Are you yearning for the great outdoors? Are the wide-open spaces calling your name?
Answer the call with a visit to Great Basin National Park.
Located in eastern Nevada, Great Basin National Park gets its name from the “basin and range” landscape that characterizes it. The breathtaking mountains and valleys boast a diverse range of plant and animal life, including some of the world’s oldest trees.
Learn how to navigate this Southwestern wonder with this traveler’s guide to RV camping in Great Basin National Park.
Great Basin National Park Facts
Established in 1986, Great Basin National Park is a hidden gem among national parks. It features incredibly diverse terrain from skyscraping mountain trails to underground marble caverns. Expand your knowledge with these Great Basin National Park facts.
Great Basin Bristlecone Pines are rare and resilient trees that can grow to massive sizes at the park’s high elevations. You can walk among these giants, some of which are over 4,000 years old.
Stargazing is magnificent in Great Basin as it boasts some of the darkest skies in the country. According to the National Park Service, “thousands of stars, numerous planets, star clusters, meteors, man-made satellites, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye” on a moonless night.
The adventures continue underground in the Lehman Caves. With the help of a guide, visitors can tour the underground caverns filled with stalagmites and other geological formations.
At its lowest point, Great Basin is 6,285 feet above sea level. The highest peak is 13,060 feet above sea level. The high elevation makes for scenic views across the park.
The park is one of the least visited in the country, making it a perfect location for those looking to take the road less traveled.
If that glimpse into this amazing landscape piqued your interest, there is more in store. Read on for a look into park activities and RV camping in Great Basin National Park.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @kauailife
Best Great Basin RV Parks and Campgrounds
Great Basin National Park has something for everyone — nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, astronomy junkies to name a few. Getting an RV rental for Great Basin National Park is a great way to ensure you’re never far from the next adventure.
Because Great Basin is so remote, RV parks are not as abundant as you might imagine. Fortunately, we uncovered some in the area. Explore the RV parks near Great Basin National Park below!
Valley View RV Park
Amenities: Valley View RV Park is a pet-friendly campground located outside of Great Basin. This campground offers Wifi in overnight sites and a self-service RV washing station. It also comes with full hookups, meaning campers can use water, electrical, and sewer connection services while RV camping!
Capacity: There are 46 sites total at this campground. Out of these, 26 are gravel and offer Wifi. Because it is located at a lower elevation than other campsites, it is open all year round. This is a great place to stay if you’re searching for RV camping near Great Basin National Park.
More information: Valley View RV Park
The Whispering Elms RV Park
Amenities: Whispering Elms is a Great Basin National Park RV site and a motel. The location offers full hookups for RV campers. The campground offers pull-through sites and full hookups for RVs. Campers also have access to laundry facilities and free Wifi.
Capacity: Whispering Elms has 25 RV sites. This Great Basin National Park RV campground also offers a look into when certain sites will be available.
More information: Whispering Elms RV Park
Baker Creek Campground
Amenities: Another option for RV camping in Great Basin National Park is Baker Creek Campground. At an elevation of 7,530 feet, it offers picturesque views of the mountainous region. The campsite is known for wild turkeys that roam the area. It offers pull-through sites for RVs, and pets are allowed.
Capacity: There are 38 campsites available at Baker Creek Campground. Reviews from past campers indicate that the sites are spacious enough to accommodate RVs, tow vehicles, and other large automobiles.
More information: Baker Creek Campground
Lower Lehman Campground
Amenities: Lower Lehman Campground is a beautiful spot located about three miles from the Lehman Caves. It has pull-through sites for RVs, and Lehman Creek runs through the campground. Reviews from past campers highlight the spacious nature of the sites that provides a secluded feel.
Capacity: This RV campground in Great Basin National Park only has 11 sites. There are no bookings available. Instead, sites are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so getting a spot is not guaranteed.
More information: Lower Lehman Campground
Photo Credit: Instagram User @aleciofoto
Best Time to Visit Great Basin National Park for RV Camping
This largely unnoticed national park makes visiting that much sweeter for the savvy travelers who make the trip.
You don’t have to plan your stay based around when crowds will be manageable. Instead, focus on what season appeals to your adventurous spirit.
Before you fill your Hydro Flask and pack the granola bars, take a minute to learn about the best times to visit Great Basin National Park.
If powdery slopes and gorgeous snow-capped mountains sound like paradise, you’ll love Great Basin National Park in the winter. Thanks to the varying levels of elevation, there are ski trails for beginners as well as steeper slopes for advanced skiers.
Because this is a desert region, cold temperatures can be extreme after sunset. According to the National Park Service, nightly lows range from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. During the day, temperatures can be anywhere from the high 30s to the 50s.
There are a few trails open in the parks' lower regions, but hiking is limited in the winter. The heaviest snowfall periods last from January to March.
Some upper levels of the park are closed to vehicular traffic in winter months. The closure includes the highest portions of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. However, the Lehman Caves are open for tours year-round, with smaller groups in the winter.
Warmer weather awaits in Great Basin National Park in the springtime. However, spring in Great Basin National Park is an unpredictable season.
April and May bring daily temperatures highs from the mid-50s to the mid-60s. But lows range in the 30s and 40s. The lower elevations warm up at this time, but higher points often remain covered in snow.
Hiking trails may be more accessible during the spring, but this depends on the snowfall patterns, which vary greatly. In this time, streams melt, and wildlife begins to emerge. It is a great time to see animal tracks in the snow and spot native black-tailed jackrabbits, elk, and more.
Summer is arguably the best time to visit Great Basin National Park. From June to August, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the trails are open for hikes.
The crown jewel of Great Basin, Wheeler Peak, is open for hiking in the summer. There are also less challenging trails open throughout the park. You can take the scenic drive up to Wheeler Peak for a look at the variety of flora and fauna filling this region.
As for summer weather in Great Basin National Park, typical daily highs from June through August are in the high 70s to the 80s.
Ditch the pumpkin spice lattes and soak up the oranges, reds, and yellows that blanket the park in fall. When the leaves begin to turn on the Aspen trees, the park is a beautiful sight to behold.
The RV campgrounds near Great Basin National Park are surrounded by the vibrant seasonal hues which begin to show up in the second and third weeks of September.
From late August to early October, the weather is warm in the day and crisp and cool in the night. Fall is a great time to hike as the trails are open, and campsites have plenty of room.
Autumn is a stargazer’s delight as the annual Astronomy Festival takes place in late September each year.
Things to Do in Great Basin National Park
From natural wonders like the Lexington Arch to tranquil watering holes like Stella Lake, Great Basin National Park offers a wealth of beautiful locations to explore. If you need some ideas on how to make the most of your trip, allow us to offer some suggestions.
Fasten those hiking boots because exploring the amazing trails is one of the best things to do in Great Basin National Park.
Get acquainted with Mother Nature as you traverse Bristlecone Pine Trail and see the oldest living organisms on the planet. Intrepid hikers can follow the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail up the second highest peak in Nevada.
To refuel with a magnificent backdrop, visit the Mather Overlook picnic site.
The saying “Half the park is after dark” is not just a catchy slogan. Visitors can take advantage of moonlit hikes, telescope viewings, and the Great Basin Star Train to see one of the darkest skies in the country blanketed with stars.
Great Basin is also a great place to see wildlife, especially in the warmer months. Yellow-bellied Marmots scurry around the mountainous region. Beavers are common near creeks. Additionally, 10 different species of bats have been found in the Great Basin area.
Now you have the lay of the land, a list of Great Basin National Park RV parks, and ideas on how to spend your time soaking up all it offers. What are you waiting for? Load the RV and get on the road!
Photo Credit: Instagram User @cherishedbliss
Tips on Visiting Great Basin National Park
Here are a few things to be aware of when visiting this underrated park.
Great Basin National Park is located in east-central Nevada. It is a remote location, so options for restaurants and corner stores are limited.
Certain Great Basin National Park RV campgrounds, like Valley View RV park, are closer to the city and provide easier access to eateries. Either way, be sure to pack food for meals and snacks for trail hikes.
For wildlife lovers, a great tip is to drive to the top of Wheeler Peak in the mornings or around sunset. Deer, turkeys and other wild animals come out more frequently at these times.
Another thing to prepare for is the quickly changing weather in Great Basin National Park. Sharp drops in temperature at night can occur, so pack warm clothing that you can layer.
In the summer, sudden and fierce thunderstorms have been known to appear and then clear up as quickly as they came. Rain jackets and umbrellas are wise additions to a Great Basin packing list.
Staying in an RV rather than a tent is a great way to shield yourself from unexpected weather conditions.
RV Rental for Great Basin National Park
Maximize adventure with a great RV. If you don’t own one, consider an RV rental for your Great Basin National Park trip.
With an RV from Cruise America, you’ll have air conditioning, a freshwater toilet, a gas cooktop, a generator, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a shower. Plus, Cruise America RVs are pet friendly and allow towing.
You can have the comforts of home while exploring the hidden treasures of Great Basin National park. What could be better?
Explore Cruise America’s array of RV rental options today!