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!
- Check in: After 2PM
- Check out: Before 11AM
- Cancellation policy: Super Flexible
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 3 months out
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
NON MAINTAINED ROADS TO BLM OHV AREAS NEARBY
Natural features you'll find at Smith Ranch Drive-in Theater in California.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
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
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!
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.
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 :)