|Campground Guide||Backcountry||Backcountry Guide||Other Public Lands|
In Great Basin National Park, there are four campgrounds and a group camping area. Amenities include water (in summer), restrooms, fire rings and picnic tables. There are primitive campgrounds along Strawberry Creek and Snake Creek that have tables and pit toilets, but No Water. Only Lower Lehman Campground is open year round. The other campgrounds and primitive sites open as snow levels permit.
Camping fees are $10 per night per site. Golden Age or Golden Access card holders pay $5 per night. The Dump Station fee is $3. (Note: The Dump Station is closed during colder months)
|Lower Lehman||7,300 ft / 2200 m||All Year||11||Only in Summer|
|Wheeler Peak||9,950 ft / 3000 m||Jun||Sep||37||Only in Summer|
|Upper Lehman Creek||7,800 ft / 2400 m||May||Oct||24||Only in Summer|
|Baker Creek||7,700 ft / 2350 m||May||Oct||32||Yes|
|Grey Cliffs Group Campground||7,115 ft / 2160 m||May||Sep||No|
Additional Camping Information
Potable water and dump facilities are available at the dump station located just east (downhill) of the Visitor Center.
Grey Gliffs Group Campground - This group campsite is open May through November, weather permitting. A campfire is allowed in one campfire ring only. The campsite has pit toilets and no potable water. Water jugs can be filled at the Baker Creek Campground or the RV dumpstation. RV's are not recommended due to space constraints. The campsite fee is $25 per night for up to 25 people. Each additional person will increase the fee one dollar. The total may not exceed 50 people and $50. A $10 non-refundable deposit will be applied to the fee. Balance is due upon check-in.
Late fall, winter, and early spring weather dictates the availability of campsites and water. For more information on opening and closing dates call the Park at 775-234-7331.
Primitive camping facilities within the Park are located along Snake Creek and Strawberry Creek Roads. Picnic tables and fire pits are provided at most sites. A few Snake Creek sites have pits toilets. Creek water should be treated before using. Drinking water is available at the dump station near the Visitor Center from late spring through early fall. In winter water is available at the Visitor Center.
All park camping is on a first come, first served basis; no advance reservations can be made. Campsites cannot be "saved" or reserved for friends or relatives who may be arriving at a later time. There are also places to camp outside the park. Pets must be kept on a leash (6' or less in length) and/or under control at all times. Pets are not allowed on the trails.
There are approximately 19 primitive sites along the Snake Creek Road and several along the Strawberry Creek Road. These sites include an unpaved parking area, fire pit, pit toilet and table. They do not have water.
Camp in designated campsites only. Campsite limit are eight people and two vehicles per site. Camping is limited to 14 days in the entire park.
Build fires only in established fire pits, do not leave them unattended.
Fire arms and fireworks are not permitted in the park.
Dead wood and fallen to the ground wood may be collected for firewood. Chainsaws are not permitted.
Cutting of any live or standing wood is prohibited.
No collecting of any wood above 10,000' is permitted.
No collecting of any Bristlecone Pine wood is permitted.
Pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry. Pet waste must be disposed of properly.
Quiet hours are from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am. Generators may not be run during this time.
Vehicles must stay on established roadways. Operating ATV's and AT cycles is prohibited on National Park Lands.
Bicycles may be ridden on roads only, not on trails.
Keep a clean camp
Pack out all waste - trash receptacles are located at the RV Dump Station located just below the visitor center. Ditching or leveling of the ground is not permitted. Gray water must be disposed of properly and not allowed to empty into the ground directly.
Keep tables clean and do not leave food out. Skunks are a particular problem in the campgrounds. Do not feed the wildlife.
Great Basin National Park offers extensive areas for backpacking trips. Through there are a number of established routes, much of the park, especially the fragile alpine areas, remains wild country without trails. Backpackers should be prepared to hike cross-country on hard-to-follow routes, or to follow drainages, ridges and other natural features. Skills in map reading are essential to any off-trail travel in the park. Though permits are currently not required for backcountry camping, we encourage you to come to the visitor center before departing to fill out a voluntary backcountry registration form and to obtain the latest information on backcountry conditions.
Elevations in the park range from 6,200 to 13,063 feet. Due to the extreme elevation range, backpackers should be prepared for highly variable weather conditions. At the elevation of the visitor center (6825 feet), the weather can be quite warm and pleasant by April. However, the higher elevations areas, including some of the most scenic and inspiring areas for backpacking, are usually snowbound until late June. At elevations of 10,000 feet and higher, snow and/or electrical storms can be life-threatening, and can occur any month of the year. Be prepared for possible extreme conditions. When hiking at the highest elevations in the park, carry clothing and gear for a wide range of temperatures and conditions.
Water supplies in the backcountry are highly variable from year to year and season to season. No water source in the backcountry should be used without boiling or filtering. Ask at the visitor center about water sources and availability when you arrive. Generally, late spring is the time of most abundant water. By late summer, streams and springs can be dry, or nearly so. It is advisable to carry ample water on any backcountry trip, and drink it! Keeping hydrated prevents many ailments encountered while hiking.
Be aware of other hazards that exist when hiking, in the backcountry or on day-hikes. Hypothermia, dehydration, altitude sickness and sun exposure are serious hazards that should be understood by the hiker before venturing on any hike. Be sure to maintain an appropriate level of preparedness for these and other situations. More information about these hazards can be obtained at the visitor center. Also remember that it is unsafe to enter any mine or cave without proper approval.
Much of the park's scenic backcountry is at elevations of 9000 feet and above. As a result the hiking season here is typically limited to the months of June through September. Deep snow closes the roads and limits access to those equipped with skis or snowshoes for the remainder of the year. The Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, one of the roads which provides access to the high country, is often not completely open until mid-June, though it may be open by Memorial Day Weekend. The upper elevations of the dirt roads that lead into the remote southern section of the park are impassable until late spring. Four-wheel drive is required on some of these roads, especially when wet. Inquire at the visitor center for more information on dirt roads which provide access to the backcountry.
Great Basin National Park is covered by six topographic sheets in the United States 7 1/2 minute series. The Wheeler Peak and Kious Spring sheets cover much of the high-elevation, scenic backcountry. The Windy Peak sheet covers a number of the most popular trails, however, these trails are also the most heavily used by day hikers. The Lehman Caves sheet covers mostly low-elevation areas outside the park. The most remote, least-used backcountry areas are covered by the Minerva Canyon and Arch Canyon sheets.
Another topographic map, based on the USGS maps, is also available. This single-sheet map covers all six topographic maps at a scale of 1:48,000. Published by Earthwalk Press, this map is called "Hiking Map and Guide; Great basin National Park".
Both maps are sold at the visitor center information desk or they can be ordered by mail from the Great Basin Natural History Association, Baker, NV 89311. Write the association for a price list and order form.
Trails - If trails are provided, stay on them. Taking shortcuts creates a complex web of trails and causes erosion. When hiking trailless areas try to disperse use by not following other's footsteps.
Fires - Fires may not be built in the high country above 10,000 feet elevation. At lower elevations collect only dead wood already on the ground. Do not collect bristlecone pine wood, even when dead or down. (The wood records in its growth rings a history of climatic change valuable to scientists.) It is illegal to leave any fire untended. The park strongly recommends using stoves for cooking in the backcountry.
Camping - Backcountry camping is not permitted within 1/4 mile from any developed site (i.e. road, building, campground, etc.), within the Wheeler Peak or Lexington Arch day use areas, or in bristlecone pine groves. Campsites must be a minimum of 100 feet away from trails and water. Camp on mineral soil if possible, and avoid camping in the treeless alpine zone.
Human waste disposal - Pick a site at least 200 ft. (60 m) from water, trails and campsites. Bury waste in a hole 4 - 8 inches deep. All toilet paper should be packed out with you.
Firearms - Firearms are not allowed in the park.
Fishing - Fishing is allowed with a Nevada state fishing license. Use of live bait is prohibited. Fish entrails should be buried.
Horses - Llamas, horses, and mules are allowed in the backcountry as pack animals on some trails. Scatter manure piles at trailheads and at backcountry campsites. Do not tie animals to vegetation. Use a picket or a nightline.
Pets - Pets are not allowed in the backcountry.
Bicycles - Bicycles are prohibited on trails and in the backcountry. Bicycles are restricted to park roads and parking areas.
Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forests
Ely Ranger District
Ward Mountain has campsites available. Timber Creek has designated campsites available, but the road is impassable during inclement weather. East Creek and Berry Creek are excellent areas for dispersed camping in undesignated sites. Most Forest Service lands are open to dispersed camping unless otherwise posted.
Bureau of Land Management
Sacramento Pass has dispersed camping in undesignated sites available. Observe private property signs carefully. Most BLM managed land is open to primitive camping unless otherwise posted.
Cave Lake State Park
Off Hwy 50, near Ely
Phone: 775-728-4460 info only
First come, first served sites are available. Facilities include: bathrooms, showers, RV dump station, water and boat ramp. No hookups. $12.
Nevada Department of Transportation Roadside Rest Area - Approximately 17 miles from the Park entrance on the south side of US 50. RV's may park overnight, not to exceed 12 hours. No holding-tank dumping. Tent camping not allowed.
Address, Email & Phone Guide
Activity and Calendar Page
Backcountry Camping Guide
Bonneville Cutthroat Trout
Bristlecone Pine Groves
Brochures, Maps, Written Info
Crosscountry Skiing Guide
Geology of the Snake Range
Geology Field Trip
Jobs, SCA, Volunteer Positions
Lehman Caves Ecology
Lehman Caves Geology
Lehman Caves Tour
Osceola Ditch Story
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