A person looks on with a yellow tent in the foreground and a sun setting behind a hill under a cloudy sky in the background


Camping is an excellent way to experience the refuge, and we offer several options at Desert NWR, all fee-free. Accessing them requires travel over rugged backcountry roads; four-wheel drive (4WD), high-clearance vehicles with good tires are strongly recommended.

Desert Pass Campground, located on Mormon Well Road, has six primitive campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis, all free of charge. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and tent pad, and vault toilets are available. Like most of the refuge, there is no water available, so please make sure to bring all you need. 

Dispersed car camping is also available throughout the refuge. Campers are asked to use existing sites. For those on foot, backpacking opportunities abound. Careful trip planning is required due to primitive routes, lack of water resources, and rugged terrain.

For more information, please see Rules & Policies tab on this website (left navigation column).

Learn more about camping opportunities in the National Wildlife Refuge System.