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Camping on Public Lands

The public lands are open to camping.  There is no fee for dispersed, primitive camping, but there is a limit to the number of days one may camp in the same location.  Dispersed, primitive camping is camping where there are no developed amenities such as water or toilets. Primitive campers are asked to follow the "Leave No Trace" land use ethics.  Dispersed camping in a motorhome is allowed, but dumping black or gray water on the public lands isn't allowed.  Please empty waste tanks at approved locations.

Leave No Trace: http://lnt.org/programs/principles.php

The BLM Nevada occupancy rule
A person may not occupy undeveloped public lands or designated sites or areas for more than 14 days within a 28 consecutive day period. Following the 14 days, a person and their personal property must relocate to a site outside of at least a 25 mile radius from the occupied site for a period of 14 days.

An occupancy limitation rule was established to reduce user conflicts caused by long-term occupancy that may hamper reasonable opportunities for other members of the public to camp in or use the same area.  Additionally, long-term occupancy can result in vegetation trampling, erosion, wildlife disruption and improper waste disposal. BLM established occupancy limits for camping with the publication of a notice in the Federal Register on Oct. 5, 1993.

BLM Nevada Campgrounds

Battle Mountain District
50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820

  • Hickison Petroglyphs are 24 miles east of Austin. This campground offers 16 campsites, a day use area, two vault type toilets, grills, tables, a one-half mile ADA accessible interpretive trail, and trash cans. Small to mid-sized RVs can be accommodated. There is no water. Open year round. Fee: none.
  • Mill Creek is 24 miles south of Battle Mountain on State Route 305. This campground offers 11 tent camp sites, three RV sites, two accessible sites, one dual accessible vault-type toilet, day use area, tables, and grills. Open year round. There is no drinking water. Fee: none.

Carson City District
5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701

  • Indian Creek is 7 miles north of Markleeville on Highway 89. This campsite offers 19 sites for RVs or tents. A second area has 10 sites for tents only and features grills, tables, tent pads, flush toilets, hot showers, drinking water, and a sanitary dump station are provided. There is one reservable group campsite that holds up to 40 people. Campground is open May through September. Fees: RV and tent sites in the main campground are $20-$32 per night. Reserved group site is $50 per night. Tent only, walk in sites are $14-$20 per night.
  • Walker Lake is 15 miles north of Hawthorne on U.S. 95. Sportsman’s Beach offers 40 sites, tables, vault toilets, fire rings, and a boat launch. Other sites along the lake include: The Cove-camping; Twenty-Mile Beach-camping, fishing and boating; Tamarack-camping, day use and boating; East Shore-camping, day use and boating. Fees: $6 per night for developed sites; $4 per night for undeveloped sites.
  • Wilson Canyon is 20 miles south of Yerington on Highway 208. Camping, vault toilet and off-highway vehicle parking are available.
  • Sand Mountain is 25 miles east of Fallon on U.S. 50. There is designated camping near the base of Sand Mountain, vault toilets, dumpsters, and off highway vehicle use. There is no water available. This is a fees area. Annual pass $90; seven-day pass $40, Tuesday and Wednesday are free.

Elko District
3900 East Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801

  • Wilson Reservoir is 83 miles northwest of Elko via State Route 225 to State Route 226, the last 16 miles on a gravel road. Elevation is 5,300 feet. This campground offers 20 campsites, featuring 12 shade shelters, tables, fire rings, vault toilets, a dump station, hand pump water, and a boat ramp. Fee is $2 per visit. Campground is accessible late April through October. Camping fee: $4 per night/per vehicle.
  • North Wildhorse Campground is 70 miles north of Elko on State Route 225. Elevation is 6,200 feet. This campground features 18 campsites, tables, fire rings, grills, three group sites, vault toilets and hand pump water. There is no drinking water available. Scenic drives and mountain biking opportunities are nearby. Campground is accessible late May through October. Camping fee: $6 per night/per vehicle.
  • Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir is 30 miles southeast of Elko via state Route 227 to State Route 228. Elevation is 5,600 feet. This campground features open camping on the north and south shores only. Tables, grills, and vault toilets are available in the day use area. There is no drinking water available. Fee: $2.
  • Tabor Creek is 30 miles northwest of Wells on mostly gravel road. Elevation is 6,000 feet. This campground features 10 campsites, tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. Mountain biking, hiking, and fishing opportunities are nearby. There is no drinking water available. Campground is accessible mid-April through late November. Fee: $2.

Ely District
702 Industrial Way, HC33 Box 33500, Ely, NV 89301

  • Cleve Creek is 12 miles north of Highway 6-50 in north Spring Valley. Elevation is 6,233 feet. Travel trailers are permitted with the exception of a 24 ft. maximum. This campground features good steam fishing with a variety of campsites available. No drinking water is available. Fee: none.
  • Goshute Canyon is a primitive campground near the lower end of Goshute Creek in the Cherry Creek Range. Elevation is 6,230 feet. There is no toilet. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. Fee: none.
  • Illipah Reservoir is 37 miles west of Ely on Highway 50, turn at the sign for Illipah Reservoir and continue 1 mile to a road junction, turn left and continue 1.3 miles to the campground. Elevation is 6,840 feet. There is no size limit for travel trailers. Fee: none.
  • Meadow Valley Campground is one-half mile south of State Park, near Pioche. Elevation is 5,740 feet. Travel trailers and RVs are not recommended. Campground is primitive with no facilities. There are fishing and hiking opportunities. Fee: none.

Southern Nevada District
4701 Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130

  • Knob Hill Primitive Camping
    This area south of Nelson and north of Searchlight is primarily used by hunters, rock climbers, and local campers. Directions: Highway 95 South to White County sign for Nelson turnoff. Take the road 2 miles east to Power Line Road, continue east 4 miles to granite outcropping. Fee: none.
  • Logandale Trails System Primitive Camping
    This campground offers campsites with some tables found along the 13 mile loop. Directions: follow I-15 to Logandale exit 93. Turn right on Liston Drive, 3.3 miles on State Route 169, immediately after the Post Office. Follow the road 5.6 miles to the trails system. Fee: none.
  • Virgin Mountains Primitive Camping
    Virgin Mountains offers primitive camping east of Mesquite. Directions: Highway 15 to Mesquite, follow the road to Bunkerville, after the concrete bridge, turn left. Fee: none.
  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Campground
    This campground features 71 developed campsites and five group sites. The campground is on Highway 159, two miles east of the Visitor Center and four miles west of I-215. Most campsites include a picnic table and grill with water and toilets nearby. No hookups are available. The access road into the campground is limited to campers only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Reservations for group sites may be made up to six months in advance, but no later than one week in advance. Fees: $15 per night with a limit of 10 people and two vehicles per site. Group campsites are $40 per night and are available for groups between 10 and 20 people. Call 702-515-5371 (Mon-Fri from 9-4 p.m.) for available group site reservations only.
  • Red Rock Canyon Primitive Camping
    Several backcountry camping locations are available at Red Rock Canyon. Please call 702-515-5050 for more information, directions, or to obtain a permit. Fee: none.

Winnemucca District
5100 East Winnemucca Blvd. Winnemucca, NV 89445

  • Onion Valley Reservoir is 28 miles south of Denio Junction. Six semi-primitive campsites for tents or tent trailers, two vault toilets, fire pits, and tables are available on a first come, first served basis. This campground is accessible from mid June through mid October. Fee: none.
  • Water Canyon Recreation Area is 4.5 miles southeast of Winnemucca on Water Canyon Road. This recreation area features primitive campsites with accessible fire rings, tables, and vault toilets. Accessible year round. Fee: none.
  • Sonoma Canyon is 15 miles south of Winnemucca with the turnoff along Grass Valley Road. This area features primitive camping for tents and trailers. There are no facilities. Fee: none.
  • Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area is located north of Gerlach. Many established primitive sites exist for tent and trailer camping. There are seven designated campsites at Soldier Meadows campground where fire rings and a vault toilet are provided. Fee: none.

For information on other improved, fee campgrounds in Nevada:

Nevada State Parks: http://parks.nv.gov/

U.S. Forest Service (Humboldt-Toiyabe): www.fs.usda.gov/htnf

Last updated: 04-02-2014