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Great Basin National Park Campers Will Be Challenged This Summer


Campers planning to enjoy the National Park Service Centennial this summer with a camping trip to Great Basin National Park in Nevada will find limited space to pitch their tents, as the Upper Lehman Creek Campground will be closed and water will not be available at the Lower Lehman Creek Campground.

Park officials say the 24-site upper campground needs road work as well as repairs to the water system. It will be closed until next spring. The work will also impact the 11-site lower campground, as water will not be available there this summer. Instead, campers are urged to either bring their own water or stop at the visitor center to fill up.

Other front country campgrounds in the park include Wheeler Peak, which has 37 sites including one wheelchair accessible site; Baker Creek Campground, with 38 sites, including one that is wheelchair accessible; and the Strawberry Creek Campground, which has eight sites, but no accessible sites or water. The Grey Cliffs Group Campground is for groups with at least nine campers.

There are some primitive campsites in the park -- no water or toilets, just a picnic table and/or fire ring -- along the Snake Creek Road.


If that is not bad enough, the only campground that takes reservations is Grey Cliff, the least developed of the campgrounds.  Even worse, there is a two night minimum.  I am trying to stay there on my way back from Yosemite in August.  The day before I want to arrive is open but not the day after.  Therefore there is no way I can make a reservation that will be held.

Why would a place hundreds of miles away from any alternative not have most its campgrounds by reservation.  Certainly wouldn't want to show up there and find the place full.  And why the two day minimum?  Never seen that before.

Probably decisions made by the job creators who own the concessions.

Best I can tell, there are no concessionaires involved with Grey Cliff or the other campsites, only Lehman Caves and cafe.  Was told by that it was NPS policy. 

In the past "overflow" campers were allowed to use the large group camping area.  I'd call the park...

GRBA campsites have always been first come.  But a quick check indicates that may be taking reservations now.  (It's a bit confusing.  Maybe a phone call to the park might help.)  

It looks like the times they are a'changing at Great Basin, too.  I'm afraid the old days of being able to wing it as you travel may be gone for good.  There are two big new RV dealers a few miles from here and they must have darn near 400 rigs for sale.  Those things are going to be hitting the road soon and they will be looking for places to camp, too.  Welcome to the world of Industrial Tourism.  Complete with flat panel satellite TV and surround sound stereo.

In a pinch, there is an outlying campground that few people know about.  It's Strawberry Creek.  Not a bad place, but not a prime one either.  A good place to hole up for a night if necessary and then move in to a better place early the next morning.  Maybe.

I have called the park - as did a rep for  Grey Cliff is the only campground that takes reservations and it has a two night minimum.  Campgrounds fill most weekends and frequently during the week according to the ranger.  Question is, why a two night minimum and why aren't more sites in such a remote area reservable?

Try the Silver Jack Inn and Lectrolux Cafe in Baker, great craft beer selection, and they offer free camping - FREE PRIMITIVE CAMPING - When you make purchases in the restaurant/grocery store which has WI FI access. Just across the street from the restaurant and motel, sited by a stream and in trees, is our free camping. Pay showers, pay laundry and toilets are a short walk. $8/night otherwise.

Gee, do I hear some echoes of the Great American Entitlement Mentality here?


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