Great Basin National Park Boondockers Friendly Spots 12 Miles: Cleve Creek
Address National Forest Development Road 435 Ely, Nevada Elevation: 6276
Management -Public Bureau of Land Management
Cleve Creek is open May-Sep. The maximum RV length at Cleve Creek is 24 feet. We were car camping our way across Nevada route 50 in May, 2020. We went to Cleve Creek because our first choice, Sacramento Pass, was full. And boy are we glad Sacramento Pass was full! Cleve Creek is about 14 miles off route 50. There was only 2 other campers there.
Where To Get Supplies
Great Basin National Park is nothing if not remote. Located in far east Nevada, the park provides a true wilderness experience. All that solitude makes it important to be prepared for your camping trip as there arent many services close to the national park.
Check out your best bets for stocking up prior to your Great Basin National Park camping trip below:
My Camping Review Of Sacramento Pass Recreation Area
Although the first loop is right next to the main road the Sacramento Pass Recreation Area is still peaceful and a great place to camp for a few days.
Its not often you get so many amenities in a free campground and the area is beautiful.
You can even see the top of Wheeler Peak which is the tallest mountain peak in Great Basin National Park.
This area has one of the darkest skies in America and you can clearly see the Milky Way at night.
I dont know if Ive ever seen so many stars, most places have some sort of light pollution but Baker, NV is so far away from any large towns or cities the night sky is very dark and only lit up by stars.
The campsites are a little closer together than I would like but you still get your own space and most of them are level which is a huge bonus for people who camp in RVs or trailers.
You arent far from Baker, NV, and Great Basin National Park which makes Sacramento Pass the perfect place to camp while you explore the park.
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Great Basin National Park is free to visit and there are some amazing hikes you can do as well as the Lehman Caves Tour.
We werent able to get any cell service with Verizon even with our booster but AT& T had one bar of LTE which was slow but usable.
The town of Baker Nevada is small but there is a gas station and some small restaurants.
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The Ultimate Guide To Great Basin National Park Camping
Tucked away in the Nevadan wilderness is a state park shaped by native tribes, sheepherders, and other people of great historicity, vision, and purposeGreat Basin National Park, a location brimming with just as much historical significance as present-day beauty! With Great Basin, youve picked a great park for camping, and our Great Basin National Park Camping Guide is here to give you a snapshot of everything you need to know to make the most of your camping adventure in the park!
Read on to learn more about this extremely popular national park!
Getting To And Around Great Basin National Park
Located just south of Highway 50, commonly known as the Loneliest Road in America, Great Basin is accessed from Highway 487 to Baker, then Highway 488 into the park.
Once inside Great Basin, visitors can traverse Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive throughout the northern region. Any vehicles or trailers longer than 24 feet cannot travel past Upper Lehman Campground. Also, please consider that during winter months, the road is not plowed, so access is limited by the weather.
There are several unimproved roads throughout the park leading to many trailheads for exploring more of the backcountry but many require the use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
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Great Basin National Park Fees & Reservations
Entrance to Great Basin National Park is FREE. Yes, you read that correctly, you dont have to pay anything at all to visit Great Basin National Park you will have to pay for other stuff you want camping, tours etc but thats to be expected. The great thing is that you can visit the Great Basin National Park and have a fantastic time without having to pay for the privilege.
Great Basin National Park Lehman Caves Tours
All cave tours are charged on a per person basis, even visitors who have something like an America the Beautiful Pass still have to pay for tours of the Lehman Caves, although there are discounts for holders of Golden Access and Golden Age cards.
Lehman Caves are a fragile ecosystem which can be affected very easily by the actions, even just by the presence of visitors. For this reason there are certain rules which people must follow when they visit the Lehman Caves.
- Things you may take with you on your Lehman Cave Tour jacket, flashlight, hand-held camera
- Things you may not take with you on your Lehman Cave Tour food, water, purses, backpacks, tripods, camera cases, gum, cigarettes, tobacco, strollers, pets . . .
Camping at Great Basin National Park
Primitive Camping at Great Basin National Park RVs at Great Basin National ParkCampground Regulations For All Campgrounds in Great Basin National Park
Snake Creek Road Campgrounds
These primitive campgrounds along Snake Creek Road are not developed but they offer a great camping alternative to the developed ones in Great Basin National Park. Each of the campsites in these campgrounds has a picnic table and also most of them have fire rings. Each of the campsites can accommodate up to 15 people. These campgrounds also have no trash facilities or restrooms and hence you are required to bury your waste away from the water sources and carry your trash. RVs and trailers are not recommended in these campsites. The good thing about these campsites is that they are free.
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Great Basin National Park
National Park Service, Nevada.
From the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak, to the sage-covered foothills, Great Basin National Park is a place to sample the stunning diversity of the larger Great Basin region. Come and partake of the solitude of the wilderness, walk among ancient bristlecone pines, bask in the darkest of night skies, and explore mysterious subterranean passages. There’s a whole lot more than just desert here!
Walking Across The Ancient Bristlecone Pines
The Bristlecone pines are plant species with a great attraction in the Great Basin National Park. They can survive even under harsh conditions and, therefore, of all the trees, they are the ones which have lived for the longest time. The woods of these trees are resistant to fungi, rot, and insects because of growing very slowly due to high elevations, strong winds, and cold temperatures. The three Bristlecone pine groves that you can find in the Great Basin National Park are the Wheeler Peak Grove, Mount Washington Grove, and the Eagle Peak Glove. The most accessible grove is Wheeler Peak Grove while the others are difficult to access.
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Camping At Great Basin National Park Fees
When planning your Great Basin National Park camping excursion, there are some camping fees to be aware of:
- $20.00 per night, per site fee for individual sites at developed campgrounds
- $10.00 per night, per site fee for Senior/Access Pass holders.
- $30.00 per night fee for group sites, with no discount for Senior/Access Pass holders.
Great Basin National Park accepts only cash or credit card reservations cannot be made by check.
What To Bring On Your Great Basin National Park Camping Trip
Preparing for your Great Basin National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear youll need to ensure a great trip.
Were sure youll already have the essentials like a great tent, sleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in Great Basin:
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Snake Creek Road Primitive Campgrounds
In addition to the five developed campgrounds described above, Great Basin National Park also features primitive campgrounds along Snake Creek Road. Snake Creek Road begins in the town of Garrison, NV and winds its way for approximately 8.5 miles into the heart of Great Basin National Park. See the map below for more detail.
Number of Sites: 12 campsites please camp at designed sites only!Fee: FreeCapacity: Up to 15 people / 6 pack animals / 6 vehicle per siteRVs: Not recommendedMore Information
Although they are not developed campgrounds, the primitive sites along Snake Creek Road provide an excellent option for camping in Great Basin National Park. Each of the campsites along Snake Creek Road include a picnic table and many have fire rings. The park service requires that you place your tent within 30 of either the picnic table or fire ring. The campsites are generally quite large and can accommodate groups of up to 15 people.
There are no restrooms or trash facilities along Snake Creek Road, so always be sure to bury your waste and pack out all of your trash. Water can occasionally be drawn from Snake Creek, but must be treated.
The road itself can be quite tough at times, so a high clearance vehicle is recommended. While you may be able to pass some portions in a smaller passenger vehicle, we dont recommend it. For these same reasons RVs and trailers are not recommended for any of the campsites along Snake Creek Road.
How Much Time Do You Need For Your Visit
The time you spend at Great Basin National Park depends on the things that you decide to do there. For instance, if you are only doing the scenic drive and the Lehman Caves tour two days will be enough for you. However, if you are a passionate and enthusiastic hiker and probably you want to do more things like backpacking overnight, 3 or 4 days will be enough.
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Most Popular Campgrounds In Great Basin National Park
The Great Basin National Park appears barren at a glance, but this hidden gem is made up of glacial lakes, groves of ancient bristlecone pines and a permanent ice field. Such an awesome range of landscapes within a compact area makes for a pretty special place to camp. These three campsites are the most-frequented and present the perfect base camp for exploring this underrated, ancient wonder.
Climate In Great Basin National Park
The climate in Great Basin National Park varies drastically across the nearly 8,000-foot elevation change between the valley floor and Wheeler Peak. And, of course, that means weather conditions can be all over the place around these parts, and different throughout the park. In late spring and early summer, days in the valley below may be hot, with a 30 degree temperature drop as you approach Wheeler Peak parking lot, which sits at 10,000 feet. In the summer, fast moving weather systems are known to move in and out of the park suddenly, with fierce afternoon thunderstorms.
The Great Basin is one of the four deserts in North America, with low relative humidity and sharp drops in temperature at night. As with most other destinations around Nevada, be prepared to face a variety of weather scenarios by packing lots of layers, no matter what time of year it is.
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Reviews For Great Basin National Park Camping
With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, Great Basin National Park is extremely popular among both campers and visitors alike. Its been noted by reviewers as being a bustling, often crowded park despite being well off the beaten path, but its campsites are praised for feeling well spaced apart and remote even when at full capacity.
Accommodations And Dining Near The Great Basin National Park
Your accommodation options are not that many in Great Basin National Park and you can either stay within the park or outside in the vicinity. Within the park, you can either camp at the developed campgrounds or primitive campgrounds. An example of the developed campground is the Wheeler Peak and that of a primitive campground is Snake Creek campground. Outside the park, you can stay in RV campgrounds such as the Border Inn and Elly KOA. About dining, when you visit Great Basin National Park, you either prepare your food or you can eat in cafes and restaurants such as the Lehman Caves Visitor Center cafe, and T& Ds in Baker.
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What To Bring While Camping At Great Basin National Park
Its important to come prepared for your Great Basin National Park camping adventure!
Tent campers should ensure that all camping gear is in good repair, without tears in tents or tarps, etc. Sturdy, layered clothing is encouraged due to inclement weather and varying temperatures across Great Basins differing elevations, and durable footwear is a must for campers intending to hike and explore this gorgeous park. Its also encouraged to have on hand a map, GPS, compass, extra water and snacks, and a well-stocked first-aid kit in case of any unfortunate incidents.
Fishers should ensure their tackle and gear are in good repair, and that they have an up-to-date fishing license. Pine nut gatherers should bring along gunnysacks that are no larger than two feet by three feet when laid flat for collecting nuts.
For birdwatching, wildflower viewing, and sightseeing, a quality pair of binoculars and an up-to-date phone camera or handheld camera in good repair are highly recommended for commemorating your adventures!
The Complete Guide To Great Basin National Park Camping
There are five developed campgrounds at Great Basin National Park, as well as 4 available group campsites and several undeveloped primitive campsites. With accessibility for RVs and camper trailers as well as tent camping, its a guarantee that no matter what your camping style preference, youll be comfortable with what Great Basin has to offer!
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Great Basin National Park Boondocking 10 Miles: Great Basin Np Strawberry Creek
Address National Forest Development Road 456 Baker, Nevada
Management Public Bureau of Land Management
The road in is Gravel and 0.1 mile miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 60 feet.
This BLM Recreation area is adjacent to Highway 50 roughly 48 miles east of Ely, NV. There are pit toilets and almost all of the campsites have covered tables on concrete pads. Some of the campsites are pull throughs that will accommodate large RVs. Quite popular during hunting season and very close to Great Basin National Park. There are also 35 miles of mountain biking trails from the campground and a horse camp about a mile off the road with more pit toilets
Upper Lehman Creek Nv
After hundreds of miles of desert, this forested spot is a true oasis. Located inside the park, the sites here are nicely spread out and nestled in plenty of vegetation. With bathrooms but no showers, Upper Lehman Creek is the perfect campground if youre after a more rustic setting. There is also a few trails leading from the site itself, which is a convenient way to start exploring the Great Basin.
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Best Campgrounds In Great Basin
Great Basin has four developed campgrounds, all easily accessible by car, but only the Lower Lehman Creek Campground is open year-round. All are first come, first served, and can be paid for on-site with cash, check, or credit card. The campgrounds do fill up, so try to snag your spot early.
Primitive campsites around Snake and Strawberry creeks are open year-round and are free however, snow and rain can make access to the sites difficult. None have RV hookups .
After a few days of roughing it, grab a shower in Baker. Both Stargazer Inn and the Whispering Elms Campground offer them for purchase.
Baker Creek Campground. The turnoff is just past the park entrance, on the left as you approach the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. 2½ miles south of Rte. 488, 3 miles from visitor center.
Lower Lehman Creek Campground. Other than Great Basin’s primitive sites, this is the only campground in the park that is open year-round. It’s the first turnoff past the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. 2½ miles from visitor center on Wheeler Peak Scenic Dr..
Upper Lehman Creek Campground. About a mile past the Lower Lehman Creek turnoff, this camp fills up quickly in the summer. 4 miles from visitor center on Wheeler Peak Scenic Dr..
Wheeler Park Campground. This cool high-elevation campground at the end of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive has stunning views and is near trailheads. Many consider it the nicest in the park. 12 miles from Lehman Caves Visitor Center on Wheeler Peak Scenic Dr..