Camping in Nevada

Camping in Nevada | Ultimate Guide To The Best Nevada Campgrounds

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Nevada, long known for Las Vegas, casinos, gambling, and its Indian Reservations, also has 15 State Parks, one State Fish Hatchery, three State Wildlife Management Areas, one National Park, seven National Forests, one National Wildlife Area, 11 National Wildlife Refuges and one National Recreation Area perfect for camping in Nevada. These areas are divided into several unusually named regions, including:

camping in Nevada

One of the Pony Express stops in central Nevada was at Cold Springs Station east of Fallon.
Credit to nevadaappeal.com

  • Cowboy Country Near Elko and Winnemucca
    • One State Fish Hatchery
    • Three National Wildlife Refuges
    • Five National Forests
  • Reno-Tahoe Near Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Sun Valley
    • Two National Wildlife Refuges
    • Two State Parks
    • One State Wildlife Management Area
  • Pony Express Near Fallon
    • One National Park
    • One State Wildlife Management Area
    • Two State Parks
    • Two National Wildlife Refuges
  • Pioneer Territory Near Pahrump and Fernley
    • One State Wildlife Management Area
    • Two National Forests
    • Three National Wildlife Refuges
    • Eight State Parks
  • Las Vegas Near Las Vegas
    • One National Wildlife Area
    • Three State Parks
    • One National Wildlife Refuge
    • One Trail
    • One National Recreation Area

Depending on where in the state you are, there’s always great camping, fishing, hiking, and adventure.

Camping in Nevada’s Lake Tahoe State Park

Camping in Nevada

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P.O. 8867

Incline Village, Nevada   89452

Phone: (775) 831-0494

Reservations: (775) 749-5349

Email: tahoe@parks.nv.gov

Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park offers a number of different areas for visitors to enjoy. Neatly split down the middle by the California-Nevada state line, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and also the deepest. It’s stunning cobalt blue color makes it one of nature’s gems set atop the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On its eastern shores, gently sloping beaches, crystal-clear water, and interesting rock formations allow for wonderfully sublime swimming, kayaking and scuba diving at Sand Harbor.

Camping in Nevada – Sand Harbor

Camping in Nevada

Credit to parks.nv.gov
Photo by @davidmiller

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P.O. Box 6116

Incline Village, NV 89452

Phone: (775) 831-0494

Email: tahoesp@gmail.com

Sand Harbor is the most popular area in Lake Tahoe State Park, both with locals and tourists. Located on Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, Sand Harbor, with its sandy beaches, boat launch, picnicking and group use facilities a day at Sand Harbor is as close as you can get to a day at the beach. Sand Harbor is located three miles south of Incline Village on State Route 28. Memorial Point and Hidden Beach, situated between Incline Village and Sand Harbor, are areas which also offer outstanding views of the lake and more secluded access to its shores.

Camping in Nevada – Camp Shelly

Camping in Nevada

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1721 Mt Tallac Rd

Eldorado National Forest

South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Phone: (925) 373-5700

Camp Shelly is conveniently located in South Lake Tahoe on highway 89 between Fallen Leaf Lake and Emerald Bay. Centrally sited among both whispering pines, and a major tourist attraction (Lake Tahoe), Camp Shelly allows visitors to take advantage of both the natural wonders of the Lake Tahoe basin as well as the indoor attractions of the city. Although technically in California, it’s still located on Lake Tahoe, in Nevada.

There are 25 campsites. Each site has a parking slot, a table, a level space for a tent, a food storage locker, and a metal fire pit and grill.  In addition to tents, most sites can accommodate tent trailers and campers, while a few sites can accommodate trailers and motorhomes up to 24 feet in length. However, there are no water, sewer or electrical hookups available at Camp Shelly. The food storage locker dimensions are 48″ wide x 34.5″ deep x 20.5″ tall. Amenities do include hot showers. Lake Tahoe and the Glen Alpine and Mt. Tallac trailheads are all within hiking distance. Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Vikingsholm are also nearby.

Camping in Nevada – Spooner Lake 

Camping in Nevada

Credit to parks.nv.gov

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P.O. Box 6116

Incline Village, NV 89452

Phone: (775) 831-0494

Email: spooner.ranger@gmail.com

Nestled in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Spooner Lake is a popular, and widespread recreational and natural oasis. It is located at the intersection of State Route 28 and U.S. 50.  The lake itself is surrounded by aspens and more than 12,000 acres of forested, open space. The park features 50 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails and primitive roads.

Camping is allowed in three primitive, walk-in campgrounds: Marlette Peak, Hobart, and North Canyon. Each campground has a restroom and campsites with picnic tables, fire rings and bear-resistant food and trash storage boxes. While camping, store food and trash in these boxes. Pack it in, pack it out: when you depart, remove all food and trash from the boxes so they are available for use by other campers. Dispersed camping is not allowed around Marlette Lake or anywhere else within park boundaries. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.

There are also rental cabins available. The Spooner Lake Cabin sleeps four people comfortably and Wildcat Cabin sleeps two. Both cabins have basic amenities such as composting toilets, beds, cook stoves and wood burning stoves.

Spooner Lake is a hiker’s paradise. There are several trailheads with access to the backcountry. The backcountry between Lake Tahoe and Carson City provides miles of hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails plus two primitive campsites. No vehicles are permitted in the backcountry, which has been designated as a State Primitive Area. Two of the more popular trails in this area are the Flume Trail above Sand Harbor and the Tahoe Rim Trail along the crest of the Carson Range. Cave Rock, located along U.S. 50 near Zephyr Cove, is a popular spot for boat launching and fishing.

Camping in Nevada’s Humboldt – Toiyabe National Forest

Camping in Nevada

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With a massive 6.3 million acres to its name, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is the largest forest in the lower 48 states. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is the principal U.S. National Forest in Nevada but also spreads from the eastern Sierra Nevada’s in California to the borders of Idaho, and Utah. The rangers at this National Forest manage 18 designated Wilderness Areas as diverse as the National Forest itself.

On the eastern side of the Forest, the Quinn Canyon Wilderness is a maze of deep canyons and rugged peaks reaching to over 10,000 feet. Red volcanic rhyolite composes the lower canyons and gray limestone forms most of the peaks. Soak in some hot springs, hike a mountain, fish for some trout, frolic amidst wildflowers, picnic beside some Joshua Trees, camp under the stars in the shadow of a mountain peak as old as the dinosaurs. This is the place to do it.

To the west, the Mokelumne Wilderness, known for its volcanic peaks and plant diversity, is a showcase to mountain peaks that rise over 11,000 feet high from spectacular river canyons.

Bordering Yosemite National Park along the Pacific Crest and falling away to the Great Basin to the east, the Hoover Wilderness is a spectacular piece of the Sierras. Many visitors pass through the Mokelumne Wilderness as part of their trek along the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT). Mountains, lakes and lush meadows are just some of the features that attract so many to this area. This Wilderness Area has special considerations for obtaining an overnight camping permit, so plan ahead.

Camping in Nevada – Ward Mountain Recreation Area and Campground

Camping in Nevada

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401 N. Carson Street

Carson City, NV 89701

Phone: (775) 289-3031

Email: info@travelnevada.com

Sited in the shadows of its namesake, Ward Mountain Recreation Area and Campground are just 10 miles southwest from the city of Ely, in eastern Nevada at the base of Ward Mountain.

Ward Mountain is the highest point in the Egan Range, topping out near 10,800 feet. Don’t worry about being about to breathe—the campground sits high above the desert floor below, but well below the summit. A forest of pinyon pine and juniper trees covers the area, offering not only a nice scenic touch but also some partial shade and privacy between campsites.

This campground offers several single-family campsites, double-family campsites and three large group sites that can accommodate up to 100 or more people. Multiple access points for trails are found throughout the campground with the main trailhead located at the easternmost side. All campsites are equipped with picnic tables, campfire rings, and grills. Vault toilets, drinking water, and trash collection are provided, but there is no electricity. There is a campground host is on-site.

You won’t run out of things to do, but in case you think you have, Comins Lake is about 13 miles from the campground offering boating and pike fishing. Cave Lake State Park is less than 20 miles away, with opportunities for boating and fishing for rainbow and brown trout. Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park is 26 miles away, with interesting historic stone ovens and an interpretive trail. The Northern Nevada Railway in Ely has a museum and offers train rides. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce for more information on local events and sites.

Camping in Nevada – Echo Canyon State Park

Camping in Nevada

Credit to parks.nv.gov

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Hc 74

Pioche, NV 89043

Phone: (775) 962-5103

Email: echocanyon@lcturbonet.com

This 65-acre reservoir presents the perfect place for boating and swimming. It dominates land, water, and air with wildlife. It’s home to a variety of waterfowl, including mallards, teals, and herons. The lake is also filled with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie and an occasional German brown trout. Campers and hikers can also enjoy the eagles, hawks, songbirds, owls, and vultures that soar through the canyons and valleys. Common animals include cottontails, coyotes, deer and an occasional bobcat. If you love nature, you’ll love Echo Canyon.

Campers who love privacy and solitude will appreciate the small campgrounds. The north campground has 33 campsites open on a first-come, first-served basis. Drinking water is available near each site. The RV campground has 20 full hook-up sites situated on a hill overlooking Dry Valley. Campground facilities include flush toilets and an RV dump station. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced. A group picnic area accommodates up to 70 people. The area offers shade ramadas, barbecue grills, picnic tables, a comfort station and drinking water.

Visitors may reserve the facility by calling or writing the park office. There are picnic tables and barbecue grills are located at six sites along the reservoir’s shore for day or campers use. And, there’s a boat launch ramp located on the north shore of the reservoir. However, when the reservoir level drops during the summer, boats must be launched from shore.

Camping in Nevada – New Frontier Campground and RV Park

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4360 Rim Rock Rd

Winnemucca, NV 89445

Phone: (775) 621-5277

Email: contact@newfrontierrvpark.com

If you’re looking for a true western flavor, a little bit of Basque culture, ghost towns, and proximity to everything from Bloody Shins (That’s their actual name. Do the math.) extreme biking, or trailhead access, this is your campground.  If you’d settle for level RV sites, peace and quiet, and great sunsets and sunrises, and pull thru or back in sites, New Frontier offers that too. With 70’x30’ level sites, there is plenty of room for slide-outs, extra parking and full hook-ups, of course.

The variety and diversity of things to do here are overwhelming.  Be sure to visit the Humboldt County Museum and the Outlying Communities to get a better feel for who they are.

Camping in Nevada – Cathedral Gorge State Park

Camping in Nevada

Credit to parks.nv.gov

111 Cathedral Gorge State Park Rd

Panaca, NV 89042.

Phone: (775) 728-4460

Email: cathedralgorge_vc@lcturbonet.com

Whoever named this park didn’t name it lightly. The unique caverns and slot canyons truly do resemble a dramatic, giant natural cathedral. It’s magical. It’s also one of Nevada’s original state parks and has been around for over a hundred years. The campground has 22 sites, each with a table, grill and shade ramada. Electric hookups are also available. Sites cannot be reserved. Water and flush restrooms with showers are open year-around. Facilities adjacent to the campground offer large shade ramadas, grills, picnic tables and water.

Facilities: There are two handicapped-accessible campsites at the group area that also have a restroom with flush toilets and showers. Camping is limited to 14 days in a 30-day period. There is a group area. Accommodations for day and overnight groups are available by reservation. The day use picnic area has a large shade ramada with picnic tables. The campground is pet-friendly, but all pets must be leashed. Cathedral Gorge State Park is open year-round. Camping fees are $15.00 per night + $10.00 per night for utility hookups.

Cathedral Gorge State Park is located in a long, narrow valley in southeastern Nevada, where erosion has carved dramatic and unique patterns in the soft bentonite clay. The park’s beauty began with explosive volcanic activity that, with each eruption, deposited layers of ash hundreds of feet thick. Great walking trails abound for exploring the cave-like formations and cathedral-like spires that are the result of geologic processes from tens of millions of years ago.

Camping in Nevada – Great Basin National Park

Camping in Nevada

Bristlecone Pine on Mt. Washington in the backcountry of Great Basin National Park.
Credit to nps.gov

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Mailing Address

100 Great Basin National Park

Baker, NV 89311

Phone: (775) 234-7331

There are five developed campgrounds located within the Great Basin National Park. These campgrounds contain a total of more than 100 campsites. Campsites are on a first come, first served basis, and each campsite includes a table, tent pad and grill. Electrical hookups are also available. Lower Lehman Creek campground is open year-round, but the other campgrounds are generally open only from May to October. Great Basin National Park is pet friendly, but pets must be leashed at all times. Campers will enjoy participating in many outdoor recreational activities such as biking, hiking and exploring the Lehman Caves. This beautiful park is also one of the best parks for stargazing. Great Basin National Park is located on the Utah/Nevada border at 100 Great Basin National Park, Baker, NV 89311.

Camping in Nevada – Lower Lehman Creek Campground

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Open All Year

Location: On Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, 2.5 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Facilities: Lower Lehman Creek Campground contains 11 campsites. There are a limited number of pull-through sites for RVs and trailers. Water is available spring through fall, weather permitting.

 

Camping in Nevada

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Camping in Nevada – Upper Lehman Creek Campground

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Open mid-April through October

Location: On Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, 3.5 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Facilities: Upper Lehman Creek Campground contains 22 campsites with one wheelchair accessible site. Water is available spring through fall, weather depending.

 

Camping in Nevada – Wheeler Peak Campground

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Camping in Nevada

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Open June to October

Location: End of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, 14 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Facilities: Wheeler Peak Campground contains 37 campsites, with one wheelchair accessible site. Water is available spring through fall, weather permitting.
Note: The Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is narrow, winding, and climbs an 8% grade in 12 miles. Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive past Upper Lehman Campground is closed to single vehicles or trailers longer than 24 feet.

Camping in Nevada – Baker Creek Campground

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Open May to October

Location: On Baker Creek Road, 3 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Facilities: Baker Creek Campground contains 38 campsites, one of which is wheelchair accessible. Water is available spring through fall, weather permitting.
Note: Baker Creek Road is a maintained gravel road.

Camping in Nevada

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Camping in Nevada – Grey Cliffs Campground

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Open Memorial Day to Labor Day

Location: On Baker Creek Road, 1.5 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Facilities: Grey Cliffs Campground contains 16 sites, two of which are wheelchair accessible. Group camping is available in Loop B and C. Sites are available for reservation at recreation.gov. Water is not available at Grey Cliffs, but there is a spigot 1.4 miles away at Baker Creek Campground.
Note: Baker Creek Road is a maintained gravel road.

Camping in Nevada – Grey Cliffs Group Campground

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Large groups can be accomodated at the Grey Cliffs Group Campground, located on Baker Creek Road at an elevation of 7,115 feet (2,160 meters). Four designated group sites provide privacy, and ensure that groups do not disturb campers in the regular campgrounds.

Groups utilizing the group campground must be a minimum of 9 persons and cannot exceed a maximum group size of 12 persons per site, or 30 persons per loop (2 sites per loop when the entire loop is reserved by a single party).

The Grey Cliffs Group Campground has vault toilets and no potable water. Water is available at the Baker Creek Campground, the RV Sanitary Station from late spring through early fall, or the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. A campfire is allowed in one campfire ring only. RVs are not recommended due to space constraints. The campground is open from Memorial Day through September. Reservations are required.

Camping in Nevada

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Camping in Nevada – Snake Creek Campground

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Open All Year, depending on weather and road conditions

Location: On Snake Creek Road. Turn right off of Hwy 487 just before Utah/Nevada border.

Facilities: The Snake Creek Campground has 12 primitive campsites (includes two walk-in sites) with three group camping sites. No water is available at any site.
Note: Snake Creek Road is a primitive dirt road.

 

Camping in Nevada

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Camping in Nevada – Strawberry Creek Campground

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CLOSED until further notice due to fire recovery effort

Location: On Strawberry Creek Road, 3 miles south of US Highway 50.

Facilities: The Strawberry Creek Campground has 8 campsites (includes two walk-in sites) with two group camping sites. No water is available at any site.
Note: The Strawberry Creek Road is a primitive dirt road.

Camping in Nevada – Death Valley National Park

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579

Death Valley, CA 92328

Phone: (760) 786-3200

Last, but certainly not least on the list of fabulous parks, is Death Valley National Park. Despite the depressing name, Death Valley has a lot of life—wildlife, plants, animals and a diverse population of insects!

Death Valley is in a below-sea-level basin. The steady drought and record summer heat make the park a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans.

There are nine campgrounds within Death Valley National Park, ranging from primitive to modern:

Wildrose Campground 23 sites, first-come first-served, potable water, picnic tables, fire pits, and pit toilets

Thorndike Campground 6 sites, first-come first-served, picnic tables, fire pits, and pit toilets

Mahogany Flats Campground 10 sites, first-come first-served,picnic tables, fire pits, and pit toilets

Sunset Campground  270 sites, $14 per night, first-come first-served, potable water, flush toilets, and a dump station

Texas Spring Campground 92 sites, first-come first-served, potable water, picnic tables, fire pits, flush toilets, and a dump station

Stovepipe Wells Campground 190 sites, $14 per night, first-come first-served, potable water, some picnic tables, some fire pits, flush toilets, and a dump station

Emigrant Campground 10 tent only sites, open year round, no fee, first-come first-served, potable water, picnic tables, and flush toilets

Mesquite Springs Campground  30 sites, open year round, $14 per night, first-come first-served,potable water, picnic tables, fire pits, flush toilets, and a dump station

Furnace Creek Campground 136 sites, open year round, Reservations accepted October 15 – April 15, $22-36 per night, potable water, picnic tables, fire pits, flush toilets, RV hookups, and a dump station