34° 34' 15.618'' N 116° 57' 49.1292'' W

Best Camp Spot In the Middle of Nowhere Mojave Desert

Aaron McHugh

The Mojave Desert located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is known for isolation. Inside this vast 2,500 square miles national desert preserve, there are only two designated campgrounds. Driving the 275 miles from Las Vegas to Los Angeles feels pretty desolate and much of the interstate is fenced prohibiting access to the bordering Mojave preserve.

On my recent trip to Southern California in our 1974 VW Bus, I discovered this FREE gem of a campground 17 miles outside of Barstow, CA.

Over 3,000 miles and ten days, this was one of my favorite camp spots.  Sawtooth Campground for some reason is FREE offering solitude, fire pits, and desert awnings. Maximum stay is fourteen nights.

Once you get further towards L.A., your wilderness options shrink. The Sawtooth Campground was a perfect staging ground for a morning commute into SoCal.

The campground requires a one-mile gravel road access suitable for most passenger cars. The desert sky was incredible there and I only had two other neighbors. Worthy of adding to your list of great spots to rest your weary head.

Tucked in the Mojave Desert Sawtooth Campground Barstow, CA