Someone had told me we could do a little dispersed camping at Sloan Canyon, just outside of Vegas. In addition to many hiking trails this place has a pretty extensive area you can hike around to find some great views and camping.
We started out by stopping in the visitor center, which is little more than a mobile station at the beginning of the Petroglyph Trailhead with portable toilets. There wasn't a lot of information online about staying here only that it was in fact BLM land and it was accessible for those who are wanting to stay. To hike in we figured we needed a permit, but when we got there we just kind of got a puzzled look.
Finally a ranger helped us and told us that people do in fact hike in to camp dispersed but there was no permit. We hiked down the trail with our gear and about 2 miles in found a great spot just beyond the petroglyph gallery. It had a view of the mountainside and a great view of the sunset.
We settled in and enjoyed a quiet evening amidst the tall walls of the lower canyon. We had views of the larger mountain ahead but opted to not stay up higher because the winds get pretty strong I this area.
I will say that we were told you cannot set up in the petroglyph area because it is preserved, but it did make me realize that a lot of people probably don't follow this by the fact that there were numerous smaller trails leading through this area where people clearly are not remaining on the main trail. I think the most important thing about camping in a place like this is respecting the leave no trace rules. I you are visiting a place with such history and want to allow others to continue doing the same then you should respect the area you are in.
While this was a clean area for the most part you could see where some people hadn't respected the land the same way.
- Stop at the visitor center before closing hours to get a map and find out about the area. There are two routes to the area we were in and depending on your level of desired difficulty this hike can be easy or have some light scrambling.
- Remember this is a dark space so you will want to have your own light with you because there are several animals which roam at night and you will want to be able to see.