Rusty Can Ranch, 10 acres of land nestled between 2 rocky desert mountains, provides a taste of the Wild West. It is named for the many rusty cans left by the homesteader who once occupied this land. Camp Tree, reminiscent of a gold miner's settlement, features a compost outhouse, outdoor camping shower, bunkhouse with 4 bunk beds and a desert cabana perfect for falling asleep under the stars. There's plenty of space for your RV. Come enjoy the peace and quiet, amazing sunsets and the beautiful starlit nights.
The completely off grid Rusty Can Ranch is located in the quiet, close knit community of Lucerne Valley, CA; one of the few bastions where the pioneer spirit still lives. The property is a 1.5 mile drive down a well maintained dirt road from the highway; an easy drive for any vehicle. The 10 acre parcel is bordered by public land on 2 sides. The other 2 sides are unoccupied private land. It's so peaceful and quiet you can hear your heart beat. On clear nights, which happen often, the night sky glows white with stars. This is a splendid location to view meteor showers. Star gazing is best with no moon.
- Sawtooth Canyon - 20 min.
- Calico Ghost Town - 44 min.
- Big Bear - 45 min.
- Joshua Tree National Park - 60 min.
For our guest convenience we have fire wood and charcoal for sale on site $5 each. You are welcome to bring your own.
Sleeping: Night time temperatures in the summer are in the 70's but in the winter the night time temp drops to the 30's. Dress warm and bring a good sleeping bag. I use a Coleman Mountain Ridge 6-lb. Sleeping Bag. It keeps you warm and comfortable.
Food: You will need to bring fire wood and charcoal. The fire pit and small grill are great places to keep warm while you grill your food. It’s a slow cook so allow a little extra time. We provide a coffee pot, wash tub and water. We do not have pots, pans, dishes or utensils.
Outhouse: The nicely decorated outhouse has a compost toilet. The way it works is you put a scoop of wood chips in the bucket when you are done. The outhouse is kept very clean as is the rest of the camp. We provide toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Shower: The solar shower is spacious, complete with a bench, mirror and shelf. The shower has a 5 gallon capacity and a hand pump to fill it. In colder weather it is best to heat the water in the pail before filling the shower bag.
Safety: Keep all items elevated. Items left on the ground will attract critters. If needed there is a first aid kit and fire extinguisher to the right of the bunk house door.
Please respect the land and area. No loud generators, music or fireworks. Be mindful of the desert vegetation. It grows very slowly. It may take years to decades for damaged vegetation to grow back.
More about Rusty Can Ranch
Currently I am working on 3 off grid alternative shelters including a shipping container home. They are not part of Camp Tree, but you are welcome to explore them. These tiny homes/shelters are a true labor of love. My goal is to build sustainable living off grid shelters that can be lived in short term or long term and take advantage of passive cooling and heating. I work on them on the weekends and I would love to show you around.
- Check in: After 2PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: None
- Accepts bookings: 12 months out
The vibe at #RustyCanRanch - Camp Tree
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
This place was great! I booked last minute for a trip out to Joshua Tree and Charles was able to accommodate me quickly. I arrived after sunset, but the instructions on how to get to the exact campsite were perfect. I only stayed one night, but it was one of the most peaceful nights of sleep I've had in months.
I will definitely try to stay here again with some friends next time I head out to Joshua Tree!
Charles contacted me immediately with all the details for our stay including turn by turn directions and pictures of landmarks to help navigate. They were dead on and we found the spot without a hitch. The camp spot was well thought out and even included some extras like paper towels and foil paper in case we forgot any. The structures are pretty cool and we just had an awesome time exploring. We will definitely be back 👍🏻
The campsite is exactly as advertised, and we loved our stay here. The clear night sky and sunrise views were breathtaking. There's enough room for 6 people to sleep or sit around, and the bed and sleeping pads provided were comfortable. There are plenty of motion-sensor lamps around the camp, and the campsite had some supplies for lighting a campfire. It does get quite windy inside the cabin/bunk room, so be sure to get a good, warm, sleeping bag. There were a few gallons of potable water, but you'll probably need more if you want to shower.
In all, it's a great campsite for the price. Would love to visit again!
Loved camping at Rusty Can! The amenities are impressive in pictures, and even better in person. Large water tank on site for shower/drinking needs. Charcoal and wood is also staged for a small fee on the honor system. A spatula, BBQ fork and other like items are also hung decoratively and come in handy. The cabana is wide and the bed comfortable (it also has 4 pillows supplied,) the shower stall has mirrors and a nice floormat over the rocks, and the outhouse features a compost toilet that does what it's supposed to. The standout feature in my opinion is the bunkhouse. 4 bunks encapsulated in a sturdy wood structure and covered by a sheet of metal siding. It stays cool inside, and stands up well to the winds. Speaking of, the winds were really going while we were here for 2 nights, so mind your fire!
In summation, this is a fantastic campsite for the price. Thoughtfully designed and in a unique location it stands out as a great option for anyone looking to desert camp, and lucky enough to book a night or two. There is no doubt in my mind this site will become a go to destination, especially if more sites are developed. I will definitely be back!
I can't get over the amount of thought and effort put into making this campsite--it is truly one of a kind and has anything you'd ever need! The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, and I can't recommend this place enough.
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay! We stayed 28 through 30 December 2017. Our host, Charles’ directions were very good, but some of the dirt roads are unmarked, so keep in mind the following and you will be fine (without giving away the location) – Remember the first turn is 0.4 miles, so you don’t overshoot. Also, think of it as being ahead and to the left from when you exit the highway.
Back to the awesomeness – Upon arrival, we felt as if we walked up on an old mining town. So cool! We placed our things in the Bunk House and noticed that everything was so clean. I mean we didn’t even see a cob or spider web anywhere, which is weird based on that fact that the site is in the middle of the desert. The outhouse worked out very well. I even heated a pail of water and took a shower. The dogs loved the area and ran around quite a bit. We were going to hike in a nearby location, but decided to stay and play games since the site was so comfortable. It was hard to pull my daughter out of the desert cabana. I forgot a couple of things and was able to use items already stocked at the camp site. I cooked a mean Tri-Tip on the supplied grate. The solar lights were a nice addition. I made my own tire display, so hopefully Charles likes it. You get a safe feeling from Camp Tree even though you are with nature in the desert. My wife is already talking about re-booking.
Charles answered all my questions and gave me a phone call when I asked within 5 minutes of my request.
Thank you for the fantastic experience Charles!
My trip to Camp Tree at Rusty Can Ranch was a terrific experience. I really enjoyed all of the amenities that the host provided. The cabana bed was so comfortable that I fell asleep on it. The surrounding scenery is absolutely beautiful. The peace and quiet in the area is heavenly. The stars at night are breathtaking; they really need to be seen to be believed.