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Old 07-06-2015, 06:48 PM   #1
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Big Rigs in Great Basin National Park?

I've had one person tell us they had problems finding a spot that they could level their 32' coach. Yet another person commented that their are many campgrounds, and that maybe that was just campground they chose?

So, how about it, anyone recommend a campground in Great Basin National Park that we can get our 40' into, and leveled? We have a few blocks, and two smaller ramps, so we can level a few wheels - but not stocked enough to handle a severely off level spot.

If not in Great Basin itself, input on Whispering Elms and the Baker area?

TIA,
Smitty
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:51 PM   #2
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It's not in the park but try Sacramento campground on 50. The GPS coords are 39.120972,-114.304848.

Stayed there in my 40 ft MH and quite level. Great place to tour Great Basin area from.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:17 PM   #3
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Lower Lehman is the best campground in the park with a big rig. Still, there are only a handful of sites that a 40' could fit. We were there once and I don't recall having an issue with leveling.

Another possibility where we've stayed is Sacramento Pass Recreation Area managed by the BLM. It's about 30 miles from Great Basin Nat'l Park and is a nice place to stay for a night when touring Great Basin. Also, do the cave tour in the park.

http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_f...n/camping.html
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:03 AM   #4
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Thanks two you both! We'll get their early enough to check things out, and then if needed, fall back to Baker and find a spot for a few days. Though the RV Parks in Baker would not be the same as staying the the park, it would at least get us close enough for a few days of exploring! (They all seem to have some 'character' based upon Yelp and RVParksReview!)

Best,
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:35 PM   #5
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We were out and about in our CRV, so took a nice drive over from Ely to Great Basin NP today. Really neat drive, and really nice NP! Baker had spots we could fit, and would have been able to level (Not many, but for sure some!) - but no way we could get into the loop to he left as you go past the Campground Host. The upper tree limbs were just too overgrown, and you could see many battle scars on the larger limbs, so it had been this way for awhile. The largest unit we saw in the area, was a 24-26' travel trailer, that had the 'character' marks!

If they're open when we head over in the AM, lower Lehman had sites that we'd fit in. Better access, but we'd still probably scrape the dirt of the side of the coach on some of the softer limbs...

I stopped at the Info Center on the way out, and mentioned the access problem to Baker for IMO any size Class A, and the Ranger commented that Baker was not designed for larger units. I asked if they had any info in regards to sites and size? He thought for a second, then pulled out a binder with each of the parks campgrounds, and sure enough, it listed the sites size. He was surprised at how many were listed at 40' and larger, mostly in Baker, but with a few in Lower Lehman too.

So, when I asked if possibly some tree trimming might allow reasonable access to these larger sites? He said you know, I should ask the park Superintendent about this?

Please don't get me wrong, we knew and accepted that 40' would limit us from some parks. Or, greatly reduce our odds at getting a site where reservations are not accepted. But also, this Great Basin National Park - is the lowest attended National Park of all. IMO, this could change, with some tree trimming, and some site leveling.

But, then again, that may not be what the NP system wants. We saw maybe 60% usage of the smaller Lower Lehman. And I'd say less then 40% usage of all up Baker - we did not check the other campgrounds in the park. And this is peak season, admittedly, after about a full week of rain/lightening - so that could have thinned out campgrounds!

We've decided to go that BLM area by the Baker Indian site, just down the road a bit from Baker proper. No signs of no overnight camping, so per BLM rules we should be OK to park in this area for a few days. (Asked the Range, and he first said 'No.'. Then said you know, I've seen a few RV's and campers out in that area before. So, it must be OK. If not, and we get chased away, we'll hit one of the 'With Character' RV Parks in Baker area!

By the way, Sacramento Pass, looked like it would have been fine too. But the DW is waiting to hear info on some medical tests for her Brother, and having 3G coverage ether in Lower Lehman, or out in the Baker Indian digs, is a real plus... Sacramento Pass is a dead cell phone area!

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the update!
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Old 07-09-2015, 05:41 PM   #7
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We stayed in Whispering Elms last year...OK CG, nothing to write home about but sufficient for a good two day tour of the Park. We drove though Upper Lehman Creek CG and found the site access roads in terrible shape and surrounding trees and brush to be so over grown that I would not have tried access with our 36' 'A'. The lowest visitation NP has taken it's toll. The park is beautiful and I'm guessing the attendance levels are due to being somewhat remote...but well worth the trouble. The WiFi at Whispering Elms was blazingly fast! ...probably due to nearby NSA presents.

Lower Lehman Crk CG is all primitive IIRC, so we didn't do a drive by.

Wait...here's a link: Campgrounds - Great Basin National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Baker is...well, unusual.
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Old 07-10-2015, 09:22 AM   #8
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The Lehman Cave is the draw to this park, though I admit we did not take this cave's tour, after earlier this year visiting both Carlsbad and Kartchner's caverns. We opted to keep the dawg with us, and take the drive up to Wheeler's Peak, and have a picnic. Timed it right, as no lightening during our visit up to the 10K+ peak.

We'd driven Lower Lehman the day before, and actually sent a solo lady in a 36' Georgetown into the campground from the off highway Visitor Center. We had seen two or three spots open that we felt we could have made work for our 40'. (We drove thru the campground on the way up Wheeler Peak, and she had chosen a real neat spot next to the creek, where she could not get quite level, over the spot we would have probably backed in from the exit loop to pull into.)

As we went by Upper Lehman, once I looked into the first turn after pulling off the pavement, I said 'Nope' - our 40' would never have made the first turn. We watched a gent with a older truck pulling a soon to be vintage trailer of about 20' around the first run, scraping the tree limbs as he did so. Campground must have been full, as about 45 mins later, we saw him going into the even tighter loops of Wheeler Peak campground. When we drove thru, during about a 30 min of sleet mixed with quart size drops of rain, we saw a campground probably 75% full. Really nice up at that altitude, with lots of trees.

We did stay the night at the Baker Archeological BLM site. Had one group of 5 vehicles come in around 5:30PM, on their way out of Great Basin NP after visiting the Lehman Cavern. It was a college field trip from three or four universities our of California. Neat to watch them all interact. They were still going to take about the hour drive over to Wards Kilns (Beehive brick structures, a few valleys away.) Then they tent camp, as two of the 5 instructors assured us that they would drive into rent a room in Ely for the night!

This is our first trip thru the Great Basin area, and we really enjoyed the few days we've had here as afternoon and evening thunder light shows blew thru. And yes, out in the open area at Baker Archeological site - the wind was strong! Good 3G, and with my WiFiRanger rooftop Ubiquiti boosting antenna, I saw both Whispering Palms and the Visitor Center's WiFI - both about 2 1/2 miles away, as the bird flies.

Again, no markings saying 'No Overnight' parking or camping. We saw a few areas out next to the graded/gravel parking area, where others had pulled off before. Three campfire rings remained. If the place had been busy, we would have pulled off out of the parking area to allow visitors to the site to park. But it's a very seldom visited spot from what we could see...

Sacramento Pass, was also very neat and wide opened, as we drove over from Ely - would have made a good place to stay too. (But, we needed cell coverage at this time.)

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:34 PM   #9
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I spend a lot of time near Great Basin in the summer. Because I was born in Utah I have spent the years traveling near the Great Basin Park a lot and nearly my whole life in the desert. Two things to keep in mind. It gets very windy this time of year, so slow down, and keep plenty of gas on hand for your generator. Temps get well into the 100s this time of year, so I'm sure you'll be running air conditioner plenty. On a hot dayit can be about 120F degrees. On a cool day it's about 91F to 102F. We haven't had a day below 90F for the last 8 weeks. Keep your eyes on the weather forecast for high wind warnings and take plenty time off the the road if they are predicting winds above 18 mph. I've seen a lot of tipped over rigs in my day. The Great Basin is great to explore very beautiful indeed. But don't forget the sun screen and plenty of water. Be particularly careful of high wind. Hope you have lots of fun.


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Old 07-12-2015, 08:00 PM   #10
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we stayed at the" border casino,motel & rv park" on 50 just inside Nevada the 4 th weekend.
its not the hilton or a resort but had good electricity,water (terrible wi-fi) but is very close to the park
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:12 AM   #11
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We checked out both Whispering Elms and Border Casino Motel & RV. Agree with both posts on these places... Both would have worked for us.

As many people with fixed/roof mounted satellite antennas (Direct of Dish) worry about tree coverage, Whispering Elms could have been touch and go to lock on. The positive, is a reported strong WiFI, and according to some reviews I read - that then bartender Chuck, makes a good Bloody Mary, if that is of interest to anyone! (Nope, we did not go into the establishment, so no first hand info.)

Border Casino Motel & RV Park, is a bit further from the parks entrance, and I doubt we'd anyone would have any satellite obstructions!

The park is the draw, good hiding trails, good wildlife, some specatular country!

And yes, it was so windy we had to reset our Trav'ler to get it to stow before traveling. I'd say we had gusts up into the low 40's, and understand that is considered 'a breeze'!

Smitty
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