What states come to mind when you think of taking a campervan road trip to the desert southwest? Utah? Arizona? Southern California? If Nevada isn’t on your bucket list, you’re missing out on some underappreciated gems!
Nevada has more to offer than just ghost towns and the Las Vegas Strip! If you’re looking to see some of Nevada’s best national parks, state parks, and recreation areas without having to sacrifice hookups and creature comforts, here are the top 10 places to park your camper on your adventure to the Silver State!
We said there was more to Nevada than ghost towns and the Las Vegas Strip, which is still true. However, if you’re in the state, it’s hard to argue that the main draw is Las Vegas itself! If you want proximity to Sin City while still being able to experience the Nevada desert, then the Lake Mead RV Village is the place you want to stop!
Located in Boulder City and next to the United States’ oldest recreation area, the Lake Mead Recreation Area is much more than just a typical RV park. With wifi, full hookups, and even on-site laundry, this 115 spot RV park has everything you could want to be comfortable while only an hour’s drive from Las Vegas!
Once you’ve enjoyed yourself on the Strip, you’ll be able to relax at a more than 100-year-old recreation area! You can go boating, biking, or pursue any other summertime outdoor activity that you love! If you want to venture past Las Vegas, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and views of the Spring Mountains are just west of the city!
The only campsite on this list located outside of Nevada, Jumbo Rocks, is in Joshua Tree National Park. As the name suggests, and as Joshua Tree is known for, there are more than enough mystifying rock formations to keep you intrigued during your stay. While it takes three hours and a trip through Mojave National Preserve to get to Las Vegas, this is undoubtedly a fun itinerary if you have the time to spare!
Great Basin National Park
BORDER INN & RV PARK
If you’re just looking for a place to park your campervan on your Great Basin National Park tour, then the Border Inn & RV Park is for you. A modest setup, it provides a place to park your vehicle while offering full hookups. Wifi may be spotty in the campground, but the small on-site casino and convenience store tend to provide a stronger signal. A small, rustic operation located just outside of Baker, you won’t have to drive far as Great Basin is just west of where you’ll be staying!
Located in its namesake of Ely, Nevada, this KOA campground comes with all the standard amenities one would expect from KOA camping spots such as fire pits, picnic tables, and 30- and 50-amp hookups. It also, of course, has full hookups. Located about an hour west of Great Basin National Park, it will be a bit further of a drive than coming from Baker, but the comforts of the KOA more than make up for it. Ely itself offers plenty of the natural beauty of the Nevada desert with its combination of desertscapes and mountains. While campervan travels are often done during the summer, this spot in Ely is open year-round.
Just a bit south of Carson City is the Silver City RV Resort. With great views of the Carson Valley and Sierra Nevada Mountains, you’ll be grateful you parked your campervan in such a scenic spot! Just a short drive away is Carson City should you need to prepare for your trip to Lake Tahoe! Silver City comes with full hookups, clean bathrooms, and great wifi so you can disconnect because you want to and not because you have to!
GOLD RANCH CASINO AND RV RESORT
Located west of Reno in Verdi, Nevada (on the border with California) is the Gold Ranch Casino and RV Resort. If you passed on experiencing gambling in Sin City, Reno is another major option for people who want to give it a try. If not, proximity to Lake Tahoe is a huge draw for this RV site. Having all the standard hookups for water, electricity, and a sanitary dump station, Gold Ranch allows you to sleep comfortably. Still, you may hear some traffic go by with the proximity to the freeway. Explore Reno to your heart’s content, and in approximately 40 short minutes, you’ll find yourself with a great lake view.
National parks, while beautiful, draw crowds and long lines, especially in the US Southwest. If you opt for Valley of Fire State Park, you’re likelier to get peace and quiet while still being able to enjoy the vast desert-scapes of the state of Nevada. At just over an hour’s drive to Las Vegas, Atlatl Rock allows you to enjoy proximity to the city while snagging a camping spot and enjoying the park’s hiking trails and stargazing. All sites at Valley of Fire are first come, first served RV camping sites; however, only 22 have full hookups.
Echo Bay RV Village
If the Lake Mead National Recreation Area wasn’t on your trip plan before, parking your campervan at the Echo Bay RV Village is a must! Not only can you enjoy being close to Lake Mead, but you’ll also have the ability to drive to Valley of Fire State Park and have the best of both worlds! As with all the other spots, Echo Bay offers full hookups, but you’ll want to note that sites may not have fire pits. So again, check the rules about open flames, but if a fire is a necessity for your campervan spot, you may need to consider other options instead.
Young’s offers a simple, fully functional option for staying close to Cathedral Gorge State Park. Don’t confuse simple with subpar, however. This campervan spot has clean, recently updated bathrooms and facilities. It also offers full hookups for all your camper’s needs, offering you a quiet place to relax. A 20-minute drive up highway 93 brings you to Cathedral Gorge, where you can hike and sightsee, enjoying the desert and its slot canyons. Always exercise caution when traveling through slot canyons and check for rainfall or flash flood warnings to make sure you can enjoy these marvels safely!
ECHO CANYON STATE PARK
With national parks as crowded as they are, why not visit two state parks at once? While the water levels at the nearby lake may be low, Echo Canyon offers full hookups for RV and campervan travelers.
Note that the RV spots are in the upper campsite.
The lower campsite is more for tent camping should you find you want to sleep under the stars for a night. Visitation to Echo Canyon isn’t particularly high, so you may find yourself one of the few there!
Located in an unincorporated town called Pioche, this spot is definitely a bit off the beaten path but only about 20 miles from Cathedral Gorge.
There is so much to explore in the American Southwest, and Nevada holds an underappreciated part of that. Even if you only planned to pass through Nevada when traveling from Mojave or Joshua Tree to one of Arizona or Utah’s parks, there is more than enough on this list to entice you to take a couple of extra days uncovering some hidden treasures of Nevada!
If you’re thinking that Nevada sounds like a place you’d love to explore, consider renting a fully loaded campervan with free unlimited miles for your trip through the southwest!
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