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.
Places to see near DRIVE IN MOVIE : STARRY NIGHTS
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
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!
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!
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 :)
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.