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May 20, 2010

Camping the 50 States: Tent Camping in Nevada

Filed under: Campground Destinations — Tags: , — Simos @ 2:10 am
Red Rock Canyon, outside Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon, outside Las Vegas
Photo by: John Evans (Stock Exchange)

Hello again from AllCampgrounds!

Today, we continue on our quest to camp all 50 states by dropping in on the camping scene in Nevada. Not the first place you think of when you think camping?

You’re not alone: millions of people flock to Las Vegas every year, but only a fraction go out and enjoy the state’s many camp grounds.

We’re going to do our small part to change that today, introducing you to some of Nevada’s great tent camping opportunities. RV camping, which is a good deal more widespread, will follow soon!

When camping in Nevada, you’ll want to avoid the summers, where the mid-day heat can easily exceed 110 degrees. Winters are more mild, but night-time temp in the winter can also be severe, while daily temperatures are a welcoming 40-60 degrees. Snow is virtually non-existent, but tents and bedrolls need to be well-constructed and well-insulated. Also, be aware of water: conserve during the evening and stay well-hydrated in the day. Heat exhaustion can happen before you know it, and sunscreen is a must!

Tent Camping in Nevada

Valley of Fire State Park: At first glance it might seem like the Nevada wilderness is “empty”, but places like Valley of Fire prove it’s anything but. Marked by fascinating formations of red sandstone, Valley of Fire is the state’s oldest, and also it’s largest, state park. It includes over 70 camp grounds with shaded tables, grills, restroom facilities, and water. All campsites in Valley of Fire are “first come, first serve.”

Lake Tahoe: Beautiful Lake Tahoe is one of the largest lakes in North America. Shared between California and Nevada, it’s a developed tourist destination in its own right, dotted with lodges and luxury hotels that offer fishing, boating, and winter sports. For the camping crowd, Tahoe has just as many great opportunities in store. On the Nevada side, there are three state parks in the Tahoe area. Combined, these offer dozens of developed sites, as well as beautiful backcountry for hiking, riding, and biking.

Walker Lake: Lake Tahoe may be one of the most famous, but it’s by no means the only lake around. For those who find the idea of 100-degree heat a little bit oppressive, lakefront camping offers huge advantages, and Walker Lake in western Nevada is a great choice. At Sportsman’s Beach, the top location for fishing, you’ll find 31 campsites and two undeveloped areas. Once again, stock up on water: developed sites include vault toilets as your free “camping bathroom”, but there is no drinking water, which many other Nevada camp grounds provide.

There are many other state parks and private camp grounds around Nevada. For a handy chart containing information on state park fees, click here. We’ll look at RV camping in the area soon!

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