1 / 20


14 reviews
· Twentynine Palms, California
5 acres
2 sites
2 RV/Tent
Smiths Ranch has been the local meeting venue since 1923. Homesteaded by the famed William ( Bill) Q Smith. The Ranch was home to the first water distict well, first dairy, first drive in movie, the list of firsts is long. Mud bogs, truck wars,short course racing, and of course after hours star gazing. Come enjoy one of Hollywoods latest releases while camping under the desert sky. Learn more about this land: Enjoy starry nights and the fun of camping at a drive-in movie theater. Movies are played Thursday through Sunday. We're only 4 miles from Joshua Tree National Monument. We have bathrooms (no showers), picnic tables, and fire rings for each site.  CURRENTLY NOT SHOWING MOVIES DURING THIS COVID PANDEMIC! 
Off-roading (OHV)
Natural features
Available sites
Filter by
Loading sites...
Twentynine Palms, California, United StatesTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Genevieve C.Joined in February 2019
16 ratings · 14 reviews
Veree S.recommends
August 12, 2022
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Camping with kids and animals 💕
It’s very clean and full of space. Beginners camp friendly and right next to Joshua Tree.
Virginia F.recommends
November 30, 2020
Site 1 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
The host was as super communicative and the site was as expected- a drive in movie theater. I’m sure post covid it will be a blast to watch movies and camp there!
Shatha A.recommends
November 29, 2020
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
You won't regret it
Excellent 👌 firewood was provided along with a welcome package. Restrooms were good and clean with warm water. Host was very welcoming and friendly. The area was clean and very well kept. Nice quite area. Highly recommend! Street light was also available in the outer camp areas. Cell service was also available
Alessandro D.recommends
October 11, 2020
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Great spot super close to joshua tree. Host was very responsive.
Marc C.recommends
September 16, 2020
Site 4 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Quirky desert drive-in, kind host
We needed to get away from the fires and smoke in the foothills near us (SoCal) and were happy we found a place with clean air and a COVID considerate host, Genevieve. She was so kind, and although there was a mixup with our booking, accommodated us very fast. We felt a moment of safe rest when we needed it, and for that I am grateful. The location is just our speed, quirky and not corporate. There is one large screen surrounded by tall trees, which serve as shade and a wind break, to an extent. We car camped (Honda Element) in the summer and it was hot, but parking in the shade helped. The ground is soft fine dirt, so there's some dust and a few ants. On occasion, we saw some bees working on the trees. I saw a lovely little owl and some bats, too. I can't review the film projection of movies or snack bar, as they had stopped showing films for a time during the pandemic. But we enjoyed our stay anyway! Now we need to come back after the fires and pandemic have finished!
Marisa L.recommends
June 1, 2020
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Really cool nice spot, the hosts are really nice! Everything is very clean
Larry R.recommends
May 25, 2020
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
People matter
My family stayed one night at the site. most of the camp sites were not occupied but there was two other families there. The sites are not well marked but since it would not full this was not a problem just to grab one. The sites are at the back of the drive in under some large trees. The sites are somewhat small for a large group but a family of 5 has enough space. Jen our host stopped by to drop off a bag of treats. The oreos were great! Jen was awesome in the morning when I called her and asked for some assistance because my Jeep had a flat and the jack that I had would not get it high enough to change. Jen's brother came right over with the right tool for the job and helped us change our tire. He would not take any money for the help! You will never find that most places. Just good honest people. Due to the Covid-19 we did not get to see a movie but will go back another time when they are up and running.
Ryan K.recommends
May 24, 2020
Site 3 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
It was really nice and shady by the trees. Didn’t need an easy up. Cooked on the fire Pitts, hiked Joshua tree, and watched the stars .
Robert A.recommends
May 16, 2020
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Awesome experience. I came to star gaze with the family and was a total success
Bethany T.recommends
March 18, 2020
Site 1 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
a fun idea & a shady campground!
We had such a great stay at the drive in! We arrived in the afternoon to scope it out. When you book online, it seems like you have to chose a spot but that doesn’t matter. Really it’s first come first serve, and you can camp inside the drive in area or on the other side of a row of trees. Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit. It wasn’t crowded. If you camp on the side away from the theater i’m sure you could still watch the movie from the picnic table or your car. You’re under 10 minutes from one of the east entrances to Joshua Tree so we spent the afternoon exploring then returned before dark. Once the drive in the manager walked over and gave us a gift bag (so sweet!) from the host and recommendations on dinner & drinks at the sports bar up to road. he was very nice, made us feel right at home. another employee informed us when he was turning off the theater lights after the last movie, but they left the bathroom lights on and open for us. we were impressed with how nice everyone was. After dinner we watched the last movie by the campfire! they will provide you with a radio so you don’t have to sit in your car. All in all it was a great experience. I think the only thing to be aware of is if you are on in side of the theater area, when the last movie ends there are lots of headlights as the cars leave. we were still awake so it wasnt a problem. Finally... you sleep under a large row of trees. Trees!! Shade!! In the desert at a campsite?! Whoa. That alone is worth it :)
Alexandria B.recommends
March 3, 2020
Site 2 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
It was amazing!! We were running behind on schedule and ended up getting there later than expected and they were so sweet, texted to check on us. The campsites are awesome and all have a good view of the screen. The family that runs it is the absolute sweetest! I went 11 years ago before they had the camping option and couldn't wait to go back, now with the camping it makes it even easier and such a fun experience!! Definitely will be back soon!
Amelia P.recommends
February 23, 2020
Site 1 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Great time staying here! Host was welcoming and very responsive. If you’re looking for somewhere cool and different to stay, come here!
Jeremy K.recommends
February 19, 2020
Site 3 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
At The Drive In...
Pretty cool to be able to pull your van in, open up the back, and watch a movie next to the camp fire. Really cool experience and the hosts were super nice!
Jaime K.recommends
February 17, 2020
Site 3 - Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater
Drive-In and Chill — We’ll be back!
Never been to a drive-in before, let alone camped at one. This was a great way to relax after a long day in the park, and the movie playing was actually one that we’d been wanting to see which made it even better. Smith’s Ranch is very easy to get to from the Northeast exit of the park. You can choose to be inside or outside of the drive-in space, depending on your privacy preferences. We rented a camper van through Outpost Vans (which was awesome!) and were easily able to maneuver around into our spot. On top of all of this, Genevieve and her team were incredibly welcoming and so friendly. We couldn’t have asked for better hosts. We will definitely be back again!
Things to do nearby

Safety partners

Hipcamp is created with ❤️ and hope for our future.