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Near the Utah border, roughly 300 miles north of Las Vegas is Great Basin National Park. This biodiverse ecosystem covers over 77,000 acres of foothills, sagebrush, and bristlecone pines and has something to offer every outdoor adventurer.
There are plenty of opportunities to camp at Great Basin, allowing visitors to fully experience the park’s unique natural wonders. Search for RV rentals in White Pine County and plan to explore Lehman Caves and Prometheus, one of the park’s oldest bristlecone pine trees. The park, home to the highest mountain peak in Nevada, attracts hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders from Baker to Caliente.
RV camping is one of the most convenient ways to experience everything Great Basin National Park has to offer. No matter what kind of outdoor adventure you’re craving, Great Basin offers a full itinerary of activities year-round.
While you’re here, take some time to view the park’s bristlecone pines, the longest-living tree species in the world. A stump is all that remains of Prometheus, the park’s most legendary bristlecone pine which is more than 4,800 years old. Visitors are allowed to count the rings of Prometheus but are asked to respect the landscape and leave all pine wood undisturbed.
Campers will have plenty of time to observe the majestic and diverse wildlife of the park. Pack your binoculars in your RV rental to watch for elk, badgers, kit foxes, and more. Tread carefully, though — coyotes, cougars, and bobcats also roam the park. Birdwatchers will have no shortage of species to spot, including hawks, bald eagles, and barn owls.
A few short, self-guided hikes lead visitors to the park’s bristlecone pines and the only glacier in the state. Camping at Great Basin National Park is also a good opportunity to participate in the park’s ranger programs, including the astronomy program. The absence of light pollution allows campers to marvel at the enchanting beauty of the Milky Way and the starry night sky.
When the snow starts to fall, Great Basin transforms into a wonderland for winter wanderers. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the groomed trails in the park. If you’re prepared for the challenge, you can even climb Wheeler’s Peak.
Great Basin National Park features multiple options for motorhome camping, with five campgrounds offering the same amenities. Picnic tables, vault toilets, tent pads, and fire grills give visitors a rustic camping experience.
Hookups aren’t available for RV campers at Great Basin National Park, and most sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, you can reserve tent camping spots at Grey Cliffs Campground.
Bear in mind that not all of the campgrounds are open year-round, with most operating seasonally from May to October. The only campground open year-round for winter visitors is Lower Lehman Creek, which offers pull-through sites for rental RVs. Snake Creek Campground is occasionally open year-round, weather permitting.
Nearby gas stations and hotels offer shower facilities and flush toilets. Pets are welcome to accompany you for your Great Basin National Park camping trip, so long as they stay on a leash.
The main attraction at Great Basin National Park is Lehman Caves. These caverns began to form during the Cambrian era, approximately 550 million years ago. The cave system, along with much of Nevada and Utah, was still submerged in the ocean at that time. Spelunkers can take a guided tour to learn the history of these awe-inspiring, subterranean passageways.
When you’re all done exploring Great Basin National Park, hop in your RV rental and venture about 60 miles northwest to the town of Ely. Here, you’ll find the White Pine Public Museum. Learn more about the Shoshone tribe which once inhabited these lands, as well as the area’s own gold rush. Stop by the gift shop and grab a souvenir to commemorate your trip.
Ely is also home to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. The museum is devoted to restoring historic railroad equipment, including steam and electric locomotives. Treat the kids to a historic train ride on one of the railway’s authentic locomotives, which departs from the town’s original depot. There’s always something fun happening at the museum, so check the event schedule when planning your visit.
In Baker, just over five miles east of the park’s entrance, you’ll find plenty of places to eat, including cafes, restaurants, and bakeries. You can also restock and refuel your rental RV at Baker’s gas stations before hitting the road and continuing your adventure through the desert.