Wilderness Camping

img-placeholder.pngphoto by Eric Poulin


Designated Wilderness areas are open for self-reliant and untrammeled non-mechanized recreation. This means you can explore these areas on foot or on horseback limited only by your experience to navigate the backcountry, your hiking and scrambling skills, and your determination. Unless there are specific rules regarding camping, this also means you can generally camp where ever your heart desires. With this freedom, however, comes resonsibility. Camping produces impacts that can be detrimental to wildlife, other Wilderness users, and the natural integrity of landscape. When the cumulative impacts of our activities exceed a threshold that begins to detrimentally impact the landscape and resources, then our freedoms must and will be curtailed by regulations to protect the Wilderness character of these areas. The following guidelines will help us mitigate our impact when we visit and camp in Wilderness and keep these areas the destinations of freedom we enjoy in Nevada.



Use well-established campsites where others have camped before. Select a site large enough for your group.

If well-established campsites aren't available or you are in a seldom-used area:

*Locate campsites on rock, gravel, bare soil or other durable surfaces without bushes, vegetation, or cryptobiotic soils.

*Avoid areas of dead and hazardous trees or branches that could fall on you.

*Camp at least 200 feet (70 adult paces) away from water, trails, and other campsites. (Observing camping setbacks from water protects water quality and provides access for wildlife, fishermen, and other day-use visitors.)

*Avoid areas of falling rocks, especially during inclement weather and cycles of freeze and thaw.

*Camp at least 200 feet away from all archeaolgical sites including structures, hunting blinds, petroglyphs, pictographs, lithic scatters, and historic objects. (The activities of camping can detrimentally impact the historic significance of archaeological site.)

*Avoid camping in gullys, washes, arroyos, alluvial surfaces, and on playas when the forecast includes possibilities for precipitation.

*Camp away and out-of-sight from trails and other campsites to protect everyone's solitude, the natural quiet, and avoid the potential for crowding and conflicts.

*Avoid creating new campsites or using a lightly-impacted or closed campsite.

*Restrict all camping activities to your campsite’s core barren/most durable area. If the site is too small to allow this, then split up your group and use more than one campsite

*Avoid any "established" campsite sites that are unsustainable, violate camping setbacks, or are closed for recovery.