Turn up the heat on your RV adventure, with camping at the Gap Mountain Campground in Nevada. This campground is located in the White River Valley in northeastern Nye Country, an area that was originally settled by early Mormon pioneers in the 1870s. This US Bureau of Land Management Area is aligned with the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area. It's an 14,815 acre park that includes five large reservoirs and is home to an extensive variety of animals, birds, plants, and trees.
At an elevation of 5,220 feet, Gap Mountain offers primitive camping among the dry, high desert landscape. With mellow waters, an arid climate and mountain vistas, this is a truly idyllic location. Set up your camp in this private and secluded campground, with many visitors noting that the clear skies make this a great campground for stargazing. As well as being an ideal base for a whole host of recreational activities including visiting hot springs, hiking, fishing, climbing, hunting, mountain biking and more.
If you are considering visiting the BLM-managed Gap Mountain Campground for premium primitive camping in the stunning desert setting, our guide includes everything that you need to know to make sure that your trip is a success.
Located around 78 miles south of Ely, the Gap Mountain Campground is situated near to the town of Ruth in White Pine County. This small town was founded in 1903 as a company town for employees at the nearby mines. Within the town, there are several stores, as well as restaurants. Fun fact: this small Nevada town was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s novel Desperation.
If you are getting to the area via US 7 and HWY 318, turn at the NYE milepost 12. 4 and take the southern access road to the Wildlife Management Area. During the winter, some of the roads in this area may be subject to snow tire/chain restrictions and may even be closed in treacherous weather conditions. As always, we advise that you check the forecast and driving conditions as you are planning your trip.
There is parking available at the Gap Mountain Campground, with a lot by the entrance and space to park your vehicle at your campsite.
There is no public transportation directly to Gap Mountain Campground due to its remote location. However, there are transit options available to nearby Ruth, and the campsite is approximately two miles from the center of town. The nearest airport is the Elko Regional Airport which has domestic flights only.
With some of the most spectacular scenery in the area, the High Schells Wilderness Area is a truly beautiful plot of 121, 449 Acres. Located around 20 miles northeast of Ely, this mountainous region is comprised of wonderful vistas, a diverse range of wildlife, and a fantastic choice of nearby recreational activities. Within this, the Timber Creek Campground is situated at Duck Creek.
The campground consists of five group campsites, with sites having the ability to accommodate between 25-100 people. This is a basic site, but there are vault toilets and drinking water is provided. Each of the campsites has a picnic table, campfire ring and a grill, which are handy for your camp cookout.
Located in the Majestic White River valley, the Gap Mountain Campground is the nearest campsite to the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area. The campground consists of six campgrounds offered first-come, first-served.
Gap Mountain is a primitive site with no facilities. Instead, it offers the opportunity to get back to nature and relax in the breathtaking desert surroundings. This is a year-round campsite, but there is a 14-day stay limit. It should also be noted that campfires are not allowed here.
The Dave Deacon Campground is a free campsite situated in the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area near the town of Lund. It was previously named the Hot Creek campground, due to its close proximity to the hot springs. This is dry camping with no hook-ups, but each site does have a big rig, picnic table, and fire ring. There are also vault toilets, a dump station and water spigots with potable drinking water. Pets are allowed at this campground but should be kept on a leash and under control.
Although Nevada may not seem like an obvious vacation spot for the keen angler, there is a choice of premium fishing spots located near the Gap Mountain campground. The Adams McGill Reservoir offers the perfect opportunity for bass and trout fishing, with the best fishing between May and October.
If you are willing to travel a little further, Comins Lake is also a popular choice, with bass, trout, and pike here in abundance. Wherever you are planning on fishing during your trip, you must have an up-to-date Nevada fishing license and check out the catch limits on some species.
The nearby wildlife management area offers an excellent opportunity to see a diverse range of species that thrive in the desert climate. The area in and around the Gap Mountain Campground is home to a range of big game animals, reptiles and amphibians, including rabbits, bobcat, skunks, weasels, badger, sage grouse, and mule deer. You will certainly want to take your binoculars. Bird-watchers will be thrilled at the chance to spot the many residents and migratory birds that nest here.
Relax and unwind in this natural geological wonder and float away from your worries in these invitingly tempting waters. Located in the north-central portion of the wildlife area, the Hot Creek Refugium is a National Natural Landmark. The warm waters that bubble up from the ground make this a popular spot to visit for some R&R amongst the beautiful Nevada scenery.
When you are visiting the region, it is important to remember that this spring is a lifeline for so many of the area’s species. It is also a critical habitat, with the protected white river spring fish at home here.
If you are interested in mountain climbing, there are plenty of opportunities for some serious scaling near to the Gap Mountain Campground. Hercules Gap is a popular choice, with many climbers attempting to conquer this limestone canyon and clamber up the developed routes already in place.
Alternatively, the Valley of the Kings is just north of Cave Lake State Park. This has over 30 already established routes, with single and multi-pitch climbs to suit a variety of levels and abilities.
Parts of the area surrounding the Gap Mountain Campground are popular for hunting, particularly in the fall. Trapping is also allowed here, but only with a valid permit and within specific trapping areas. If you are hunting, there are strict regulations regarding the shells and guns that you use and it is imperative to check the current restrictions.
For example, shotguns holding more than three shells or toxic shells are not permitted at this time. If you are planning on hunting in the area, it is recommended that you contact park services regarding regulations and appropriate hunting areas.
This is a great location for MTB fun in the desert wilderness! There is a selection of trails to choose from, to suit various levels and abilities, including the Powderberry Divide, the Ice Plant, and the 4.1 miles long Twisted Pines trails.
Alternatively, if you prefer to explore off the beaten path, this could be the ideal location. With some white knuckle declines and a wide range of terrains, this is an ideal spot for backcountry mountain biking.