McWilliams Campground is located in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, just 50 miles from downtown Las Vegas. Visitors enjoy hiking, mountain biking and scenic driving in this forested desert oasis. Recreation Hiking and mountain biking are popular activities on the 6.2-mile Bristlecone Trail. Upper and lower trailheads are located just above and below the campground. The 1.3-mile Sawmill Trail begins about four miles below the campground just off Highway 156. Facilities This campground contains several single and double-family sites with picnic tables, grills and campfire rings. Flush and vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided. Roads and parking spurs are paved. Natural Features The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area is a beautiful island in the desert, brimming with breathtaking scenery and diverse flora and fauna. The Bristlecone pine, the world's oldest organism, and the rare Mount Charleston blue butterfly are both found within the Spring Mountains. More than 100 springs create the namesake for the mountain range, making it an ideal place to escape the heat of the city. The campground is situated in a scenic Ponderosa and white pine forest, which offers partial shade. The area affords breathtaking views of the surrounding Spring Mountains. Nearby Attractions More than 60 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails crisscross the area. Rock climbing, picnicking and scenic driving are popular activities. The Spring Mountains Visitor Center in Kyle Canyon offers guided hikes and educational and evening programs. Interpretive displays provide information on local plants, animals and history. ADA Access: N
McWilliams is located in Nevada
From Las Vegas, Nevada, take Highway 95 north 29 miles to junction with Highway 156/Lee Canyon. Turn left and travel 19.5 miles to the campground, which is on the right.
12 Reviews of McWilliams
Lots of sites here. Nicely spaced out. Camp hosts are nice. We go here every year.
Clean, well manicured restrooms! Nicely spaced from other campers. Beautiful and lots of wildlife.
The camp host was great. He helped us find the very last site on the mountain. We came with no reservations during the week. Sites are clean, with concrete pads, bbq’s, pedestals, and nice fire pits. Very well kept, bathrooms were very clean and had heaters for colder months. I believe it was recently redone.
This is now a combination of the old dolomite and McWilliams's sites. What an improvement! Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, flat and level area for tent/parking, and easy access to toilets. A great trailhead is at the top of the dolomite area. Prime time on this trail is actually dusk as there are large colonies of various bats that roost near. Wonderful to watch them against a fading sky. The camp can get noisy on weekends, and lots of little ones so if families are not your cup of tea then this mountain probably isn't going to suit you. The trails are awesome, and of varying degree of skill required to traverse the area. The summer days provide ample light for exploring all day. If you are mobile, don't miss cathedral falls which is a short drive and hike away. Two of the nearby camps are closed for similar improvements and if course, hilltop is open and has showers.
You can take that heat from Vegas and completely forget you are in Nevada when you travel just outside the city and to McWilliams Campground and Mount Charleston area. But because of this break in the heat all summer you have to make reservations, even though they say there are walk up sites I wouldn't suggest banking on them to be there.
This campground is dry camping but with the setting of the mountains it hardly seems like any kind of inconvenience. There is a nice bathroom facility here without showers but plenty good for enjoying this place it is heated which makes for a lot better user experience especially I assume during winter months.
When I was there I saw a lot of RVs and Tents alike all pulled into spots and comfortable. While I didn't seem boxed in and overcrowded I did speak to someone who said when it is filled with more RVs it tends to get a little claustrophobic feeling.
Sleeping in a tent here I noticed that I could hear my neighbors pretty easily until around 11 p.m. after that it got pretty quiet and short of a few animal noises here and there it was silent. Temperatures dipped considerably at night so even though it was summer, in a tent I was finding I needed a little more cover than expected and pulled out the sleeping bag for some warmth.
Something I loved about this site was the set up for campers with the fire ring and table. The slab around the ring gives you a flat surface if you have camp chairs and also allows you do better manage your space and keep debris out of your fire.
- Bring a light or headlamp. Not sure if it really doesn't have light or if it was just burned out, I didn't check again, but the bathroom was dark at night so you want to have a way to see.
- Bring Cash or Check they didn't accept cards for the $25 nightly fee.
When we want a camping retreat ans a break from the Vegas heat, McWilliams Campground is definately the choice. I can honestly say, for being a desert, we’ve got a pretty great camping spot here.
While I love the outdoors and ‘roughing it,’ I have my limits, and plumbing is where I draw the line. I will camp wherever a good site is, but if there aren’t functional toilets, I’ll pass. Thus the reason McWilliams was such a great find. Not only do they have restrooms, they also have potable water and the campground pads each have a flattened base for tent setup, and a concrete pad with grill, stove stand, picnic bench and fire pit.
I have a full review and recap of our camping experience at McWilliams here: https://www.nvilloria.com/single-post/2017/10/06/Camping-Retreat-in-Vegas
We love camping at Mount Charleston in the summer! It provides the perfect break from the Vegas heat! McWilliams campground was renovated in 2015 featuring paved parking areas at each campsite. Bathrooms are modern but no showers. Lots of hiking available! We had a very small herd of wild mustangs go through our site! Very cool! Campsites fill up fast!! It can feel crowded. Best to reserve your site in advance www.reserveamerica.com. Campground is dog friendly! There are no RV hook-ups and no dump site.
We went for a night while visiting family and wanted to get one more camping trip in before winter hit. The camp ground was extremely clean and taken care of. The bathrooms were clean and they have a heater! So taking off all layers wasnt so terrible. The view of the moon was beautiful. when we went it was very windy so we didnt explore to much but just from looking around our site we knew we would want to come back. A location so close to Vegas has such beautiful mountain areas.i definitely didnt feel close to Vegas at all
Recently re-opened (Summer 2015), with all new blacktop driveways, concrete picnic/patio areas, very nice fire pits, handicap accessible, newly updated bathrooms (when open), tall old pine trees, and lots of fresh air! Summer 2016 had some challenges with fire restrictions and water shortages, with eventual closure for most of July & Aug. So before you go, check www.reserveamerica.com for alerts & current news. Less than 1 hour from Las Vegas, and a GREAT way to beat the heat!
The campsite is very clean and pretty. We were tent camping and cooking in the provided firepit or on out coleman stovetop. The extra stand for the stove was great and freed up table space for dining and cards. The level tent spots are great. Wild horses came by our tent at night and kept us awake for a short time. Cool to see though. The bristlecone loop trail nearby was an easy to moderate 6 mile trek. I wish there was a shower since we got very sweaty from or hikes. They do have nice clean restrooms and plenty of water to fill up my portable shower.