5 Free Places to Camp in Las Vegas
Las Vegas luxury hotels and casinos are iconic. However, do not forget about the stunning natural attractions here such as canyons, lakes, deserts, and valleys. These places are ideal for a vivid camping experience with your besties.
Before planning the detailed itinerary, check out these 5 free places to camp in Las Vegas first.
Natural and peaceful place to camp in Las Vegas
Some travelers complain that 12 Mile Hot Spring is hard to find. But believe me, once you find the right road and entrance, this place is easy to enter. You can also drive in or hike along the railroad tracks.
The land features the crystal-clear Hot Springs, which is a 3-foot deep and 40-foot long natural spring. The water temperature in the spring is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit – ideal to relax and relieve all the tensions.
The 12 Mile Hot Springs is free to camp, as long as you do not intrude some private locations (Watch out for the signs!).
Before you go, make sure to take necessities with you such as water and food since there are no amenities here.
Dune enthusiasts will love Sand Mountain
Located in North of U.S. Highway 50, Sand Mountain Recreational Area is home to nearly 5,000 acres of dunces, in which Sand Mountain is the largest at 600 feet high and 3.5 miles long.
This campsite is open for free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so take the chance to camp in a tent or trailer. There are a few vault toilets here, but no amenities are available. Hence, bring along plenty of supplies.
While camping here, please pay attention to some rules. For example, you must only camp in designed areas. Burning tires, wood containing nails, metal hardware, or screws is prohibited. No firearms, fireworks, or projectiles allowed as well.
And, do not expect this campsite to be quiet. Visitors here often drive their buggies up and down the dunes the whole night. If you like, just join!
If you prefer somewhere cool to the hot dunes, consider Nelson’s Landing. It is located on the Colorado River, at the mouth of Eldorado Canyon.
What I like about this campsite is, it is peaceful like an untouched paradise. The beach is sheltered from high winds by two towering cliffs. The sandy base is ideal to stay and there are few waves so do not worry about being swept away at night.
Go camping and enjoy water activities
I recommend setting up the camp 100 to 200 feet away from the shore so that you can dip your toes in cool water and enjoy the privacy.
Like other free campsites, there are no amenities so you should bring plenty of water and supplies. Also, take your firewood with you to keep the fire throughout the night or for a small BBQ party. Make sure you do not leave anything after leaving. Otherwise, it might attract some wild animals.
After three hours driving from South of Sin City, you will find another free place to camp in Las Vegas. It is Whipple Cave – a long tubular cave with vast dimensions: over 60 feet high, 900 feet long, and nearly 90 feet wide. Most notably, the mountains here are the ancient limestone formed over millennia ago.
Get ready to explore wide cave formations such as flowstone, stalagmites, soda straws, crystals, and so on.
Camp and explore nature at the same time
This place is open for free camping so you can put up your tent and take a rest after climbing the rock or exploring the cave. The Whipple Cave has almost all features of the caves at nearby National Park. Yet, it is not so crowded like the national parks so you can enjoy the wild to the fullest.
Besides water and supplies, you should also bring along headlamp and rope.
I just found out this place last month when I drove Northwest from Las Vegas. And you know what?
Lake Mead is an ideal place to camp. Exciting enough, the entrance is free. Some sites are available for first-come, first-served campers while other places are only open under the permission of the concessioners.
The campground is well-built
Lead Mead is under the management of National Park Service, so the campsites are facilitated and well-maintained. There is a bunch of leisure activities to do besides camping, such as boating, rafting, going kayak, swimming, diving, and many more.
Amenities here are available, but to save your budget, you had better take as much as water and supplies as possible.
As summer is the most popular time for camping, I bet that almost all campsites are full of people at that time. And of course, you will not want to stay outside for hours under the terrible heat.
So, I suggest you should choose springtime (March to May) or autumn time (September to November.) The weather becomes much cooler during these periods. More excitingly, you are likely to since this is the off-peak season.
To make sure you have a comfortable camping time, you need to plan carefully in advance, make accommodation reservations, and show up early to get a good spot.
Above I have already introduced you to 5 free places to camp in Las Vegas. Take every option into your consideration and find one best place to enjoy quality time with your friends or your family this weekend.
If you have any other free campsites, please share with me in return!