Red Rock Canyon State Park


Red Rock Canyon State Park is a great place to stopover on your way to Los Angeles or Mammoth.  The park is located at the Sierra Nevada mountains’ southernmost tip and the El Paso Range. The park has beautiful desert cliffs and canyons to explore. Each canyon is unique, with dramatic shapes and vivid colors. 


Red Rock State Park is a great location to spend a few hours or the night for any van or RV nomad traveling on State Route 14. The park is loaded with desert adventures from camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing.  

The park is well worth visiting for the scenic desert cliffs and the vivid colors during sunrise and sunset. Even if you stopover for a few hours, a visit to the park is well worth it. 


There are 6 moderate trails in Red Rock Canyon State Park ranging from 1 to 13.9 miles.  The trails meander through the park’s dramatic landscape, and hiking is an intimate way to experience the desert. Use desert safety precautions- bring twice as much water as you think you need, and layered clothing for sudden temperature fluctuations.

The Hagen Canyon Nature Trail is an easy 1.2-mile loop trail located at the entrance to Red Rock Canyon State Park. It features beautiful wildflowers and rock formations.  Dogs are allowed to use the trail.


The Ricardo campground is located against the base of dramatic desert cliffs, with 50 primitive campsites, potable water, pit toilets, fire rings, and tables. Bring your own firewood, or purchase it at the visitor center. There are no RV hook-ups or showers. 

Camping is first-come, first-served. The campground can fill up on weekends in the spring and fall, especially if the weather is nice or on holiday weekends, so arriving on a Thursday evening or Friday morning is recommended.

Camping is $25 per night per site, including parking for one vehicle per site, or $23 per night with seniors (62 years old or older). Additional vehicles are $6 each. There is a 30 foot maximum on RVs. Self-registration/payment is required before setting up camp or parking. 

It’s a privilege to have Red Rock Canyon State Park for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.


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

References and Other Adventures:

Jawbone Canyon and Dove Springs OHV

Jawbone Canyon and Dove Springs Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) areas are located right next to each other and are great for off-roading, exploring, and boondocking. They are easy to get to, offer amazing scenery, have great wildlife, and a huge off-roading community. There is a visitor center at the entrance to Jawbone Canyon, which has restrooms.

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Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks is located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs and feature spectacular rock formations and a seasonal stream. The park is a popular hiking, picnicking, and horseback riding and has been used in many hit movies, television shows, and commercials. This makes it a perfect day trip for any van lifer looking to get out of Los Angeles.

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