Red Rock Canyon State Park, Cantil, CA

On the outskirts of the Mohave Desert lies Red Rock Canyon State Park. We pulled in almost at sundown and were lucky there were still a few campsites available at the self-serve, first-come first-serve campground.

Red Rock Canyon Campground

The campground does have running potable water for drinking, but no showers, and only pit toilets. For desert pit toilets, however, they were nicely constructed out of cinder blocks. Sadly, they had no roofs or doors, which was a little disconcerting, especially at night. (There’s quite a bit of wildlife wandering around, of all varieties, large and small.)


Other than the minimal amenities, this campground affords a beautiful view. Nestled at the base of a small mesa, the constant winds are kept to a minimum.RedRockCanyonTentWideView


campsite mesa cliff



Red Rock Canyon Campground


Lots of critters here. We saw numerous antelope mice, a field mouse, a copper-colored snake, and probably a skunk in the darkness walking by our tent. Luckily, we found and removed the Black Widow Spider from underneath the picnic table before it found us. There were also lizards everywhere, of varying degrees of domestic-ability; at one point it was difficult to walk without stepping on a little lizard scurrying by.

desert lizard

PicnicTableBlackWidowRed Rock Canyon mesa view

A lone Joshua Tree nearby.

We never planned to stay here; it was just in the right place at the right time. It was another of the many wonderful, unexpected places we discovered on this trip.

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