While national parks are often associated with crowds, Great Basin National Park is in the top 10 for least visited national parks in the US. According to the visitor center and NPS statistics, there are only about 90,000 annual visitors to this overlooked gem of eastern Nevada!
Nevada has two national parks; however, Great Basin National Park is the only one that’s entirely in the state! While Death Valley National Park stretches into Nevada, the majority of it is located in California. If the idea of solitude on the hiking trails sounds like freedom to you, Great Basin is the place to be.
Whether you’re looking to visit the Lehman Caves for a cave tour or cruise the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, this park just outside of Baker has something you’ll love! If you’re looking for a national parks trip without the hassle of Yosemite-level crowds, here are 5 great places to park your campervan near Great Basin National Park!
Cave Lake State Park
While not the cave tour you may have been planning on, one of the best places to stay when visiting Great Basin National Park is actually at a state park down the road! So not only do you get to enjoy one of Nevada’s 24 state parks, but you also have a reasonably close location with full hookups and the comfort that comes with it!
At a modest price per night, hikers will also love that Cave Lake State Park has options for hiking trails during the day and stargazing at night! For example, you can hike to Square Top at sunrise and see the Milky Way by the fire ring! The night skies and solitude draw visitors to this section of eastern Nevada, so take advantage of them!
Whispering Elms Motel, Campground, & RV Park
While the National Park Service doesn’t have any RV sites in the park itself, this is about as close as you can be without actually being in Great Basin National Park. Located just outside the park in the town of Baker, Nevada, this quirky RV site is about the most convenient location you’ll find. With all the amenities that you’ll need and boasting full hookups, you can’t go wrong stopping by! You also can’t beat the location for easy accessibility to the trailheads!
A quick drive on Nevada State Route 488 west will get you to the park’s east edge. Upon arriving at the park, you’ll find a fork that can take you either on the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive towards the Wheeler Peak Campgrounds or onto Lehman Caves Road and the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.
Border Inn & RV Park
This stop is about as close to Utah as you can be without actually crossing state lines. While on a clear day, you can probably see Utah from the Border Inn and RV Park, you’ll still be on the Nevada side of state lines.
Expect to find full hookups when you arrive, and on the off chance you’ve been on a long road trip and need a change of scenery, they offer air-conditioned rooms and all the conveniences you could hope for as you stop on “America’s loneliest road.” As this is still Nevada, you’ll find a casino attached to the Border Inn, should you find yourself wanting some extra excitement.
Valley View RV Park
Located just outside of Ely, Nevada, this park is a simple option for those looking for a no-frills place to bed down for the night. With full hookups and a dump station, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or convenience. You’ll also find a picnic table at your site if you want to do some cooking yourself!
Having been around since the 1970s, the staff at Valley View have a few good suggestions if you’re looking for things to do in Ely and the surrounding parks.
On the opposite side of the city of Ely from Valley View RV Park is the Ely KOA. Offering all the standard amenities of a KOA campground, this is probably the simplest option if you’re looking to take the guesswork out of where to park your camper for the night.
For hikers and adventurers that like to travel in the offseason, you’ll want to consider this option as it’s open year-round for your enjoyment!
If you’re looking for places to park your campervan in Eastern Nevada, you may be short on options, but hopefully, this list gave you a few great ones to choose from!
If you’re looking for things to do once you get into Great Basin National Park, there may be more than you think. While you absolutely should see the Lehman Caves and hikers will want to climb Wheeler Peak, there are a few other things to add to your Great Basin checklist! Consider hiking the Bristlecone Pines Trails. You’ll have a few options for routes you can take, and there’s something for everyone’s skill level.
The Alpine Lakes Trail is another great hike to add to your itinerary if you have extra time! You might not think of alpine lakes when you think of Great Basin National Park, but a hike to Stella Lake will put you at seriously high elevations (over 10,000 feet)! If you want to fit anything else in, consider hikes through the Baker Creek area. By taking the Baker Creek Road past the Baker Creek Campground area, you’ll be able to access the trailhead and pick whatever trail sounds most enjoyable!
We hope this itinerary piqued your interest and that Great Basin National Park is on your bucket list now! But, no matter what your Great Basin NP itinerary looks like, consider making those dreams a reality in a fully loaded campervan! With a location in Las Vegas, pickup and drop-off are as convenient as can be, and with free unlimited miles, you can enjoy the open road as it was meant to be experienced!
We’re excited to see where your journey takes you and can’t wait to hear all about it!
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Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.