10 Best Camping Sites in Nevada

The most modern camping sites in Nevada offer you everything that a camping enthusiast may require. They range from parks that you can enjoy with your family to primitive but entertaining getaways. From the many mountains to the blue waters of Lake Tahoe, Lake Mead and other water bodies, and the desert there is something for everyone in Nevada. Summer temperatures in this state can soar to highs of 100 degrees during the day while it becomes extremely cold during the winter.

The extreme change in temperature makes one wonder which is the best time to visit Nevada. Since it is a desert it us advisable you visit the place either during spring and fall. Most of the parks in the state are on a first come first serve basis, though you can also make an early reservation, more so for the state parks. 

Most of the parks and campgrounds in the state have Wi-Fi connections. For the private parks it is highly recommended that you do advance booking. Below are some of the best camping sites you can visit with your family in Nevada.

1. The Cathedral-Gorge Park

© Mobilus In Mobili

There are beliefs that many years ago that the Nevada desert was a Lake. These amazing past makes many visitors curious and they want to visit the site. Kids are guaranteed to enjoy the unique caverns, spires, and the slot canyons that are on the 6.5 km loop trail. You and your loved ones will have fun as you explore the many natural wonders the park has to offer. The Cathedral-Gorge Park campground has a total of 22 campsites and each has a table and a grill. What’s more each is connected to electrical cables.

The trails will lead you to some unique clay based formations and the caves will make you feel like you are going back in time. Moreover, the rock formations are very amazing. The authorities ensure that the facilities are well maintained and all the amenities are family friendly. 

All the camping sites in the park operate on a first come first serve basis. The park will allow you to tag your pet along as long as you have it on a leash.

2. Beaver Dam State Park

© Visit Lincoln County Nevada

The park is found on the eastern edge of Nevada and it is a few minutes from Nevada’s border with Utah. The park is well known for its rugged landscape which is well dotted with junipers, cacti, and ponderosa forests. Additionally, there is plenty of wildlife and visitors will see jackrabbits and porcupines wandering around. This makes the park a great spot for hunters. 

Being in a remote area it will give you the bonus of being away from everything. However, this also means it is hard to access the area during winter. The juniper trees also make the park a great spot for trekking and enjoying the fresh air. 

There are two campgrounds that you can stay at. The campgrounds have features that include picnic tables and fire pits. Drinking water is available all year long for you to quench your thirst. You can reserve your visit and all stays to the site are limited to two weeks. 

3. Great Basin National Park

© Travel Nevada

The Great Basin National Park is located in Nevada’s famous basin. It has craggy mountains that alternate well with the vast sagebrush valleys. The park is well known for its dazzling night skies, the ancient bristlecone pine trees, the Lehman caves, as well as 100 kilometers of hiking trails.

There is abundant wildlife including pronghorn antelope, coyotes, jackrabbits, and big horn sheep. The park has five developed campgrounds that have tent pads with fire rings. Additionally, there is a primitive campground that is very rough. All the sites in the park are on first come first serve basis. No reservation will be allowed in the park. The lower Lehman Creek Park is open all year round whereas the rest are open from May to October. The developed sites will charge you $12 a night but the primitive site is free. 

© Travel Nevada

There are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy including hiking, exploring, and biking. The park is the best for stargazing of all parks and camping sites in Nevada. The amenities at the sites include picnic tables, tent pads, picnic tables, and camp fire grills. Be aware, there are no hookups in the sites. Each of the campsites is limited to a maximum of eight people, two vehicles, and three tents.

4. Echo Canyon State Park

© The Nevada Travel Network

Echo Canyon State Park is located towards the eastern edge of Nevada, 15 miles to the east of Pioche town. The park is surrounded by historic ranches and contains the Echo Canyon Reservoir. If you are a fisher you can stop at the reservoir to search for bass and trout.The park allows campers to enjoy many outdoor activities including swimming, fishing, and hiking. 

While at the park you will also see some rare bird species that live in the park. They include the desert vultures, owls, and herons. The park has two campgrounds, the first is located towards the North of the park, and it has 33 camping sites. The other one is designed for travel trailers and it has over 20 sites. Some of the amenities that the park provides include a dumping site, restrooms, and water.

The park operates on a first come first serve basis and it does not accept reservations. Additionally, if you are looking for some balance between nature and technology then Echo State Park is just the right thing. Having internet connectivity in the park makes the park family friendly. If you have small kids they will appreciate the flexibility of a cottage or cabin. Beyond the cabins there are spaces for RVS and traditional campers. The park has a wide range of ATV trails that help one explore the desert landscape.

5. Black Rock Desert Recreation Area

© The American Southwest

Every year around August more than 50,000 people travel to the Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to attend the annual Burning Man Festival. For the rest of the year you will have the recreation area full of playa plains and lava beds all to yourself.

Black Rock is located in a remote area North-West Nevada. It has endless exploration opportunities sitting on an area more than 300,000 acres. Black Rock is open to off-road vehicles, biking, and hiking. You can see the wagon wheel ruts from the Oregon Trail in the Emigrant Trails section.

The land speed record of 1,227 km per hour was set at Black Rock in 1997. The area does not have established campgrounds, but dispersed camping is allowed throughout the park. There are no charges to visit Black Rock and everything is free. 

You can visit any day as the area is open all year round. During summer time the place becomes very hot and it offers full hook ups for RV’s that have air conditioners as needed. The availability changes and the authorities will only allow day use if the conditions are not safe during the night. 

6. Red Rock Campground

© Bureau of Land Management

The Red Rock Campground is located inside the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The park is full of red sandstone pillars, waterfalls, and ancient petroglyphs that eventually formed into rocks by the red Indians. The camp has over 50 regular sites that can hold up to ten people to visit at one go, and each of them has six RV sites. 

Additionally, there are larger camping sites that can accommodate more than twenty people. The camping sites are basic but they have helpful amenities such as grills, water, and restrooms. Occasionally, visitors will hold campfire programs at the campground though a park ranger must be there.

© Ashley Abroad

It is a popular area for locals as it offers something different and it is very easy to access. The area is family oriented and offers a fun glimpse into the old. You also do not have to worry about the scorching sun and the high desert heat. What’s more there are many untouched landscapes you can explore outside the campground. The views and pictures you take home are worth every second you spend at Red Rock Campground.

7. Horsethief Gulch Campground

© Steven S. / Hipcamp

Horsethief Campground is located near the Spring Valley State Park. While you are here, you will have the opportunity to explore the desert landscapes that are full of rugged hiking trails and old ranches. Additionally, you will see a few streams that are situated nearby and have plenty of fish. The streams are ideal for fishing. 

On some occasions you will see trumpeter swans swimming down them. There are 36 sites on the campground and have features including Wi-Fi, toilets, trash cans, picnic tables, and water. The campgrounds accommodate both motorhomes and tent campers.

8. Ruby Mountains Scenic Area

© Sierra Club

Glaciers are a thing of the past in Nevada. However, during the last ice age, big ice sheets covered the Northern parts of the state. Scars carved by Nevada’s icy age include granite cirques, hanging valleys, and moraines. You can see them in the Sierra-like Ruby Mountains that are in the South of the Elko.

There are many backpacking and hiking opportunities in the Rubies including the world famous Ruby Crest national recreational trail. During winter helicopter skiing and backcountry are also popular. Ruby Mountains Scenic Area has five national forest campgrounds with primitive sites and unlimited backcountry.

© Camille Cusumano

The area is remote and you need to be prepared though you are guaranteed of unparalleled sunsets, stars, and solitude. You can book the tent sites from also as $ 15 in a night. The area is open from May to October but sometimes it is open through to December. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy including hiking, biking, and exploring. If you get a spot in the area you will not be disappointed. 

The area has a thick aspen cover that provides you with shade. Though it is primitive it has several amenities including toilets and water. There is a seven day camping limit in Ruby Mountains Scenic Area.

9. Valley of Fire State Park

© Clément Bardot

Valley of Fire State Park is a popular spot for tourists and is located near the border of Nevada and Utah. The Park has sandstone formations that have been in existence for over 150 million years. It is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, and has a long history of human occupation and use including pre-historic Anasazi Pueblo and Basket maker cultures. 

The park has a visitor center that opens daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 am and it showcases exhibits of ecology, geology, and history of the area and numerous hiking trails. What’s more there are several stops at several of the petroglyph panels at the famous Atlatl Rock and Mouse Tank.  

There are two campgrounds that feature more than 72 sites that are equipped with grills and tables. To spend a night at the RV sites you will have to part with $ 24 and for the tent site you will pay $ 14 for a single night’s stay. You can visit the park any season as it is open all year round, but you cannot place reservations as it works on first come first serve basis.

10. Fort Churchill State Historic Park

© Fort Churchill State Historic Park, Nevada

The Fort Churchill Historic Park is full of the ruins of an old U.S Army garrison and rail road. It forms part of a pony express route and is packed with many breathtaking natural wonders including the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as the Carson River. 

These Historic Park has 20 sites and each can accommodate up to 10 people. You can stay at the park for two weeks and it does accept reservations. There are amenities in the park including fire rings, grills, picnic tables, toilets, and running water. You can also have a group camping as long as you can afford to pay for a ranger to offer security. 

Conclusion

There are many great campsites to choose from in Nevada. So, it will depend on what kind of experience you would want to have. If lush forests, lakes, and the desert is your thing then Nevada is the place for you and your family to visit. All of the above destinations are highly recommended for their incredible camping opportunities.

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