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Old 02-01-2017, 12:01 AM   #1
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CA Campground Recommendations?

We are planning a road trip to Las Vegas with our dog.

We will be leaving on 3/6/17 and will camp a few nights before making it down there by 3/9

I have a 2WD van so trails are a no go.

Any recommendation for campgrounds between San Francisco and Las Vegas, preferably closer to LV?

Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:21 AM   #2
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Not sure of your route, but the camping in Northern Nevada at Great Basin NP is pretty great. It is up by interstate 80 by Ely. But then you can drop almost straight down smaller highway 93 to Vegas. The altitude varies from around 6-10K feet so you have options if it is hot or cold out. There is also an amazing cavern in the Park to tour. Not to mention a display of a Winchester 1873 that was found after being left leaning against a tree for over a hundred years. Pretty neat place, bearutiful and lots of hiking and wildlife.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:26 PM   #3
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Do you need full hookups? Also are you planning I-5 to 58 over Tehachapi? In CA, Red Rock SRA is worth a look depending on the day of the week you get there. Water is horrible as are the heads but it's an interesting place with the rock formations. It's a little out of the way but not that far off the route to Las Vegas. An fairly ugly spot that rarely has much traffic is Afton Canyon CG east of Barstow off I-15. It's basically the end or beginning of the Mojave Road Trail. The camp is more or less open w/o much cover.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:10 PM   #4
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Go through Death Valley. Tons of campsites, lots to see and do with 2wd. And you're only a couple hours from Vegas.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:32 PM   #5
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I SUPER highly recommend you visit Valley of Fire SP an hour'ish north of Las Vegas. Some amazing campsites and some amazing sites to take in. Go to the visitors center and ask how to get to 'The Wave'. A short hike but well worth it!
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:19 AM   #6
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Looks like we're going to Death Valley! Thanks
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:06 AM   #7
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Not sure of your route, but the camping in Northern Nevada at Great Basin NP is pretty great. It is up by interstate 80 by Ely. But then you can drop almost straight down smaller highway 93 to Vegas. The altitude varies from around 6-10K feet so you have options if it is hot or cold out. There is also an amazing cavern in the Park to tour. Not to mention a display of a Winchester 1873 that was found after being left leaning against a tree for over a hundred years. Pretty neat place, bearutiful and lots of hiking and wildlife.
I second this if you're close. It's a pretty amazing park that doesn't get much love, which makes it perfect IMO. If you can drive to the top for some amazing camping in an Aspen Grove, or at least a hike through the old Bristlecone forest or to the top. We camped down low last time because we got there at dusk and didn't know what to expect on top. The next day we went up there to hike and found an amazing and deserted campground in the Aspens.

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Old 02-02-2017, 11:50 AM   #8
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I try to hit DV yearly. It's looking like they might have a good valley flower bloom this year about March. That alone would be worth the drive through. Watch your fuel, inside the park it's quite high priced. Most of the valley campgrounds are flat and wide open. You might want to look at Texas Spring CG. If the bloom is bigger than expected, some campgrounds might be packed. There are a few off road trails that are 2WD friendly where you can just pull off to boon dock at. IIRC you still need to be 2 miles in to conform to park rules...I'd check. Here is a link to a PDF map provided by the NPS:
https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvis...ntry-Roads.pdf
20 Mule Train road is a great drive when heading out of the park provided you plan to go out through DV Junction. Have a good trip.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:00 PM   #9
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I second this if you're close. It's a pretty amazing park that doesn't get much love, which makes it perfect IMO. If you can drive to the top for some amazing camping in an Aspen Grove, or at least a hike through the old Bristlecone forest or to the top. We camped down low last time because we got there at dusk and didn't know what to expect on top. The next day we went up there to hike and found an amazing and deserted campground in the Aspens.

Not to mention the huge cave tours Great Basin NP provides. I can get there in about 9 hours if the 108 is open. I'm not sure what I-80 over the sierra's is gonna look like this year in march! But I do like that park.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:49 PM   #10
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I try to hit DV yearly. It's looking like they might have a good valley flower bloom this year about March. That alone would be worth the drive through. Watch your fuel, inside the park it's quite high priced. Most of the valley campgrounds are flat and wide open. You might want to look at Texas Spring CG. If the bloom is bigger than expected, some campgrounds might be packed. There are a few off road trails that are 2WD friendly where you can just pull off to boon dock at. IIRC you still need to be 2 miles in to conform to park rules...I'd check. Here is a link to a PDF map provided by the NPS:
https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvis...ntry-Roads.pdf
20 Mule Train road is a great drive when heading out of the park provided you plan to go out through DV Junction. Have a good trip.
Thanks for the info!

I reserved 2 different sites, 1 per day, at Furnace Creek because there wasn't one site that was available for the 2 days straight.

So far, our plan is to only visit the southern part of DV.

Do you know specifically which trail is 2WD friendly and is 2 miles out that allows boondocking?

I don't really like crowded campgrounds and it seems like Furnace Creek is going to be crowded.
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