By Tania Griffis
Nevada is proof that there’s beauty in the desert. With cascading cliffs, striking red canyons, and wide-open skies, this scenic state is a popular destination for campers.
Of course, Nevada isn’t all desert land. Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead National Recreation Area are two popular destinations within the state that offer water-based activities such as boating and fishing. Plus, don’t forget that if you somehow tire of nature, you can head to the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, which is nestled in southern Nevada.
Those who are budget-conscious may ask if there is free camping in Nevada. The answer is a resounding yes! If you are interested in free camping in Nevada, you will undoubtedly want to take advantage of the state’s BLM land.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the agency in Nevada that manages the public land—and there is quite a bit of it to manage. In fact, an incredible 67% of the state is BLM-managed public land. This means almost fifty million acres of land are available to explore, enjoy, and camp on.
Can you Camp Anywhere in Nevada?
While you can’t camp anywhere in Nevada (such as private property), the state gives you plenty of opportunities to pitch a tent. Even better? With the BLM Nevada, camping can even be free!
Dispersed Camping vs Developed Campgrounds
There are two main types of camping in the state: developed campgrounds and dispersed camping.
Developed campgrounds typically have amenities for campers that can include a camping area with fire rings, bathrooms, RV parking, and more. These types of campgrounds are typically not free as campers will need to pay to use the facilities.
On the other hand, dispersed camping is a more primitive way of camping. If you want to connect with nature and get some fresh air and solitude, this may be the preferred option.
Much of Nevada’s BLM managed lands are available for dispersed camping. There are no fees associated with this type of camping, so this is an excellent option for those seeking free camping in Nevada. There are a few rules that campers will need to abide by, however:
- Limit the days spent in one location. Campers cannot stay in the same spot on public land for more than 14 days within a 28 day period. After the two week period, you will need to move at least 25 miles away. You can return to your original campsite after another 14 days if you like.
- Practice the "Leave No Trace Seven Principles." Campers have the responsibility to leave an area just as they found it (or better if necessary). This means to pack up and haul away all trash, choosing to camp on durable, hard surfaces, respect wildlife, and minimize the effects of any campfires you may have.
BLM Land Map for Nevada
To take advantage of enjoying BLM land, you will need to first make sure that you are actually in the public area and not on private property. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a map.
Supporters of the website receive access to a BLM map overlay to ensure you are taking advantage of free camping in Nevada legally. Subscribe to Campendium here and receive access to this map, along with other helpful features.