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Red Rock Canyon State Park Camping

How To Get Tored Rock State Park

Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA | Overnight Car Camping

Red Rock State Park is best accessed by way of Highway 89A. If youâre driving east on 89A, youâll take Red Rock Loop Road directly to the park. If youâre driving west on 89A, youâll take Upper Red Rock Loop Road directly to the park. If you find yourself coming up from the south on 179, youâll eventually link up with Highway 89 and head east.

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A Brief Introduction To Red Rock Canyon Sp

Red Rock Canyon State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of California which features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park consists of approximately 27,000 acres within the Mojave Sector of the Tehachapi District of the California State Park System, and is located along State Highway 14 in Kern County, about 80 miles east of Bakersfield and 25 miles north of Mojave, where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converges with the El Paso Mountains.Each tributary canyon is unique, with vivid colors due to alternate layers of white clay and red sandstone, further accented by pink volcanic rocks and brown lava formations. The canyon was formed 3 million years ago. After wet winters, the park’s floral displays are notable. Three overlapping desert ecosystems provide for the wildlife that includes eagles, falcons, roadrunners, hawks, coyotes, kit foxes, bobcats, lizards, mice and squirrels. Red Rock Canyon provides magnificent views of the pristine desert landscape, includes two natural preserves, and offers, among other recreational activities, camping, sightseeing, equestrian activities, hiking, and opportunities for solitude.

Tent Spots Are $20 Per Night


Canyon Campground

  • 25 Tent Camping Sites with picnic bench, charcoal grill, and fire ring. One is handicap accessible.

California Road Campground

  • 5 Tent Camping Sites with picnic bench, charcoal grill, fire ring, and electric hook-ups. One is handicap accessible.

  • 15 Tent Camping Sites without fire ring*

Walnut grove campground

  • 15 Tent Camping Sites without fire ring*

Camping sites are allowed one tent per site with a max occupancy of four per tent. Children 5 and under do not count towards the max occupancy. Extra tents may be set up for an additional of $12.00/night. Additional people are allowed at an additional charge of $2.00/night Camping sites are allowed up to two vehicles.

The park has modern comfort stations with PAY hot showers located in the Canyon and California Road campgrounds. There are change machines at each comfort station. There is a sanitary waste dump station located in Canyon Campground and at the park office. There are also two older comfort stations without showers open only during summer months.

* = Campsites accompanied by a fire ring enables campers to create a campfire inside the fire ring. All sites are designed for camping but some do not have fire rings. Campfires are prohibited in camping sites without fire rings.

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Red Rock Canyon State Park: The Complete Guide

TripSavvy / Betsy Malloy

At Red Rock Canyon State Park, striated shades of rock form layers on spires that look like a fancy melted birthday cake. Wind- and water-carved cliffs and buttes dwarf the campers at their base. And soaring stone pillars conjure up images of ancient civilizations. You might think you’re in Bryce Canyon in Utah or Colorado’s famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. However, this state park is situated in the middle of the Mojave Desert, where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada Mountains meets the El Paso Mountains. California’s Red Rock Canyon State Park is a place that few residents know about and even fewer have visited. It’s a small park that’s seldom crowded. Still, it contains one of the most eye-popping landscapes in Southern California.

TripSavvy / Betsy Malloy

Red Rock Canyon State Park Overview

Red Rock Canyon Campground, NV

Red Rock Canyon State Park Campground has 50 campsites tucked up against the base of dramatic desert cliffs in the high desert and southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada range. The campground is first-come, first-serve and offers a great base camp to explore the desert on foot, horseback or on your OTV. It does fill up quickly during the spring/fall weekends. There are no RV hook-ups or showers. You can have up to 8 people per site. There are no group sites available.

Red Rock Canyon State Park Campground has a visitor center, day use area, potable water and vault toilets. Each campsite has a table, fire ring and grate. Firewood can also be purchased from the ranger at the visitor center .

Red Rock Canyon State Park Area Recreation

The Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. Each tributary canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors. Outdoor activities include hiking, mountain biking, OTVing, horseback riding, star gazing and wildlife viewing.

Saddleback Butte State Park is also in the vicinity. Its also in Lancaster area about 37 miles due east.


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Little Park With A Big Park Experience

The big national parks in the west are awe inspiring. Bryce, Zion, Yellowstone, Glacier all with sweeping landscapes, buttes of vivid colour, mountains of grey granite or perhaps strange-shaped beings carved of stone.

Ive stood over the Grand Canyon in Arizona and marveled at its mysterious depths. Watched Old Faithful erupt faithfully in Montana. Scurried up a smooth slope in Utahs Zion National Park like a spider, sticking to the sandstone thinking Ok, now how do we get down?

It is the smaller state parks I find the most intriguing. They are more personal, more intimate. You can interact with a dramatic landscape that would be intimidating in a larger park. Find a small arch, slip in between giant columns of rock, search for jewel-toned lizards or just hang out at a picnic table behind, maybe, a Red Rooster.

Red Rock Canyon State Park in Southern California is such a treasure. The park is located where the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada converges with the El Paso Mountains. It has scenic fluted cliffs and whimsically-shaped rock formations that look as if they are sagging and melting, like something out of a desert-themed Alice in Wonderland. The red in the 300-feet sandstone-curtained cliffs is iron oxide, otherwise know as rust staining. It looks as you are camping on another planet when staying at the Ricardo campground.

The remains of prehistoric animals like three-toed horses, saber-tooth cats and alligator lizards have been found in the sediments.

Outside Red Rock State Park

The area around Red Rock State Park is a great destination for those who love the great outdoors. Itâs also a fine spot for travelers who appreciate a little bit of comfort and modern amenities. Essentially, itâs a place where you can get rugged and red from the dirt and sun of the natural destinations or enjoy a little pampering, fine food, and modern luxuries in the town of Sedona.

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About Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park is a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek. Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock. The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. This riparian habitat provides the setting and the opportunity for the park to offer a focus on environmental education.

Red Rock offers a variety of special programs for school groups and private groups. There are a number of daily and weekly park events. The park offers a visitors center, classroom, theater, park store, ramada and hiking trails.

Camping Red Rock State Park In Arizona

VLOG 26: Red Rock Canyon State Park in California

Camping at Red Rock State Park

The Red Rock State Park does not have any camping facilities on site, but does have many exciting attractions for visitors of all ages. Amenities at the park include a Visitors Center, a gift shop and various interesting exhibits. The exhibits are found in the Visitors Center and are educational in nature. They are hands on exhibits that deal with biotic communities. In addition to the parks exhibits, there is also a movie theatre where visitors can watch The Natural Wonders of Sedona: Timeless Beauties. This is a 45 minute film that discusses the wildlife and the history of Sedona. The film includes a flying tour of the parks red rocks.

Five miles worth of hiking trails make Red Rock State Park the perfect way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time. The Coyote Ridge Trail connects the Apache Fire Loop and the Eagles Nest Loop. The parks highest point is the Eagles Nest Loop, with a 300 elevation gain.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Red Rock

Q: Why are the rocks red?A: Because they contain a bit of iron they are rusting!

Q: What is the house up on the hill?A: It is the House of Apache Fires, built in 1947 by Jack and Helen Frye.

Q: Why dont you allow dogs and other pets in the park?A: Red Rock State Park is a Center for Environmental Education and as a nature preserve it is our mission to protect the environment and the wildlife that live here. Pets may leave droppings or intrude on others enjoyment of the park.

Q: What should we do if we see a snake?A: Stop and observe them. They will move slowly from the trail, giving you ample time to snap a picture.

Q: Which is the best hiking trail in your park? A: All our trails are special and beautiful and range from easy flat walks along Oak Creek to higher trails that take you up to our scenic vistas.

Q: Will we see a cougar on our hike?A: Cougars are very secretive and elusive. Their main prey is mule deer and they tend to hide from humans. If you are lucky, you might see their tracks in the mud under Kingfisher Bridge.

Q: Can I donate to support the park and its projects?A: Yes! You can donate directly to Arizona State Parks and Trails and select Red Rock State Park as the designee for your donation, or you can donate to the Friends Group, Benefactors of Red Rock State Park.

Pen In Hand: Red Rock Canyon State Park: A Beautiful Time To Visit A Desert Dreamscape

Nearby Red Rock Canyon State Park is famous for its eroded rock formations.

  • Jon Hammond / For Tehachapi News

Red Rock is a timeless place where human influence has had little impact.

  • Nick Smirnoff / For Tehachapi News

A horned lizard suns itself on a warm late winter day.

  • Jon Hammond / For Tehachapi News
  • Jon Hammond / For Tehachapi News

The cliffs of Red Rock Canyon State Park have been featured as a backdrop in many films and TV commercials over the years.

  • Jon Hammond / For Tehachapi News

Water and wind have sculpted the landscape at Red Rock Canyon.

  • Jon Hammond / For Tehachapi News

Now that spring is upon us, this is a great time to venture down to the nearby Mojave Desert, where temperatures are warm but not yet scorching hot, the air is clean and some ephemeral wildflowers are making an appearance.

In fact, there’s a land of spectacular rock formations and starkly beautiful desert vistas where you can go have a picnic lunch or even camp for the night, and you don’t have to drive to Utah or Arizona to get there it’s only 40 minutes from Tehachapi: Red Rock Canyon State Park.

The Nuwä people lived in and around Red Rock Canyon for thousands of years, and there are still signs of their presence in form of pahaz, pronounced pah-haaz, or bedrock mortar grinding holes, as well as rock art.

To enjoy the Mojave Desert at its most gentle and inviting, this is the time of year to visit.

Have a good week.

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How To Get There

Donât let a GPS or online search confuse you. Theres also a Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area about three hours away and just outside Las Vegas. This park is in California, however, just off CA-14, sometimes called the âAerospace Highway.â Red Rock Canyon is about a 1.5-hour drive north of Los Angeles on CA-14 and past the town of Mojave. After your visit to Red Rock Canyon State Park, head north for a stop at Mammoth Mountain or Death Valley as a side trip.

Motor Vehicles & Golf Carts

Red Rock Canyon Campground, NV

Park roads are public roads. All vehicles must display a valid ParkPass, and are subject to license safety requirements and regulations of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. ATVs are not allowed in state parks.

Golf Carts are treated as motor vehicles and have to have a daily ParkPass or have an annual ParkPass. Drivers must have a valid drivers license. Golf carts are allowed on roads 25 mph or less. Golf carts are not permitted on park trails.

The golf cart needs to have the following standard safety equipment on the vehicle:

  • A braking system sufficient for the passenger capacity of the vehicle
  • Reverse warning device functioning
  • Hip restraints and hand holds

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Opened & Dedicated October 19 1991

In the fall of 1980, Governor Bruce Babbitt was hiking with friends along Oak Creek southwest of Sedona. When they reached a certain property, an individual approached the group, advised them they were on private property and requested them to leave. This caused Governor Babbitt to become concerned about Oak Creek and many other hiking areas along waterways that were being closed to public access.

The property where the group was stopped had been part of the Smoke Trail Ranch located along lower Oak Creek southwest of Sedona. Helen and Jack Frye had purchased the Ranch in 1941. Jack Frye was the president of Trans World Airlines and he and his wife used the site as a retreat from the East Coast where they lived. The property has a variety of panoramic views of the Sedona red rock formations. The land is divided by a meandering 1.4 miles of Oak Creek that is lined with lush green riparian habitat.

In the early 1970s, a developer purchased the remaining 330+ acres of the Smoke Trail Ranch from Helen Frye. The developer intended to build a resort complex, but a shortage of funds caused them to lose the property. In 1976 Eckankar, a religious group that Helen Frye was a member of, became owner of the property. Eckankar was developing the property as a religious retreat for their members. Thus, it was Eckankar who had evicted Governor Babbitts hiking group from the property.

Lime Kiln Trail: Bike Hike Or Horse Ride

The Lime Kiln Trail was completed in 2006. This scenic Sedona area hiking trail connects Dead Horse Ranch State Park with Red Rock State Park . The Lime Kiln Trail traverses a 15-mile section of Arizonaâs high desert and is dedicated as a shared-use, non-motorized trail experience.

The Lime Kiln leg follows a portion of the historic Lime Kiln Wagon Road. Originally the Lime Kiln road provided access to a Kiln that was constructed in the 1800s. The Kiln was used to burn limestone to create lime used as an ingredient of the mortar needed to construct fireplaces and chimneys. Soon after the construction of the kiln, the road was extended and used as a route between Sedona and Jerome. The remains of the kiln can still be seen beside the trail.

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Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park

Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park is a beautiful example of natureâs artwork in Oklahoma. Wind, water and natural forces have shaped the natural sculpture of the canyon you see today.

A day trip to Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park can be fun, but an overnight stay is even better. Come stay at the park and watch the colors of the canyon change as the sun rises and sets. RV sites, tent sites and picnic areas are available in the canyon year-round. Three RV sites with water, electric and sewer hookups are available, as well as 44 sites with water and electric hookups and 26 primitive sites. Due to the steep and winding hill leading to the parkâs entrance, RVs shorter than 40 feet are recommended. Online booking is available for overnight spots and day-use shelters.

Additional amenities include hiking trails, historical wagon trails, beautiful scenery and monthly family friendly events throughout the year.

TripSavvy / Betsy Malloy

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Red Rock Canyon State Park in California (Snowbird Trip 2017/18 Update)

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2. Bring your own food. There arent any places to grab a bite to eat within the premises of Red Rock Canyon State Park. So, if youre staying overnight, you need to pack your own camping food to avoid leaving the park for every meal.

3. Dont forget to protect yourself from the heat. Even if youre visiting in fall, the temperatures here can be more extreme than most places in California. Make sure you have enough hydration, SPF, and other essentials with you to avoid running into unforeseen difficulties.

Now that youre all prepared and ready, lets dive right into a fun weekend getaway at Red Rock Canyon State Park.

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Inside Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park has a variety of different attractions and activities. If youâd like a little education with your visit, you can check out the visitor center, which has regularly updated exhibits, programs, and events. Thereâs also some good hiking to be had as well as great biking opportunities, such as the Cathedral Bike Loop Trail. You can also take a horse out on some of the trails, and when you get hungry, you can lay out a picnic spread on one of the many picnic tables in the area.

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