There is sewage above ground, which is unhealthy and stinks very bad the entire day. This place is in fact substandard living. It is very unsafe with risk of fire and electric hazards everywhere. I highly recommend not jeopardizing your life and pass this place up for another.
not close to amenities and no hookups- bring water
Bring all items you need or be prepared to leave camp to go to the store.
Lahontan is an acquired taste. If you're looking for a cool "forest" experience, shady pines, and easy-breezy camping then this is NOT the place for you. It's a huge man-made reservoir in the desert. It gets very hot in the dead of summer and shade is limited in many areas. The trees are mainly cottonwood and willow. Most of the camping areas are not formally developed and you just kind of have to "cop a squat" if you can find a decent spot. The area is hugely popular with boating, fishing, and jet-ski enthusiasts so the beaches and the lake can get very crowded. The restrooms in some areas are BASIC - some would even call them "outhouses". Others are much less primitive. There is one developed camp ground on the Silver Springs side (no RV hook-ups).
I grew up camping, boating, and fishing at Lahontan so it has a soft spot in my heart. Just know that it's not for every one.
Camped overnight on the beach, but could not fully access location due to water conditions. The reservoir is completely full this year and the water has flooded out the established campground area and many beaches are not accessible. Dispered camping is allowed on the beach and limited access to amenities. Only pit toilet and no potable water. Area is patrolled by a ranger and appears to be popular with boaters and water enthusiasts! Beach campfires permitted, with caution.
Sand Mountain is an awesome experience… however- this is not a quiet and peaceful desert camping trip. 90% of the folks visiting Sand Mountain are OHVs… all of whom like to drive their buggies up and down the dunes ALL night.
We hiked the dunes in the evening when it was cooler, and had to make sure we flashed our headlights so that buggy drivers could see us. DO NOT HIKE without a light. It would be very dangerous.
The campsites are scattered, don't drive too far off into the sand or you will get stuck. Stay close to the main road/compacted areas. The sand is decently flat to set up a tent. No hookups.
Free entrance on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fees apply at all other times.
Playing on the go karts dirt bikes four wheelers and dune buggies was fun and exilerating. But my favorite part was exploring this 9000 year old dried up lake bed. Watching the blue butterflies that only live be there and no where else in the world made me feel as small as the specks of sand in this big place. Also there is the old station for the pony express which I found especially interesting. Rich in history and family fun.