Wheeler Peak from the Scenic Drive
Having had a rather unfortunate rainy camping experience in the past, we were determined to do a better job on this camping trip. My daughter and I strung a tarp over the picnic table area, sheltering our camp kitchen, while my husband and son pitched the tent. We got the basics in place before the thunder, lightning, and rain began again. When the sun came out later in the trip, this tarp also provided welcome shade.
Tarp over our "camp kitchen."
Here are some tips I found for camping in the rain:
1) Use tarps to shelter areas in your camp. (You can also string a tarp over your tent site if you have to pitch your tent in the rain).
2) Put a ground cloth/liner INSIDE your tent, and let it curve slightly up the tent walls. This keeps you and your sleeping bags and gear dry inside the tent even when the ground is pretty wet. We tried that on this trip, and it worked out really well!
3) Keep firewood in garbage bags so it is dry when you are ready to use it.
Dinner is cooking during a rainstorm.
Upper Lehman campground was beautiful! We were near the creek,and took our camp chairs down to the water more than once. We did some bird watching, read books, sketched and painted, and just relaxed. It is a beautiful place to camp.
Creek near our camp site.
Great Basin National Park has several improved campgrounds. The campsites have a fire pit, tent site, and one or two picnic tables. There are also well-ventilated vault toilets around the campground. These were clean and well-maintained. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are NO reservations. Campgrounds can fill up on weekends and holidays in the summer time. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon in July and had no trouble getting a camp site. However, by late Friday night, the campground was pretty full, so plan on arriving early. The Lower Lehman Campground can accommodate RVs. Trailers longer than 24' are not allowed on the scenic drive, which is your only access to Upper Lehman and Wheeler Peak Campgrounds. Camp sites cost $12 per night, and entrance to Great Basin National Park is free.
Not a camper? Limited accommodations are available in the nearby town of Baker, NV.