers access to the Ring Trail which is a short and very fun hike around a mesa of sharp sculpted volcanic rock. The Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center is located nearby and offers a book store, bathrooms and ranger programs. The campsites are suitable for RV’s, trailer and tent camping and does have 2 sites dedicated for walk in camping.

The campground is at a reasonable higher elevation, which offers mild weather in the spring and falls months. Winter will be cold and obviously the summer months will allow a visitor to experience the harsh, hot, arid Mojave.


From I-40: Exit Essex Road and drive north 10 miles to the junction with Black Canyon Road. Hole-in-the-Wall is 10 miles north on Black Canyon Road.

Campground Summary

Campground NameHole in the Wall Campground
Latitude, Longitude35.0484172,-115.3963526
Elevation4,400 ft
AmenitiesPit toilets, trash receptacles, fire rings, picnic tables; no utility hookups. Firewood is not available in the park.

Hole in the Wall Campground Map


Goblin Valley Utah

A Goblin formed from a soft limestone, water and time offer a unique hiking experience. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Goblin Valley is located in Utah is a state park and campground which is adjacent to eroded flood plain. Formed by water, time and a soft sandstone, erosion sculpted the limestone into unique rock formations which some have stated appears to be goblins.  The Goblin Valley itself is a day use hiking area which allows one to get lost in the maze of spires and rock formations.

Valley Queen, Goblin Valley, Utah Photography by James L Rathbun
Valley Queen, Goblin Valley Utah. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Each rock spire ranges in height from 3 feet to about 20 feet tall.  The fragile structures litter the landscape and sadly on occasion have been felled by people who do not have respect for nature.  There are three established self, however the Valley of the Goblins is a open trail flat mud plane after a easy and short trail down from the parking area.

Goblin Valley State Park does offer an established campground of 22 campsites just over a hill from the Valley of the Goblins.  The campground features, paved sites, bathrooms, showers, water and dump stations. The campground is very popular destination due to location next to Goblin Valley and is also a wonderful centralized base camp location for exploring the San Rafael Swell.

A solitary Pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) found near Golbin Valley, Utah
A solitary Pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) found near Golbin Valley, Utah

We stated in Goblin Valley in the off season several years ago. We were greeted with lots of camp sites available, privacy and a minor wind and rain storm. Despite the less then desirable conditions, we enjoyed our stay and will try to make it back again in the future.

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Callville Bay Campground

Callville Bay Campground
Lake Mead NRA

Named for the now submerged two of Callville, Callville Bay Campground offers a unique and amazing place to strike your camp. The campground is situated from Las Vegas along the northern edge of the Boulder Basin of Lake Mead. It’s open year-round and features paved sites that can accommodate tents or RVs, along with tables, fire pits and/or grills. Restrooms and water spigots are located throughout the campsite.

The desert climate affords temperatures well over 100F (37C) degrees June-August. In May and September, daytime highs are around 90F (32C). October-April, temperatures are much cooler. The winter months can see the lows can dip to freezing temps. The desert area averages just four inches of rain each year. There is lush vegetation that provides shade. A few of the campsites provide views of the lake. 

Although Lake Mead water levels are low at the moment, the campground offers close proximity to boat ramps and boat and house boat rentals to allow further exploration of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Campground Summary

NameCallville Bay Campground
LocationLake Mead, Clark County, Nevada
Elevation1,249 feet
Number of Sites80 Total, 52 R V sites
AmmenitiesBBQ Grills, Boat Launch/Ramp, Boat Rental, Campground Host, Tables, Drinking Water, Dump Station, Electrical Hookup, Fire Pit, Firewood Available, Grills, Ice, Marina, Pay Phone,Pets OK, Picnic Tables, Restrooms (Flush Toilets), RV Hookups, WiFi

Campground Map


Mid Hills Campground, Mojave National Preserve

Located in deep in the heart of the Mojave National Preserve there is an abundance of campsites to suit everyone.  The Mid Hills campground was an after thought on a recent trip in March, 2018, however the location and charm of this spot make it a new favorite destination.

Mid Hills Campsite in the Mojave National Preserve March 2018 after a rainstorm.
Mid Hills Campsite in the Mojave National Preserve March 2018 after a rainstorm.

In March 2018, I decided to take my son on our first father and son camping trip, just the boys.  We scoured maps and picked destinations and points of interest.  He was very excited to hike the Ring Trail and we opted over-night at Hole in the Wall campground.

I picked him up from school with the Jeep loaded and we drove down Nipton Road deep into the isolated areas of the Mojave.  We arrived at Hole in the Wall campground and with the sun starting to set discovered that the campground was full of motor homes and jeepers.  No place to camp.  We opted for ‘Plan B’ and headed north.

We arrived at the campground with just a few minutes to setup before the sun went down.  I was pleased that the campground was mostly empty, and the large campsites were physically spacious and located some distance away from each other.

Our tent located in a large campsite in the Mid Hills Campground in the Mojave National Preserve.
Our tent located in a large campsite in the Mid Hills Campground in the Mojave National Preserve.

That night we focused on dinner and building a campfire, which was a bit difficult with a bunch of wet tinder and fuel.  Fortunately, the Eagle Scout prevailed any my son and I roasted some march mallows and made some smores.  That evening as the cold wet air enveloped us we explored the cosmos with a telescope before falling asleep under a magnificent display.  The morning was a bit damp and silent.  Only now could I appreciate the beauty and drama located in this campground.

The campground sites within a stand of pinyon pine and juniper trees.  Sadly, on June 1st, 2005, lightning strikes started the Hackberry Fire with burned through the campground and 70,736 surrounding acres.  Twelve years later, there are still scars within the campground.  Long dead and burnt juniper trees juxtapose with new growth provides evidence of the enduring properties of nature.

The campground offers pit toilets, fire rings, tables and ample room.  The 5000 ft elevation offers cold nights in the winter months, however would offer some relief from the summers heat.  There are no ultilities, hook-ups or potable water.  There are 26 campsites, which will cost you are $12 a night and are available on a first come first serve basis.

Mid Hills Campground Map

Camp Phallus – New York Mountains

Located in Caruther’s Canyons of the New York Mountains, Camp Phallus is named for a “unique” rock formation visible from the campsite. The campsite offers a central base camp location to the Old Mojave Road and the higher elevations may offer a nice break from the heat in the warmer months. We drove down to Goffs on our trip.

Our campsite from a distance in Caruthers Canyon
Our campsite from a distance in Caruthers Canyon

 This is a primitive site, no posted sights, just a series of short trails to isolated sites, each of which can support several vehicles. All of the sites that I have seen appear to be quite large and capable of several vehicles. One of the campsites offers table top bench under a large tree which was an Eagle Scout project. Good work!

There are no restrooms at Camp Phallus in Caruthers Canyon
There are no restrooms at Camp Phallus in Caruthers Canyon

Camp Phallus beautiful place to camp and it offers cooler temperatures during to summer months due to its 5500 ft of elevation. There was deer in the area, and when we went in March, it was quite cold at this higher elevation. A nice campfire took the chill off.

My son and I waking up in the morning
My son and I waking up in the morning

This was my sons first camping trip and he did great. He loves to go camping despite the fact he threw a high temperature at night and we needed to head home early. The camp ground was clean, remote and vacant and we vowed to return again.