Black Rock Horse Campground is strictly for campers planning to bring horses or mules. It lies among one of the thickest Joshua tree forests in Joshua Tree National Park. Its location on the park's northern perimeter makes it a popular rest stop for horseback riders . Black Rock can be reserved during the busy winter season; it is open on a first-come, first-served basis from May 25 through September 3.
Travelers who enjoy warm, dry winters flock to Joshua Tree from October through May, when temperatures hover between 70 to 90 degrees during the day and drop anywhere between 40 to 60 degrees at night. Summer is the park's off-season due to uncomfortably high desert heat. Black Rock is at an elevation of 4,000 feet and has a mix of both sun and shade.
Equestrians will enjoy the variety of trails around Black Rock for day rides, including some with spectacular views of the low desert and high peaks around Palm Springs.
The facility is convenient for RV camping, complete with flush toilets and a dump station. There are no hookups. Black Rock is one of two campgrounds in the national park that provides drinking water. Showers, laundry and other amenities are available in the town of Yucca Valley five miles away.
The unique shape of Joshua trees and the huge rocks that surround them draw tourists and scientists alike to the national park. Within the Black Rock facility, the surrounding trees form silhouettes against the landscape during sunrise and sunset and display bunches of blooming white flowers in early spring.
Campers staying at Black Rock may have the chance to view the elusive desert tortoise, found only in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Visitors may also want to keep their eyes out for more typical desert inhabitants such as lizards, rattlesnakes, scorpions, coyotes, ravens and desert tarantulas during the cooler months of the year. Bobcats and mountain lions do live in the park, however they are rarely seen near humans. Birders may also be pleasantly surprised at the variety of species found around the campground.