The funhouse that is Las Vegas, Nevada is built on a contrast. Set up in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas is intended to be an island of indiscretion, created to be artificially beautiful. But as anyone can tell you, the surrounding region is not just desert, but a vast array of natural beauty that remains untouched despite so close to the state’s largest city. Any savvy RVer or canyon camper will tell you that camping near Las Vegas is best way to experience both big city lights and serene desert landscape.
Whether you’re into mountains, desert oases, rivers and lakes, and all the silence you need, or if the bright lights of the “entertainment capital of the world” are more your speed, you can have it all while camping near Las Vegas and still be home for Sunday dinner.
Up the Ante by Camping Near Las Vegas
Want to get away for the weekend? Are you visiting the Strip and need a break from the bustle and lights? No problem. All these campsites are within 45 minutes of Las Vegas. And they are ready to soothe your soul with outdoor activities, solitude, and a night sky full of stars.
1. Atlatl Rock
Atlatl Rock is an amenity-packed campground in Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park. You may be sleeping in the desert, but you’re going to do it with shaded tables, grills, flushing toilets, and access to showers. If you take a look around after you set up your tent, you’ll see why the park is called Valley of Fire. Everywhere you look, you see red rock ablaze in the radiant sun. Twisted formations that have puzzled campers for years and pictographs from cultures of yesteryear. Sleep in peace knowing you can get to exciting Las Vegas quickly, but be sure to take the time to appreciate Nevada’s largest and oldest state park.
“Absolute Silence at night. Even when the campground is full. Stars so bright. Longhorn everywhere. If you can sleep in the desert, this is the place to stay. It’s perfect.” —The Dyrt camper Melissa N.
Red Rock Canyon is a rock climber’s utopia. It has one campground, offering single and group campsites. Group sites can be reserved online currently, while single sites will be reservable in 2019, but for now are first come, first served. The campgrounds provide shaded tables and some of the friendliest campers around. It can get busy in the summer, as it’s one of the more popular places to go camping near Las Vegas. But there is an overflow area nearby for an influx of campers. Besides the climbing, there are hiking trails and plenty of photography opportunities.
“This place has nice campsites and well-maintained bathrooms. The rock walls sweep straight up to the sky and look as if they’ve been stroked by a paintbrush. There are also a ton of climbs here both trad and sport, from single pitch to multi! If you want to just plan a day trip escape from the city this is well within reach.” —The Dyrt camper Alan B.
3. Willow Beach
The Willow Beach campground and marina sits on the banks of the Colorado River, feeding into Lake Mead. It’s a great place to bring a boat, raft, kayak, or canoe. It’s just 45 minutes from Las Vegas, so it’s also a good day trip for fishing or water activities like SUPing or swimming. The campground has a 24-hour laundry facility, showers, a restaurant, convenience store, and WiFi.
“Great place to camp on the Colorado River. They have a 24 hour showers (clean) a nice marine with a dock and marina and some great fishing. Perfect place to camp for some boating and fishing and If you want a little night life Las Vegas is only about 45 minutes away. Keep your eyes opened for wild Burros and Big Horn Sheep!” —The Dyrt camper Sandra K.
If you’re traveling in an RV and heading to Las Vegas, there’s good news. You don’t have to pay exorbitant prices to stay in town. The Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort is in walking distance to the Vegas Strip. This doesn’t mean you’re just camping near Las Vegas, you’re camping in it. You’ll have access to classic Las Vegas Entertainment entertainment for a fraction of the cost. They offer many of the same amenities you’d get at a Vegas hotel. Fancy waterfalls, a pool and spa, a fitness center, a golf course, horseshoe pits, a restaurant and store, laundry facilities, free showers, and of course wifi.
“Great location right off the freeway. Large, manicured spots. Many pull through. Bathrooms and free showers. Walked in with no reservations and they easily accommodated us. Full hookups. Lots of amenities and services.” —The Dyrt camper Rhonda S.
The McWilliams campground is camping near Las Vegas that’s part Dolomites-like hills and part desert-y charm. It rests in the beautiful, rocky landscape of Mount Charleston, just east of Las Vegas. It’s the perfect place to escape the summer heat, as it’s usually ten degrees cooler. With hiking, biking, and climbing nearby, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy.
“When we want a camping retreat and a break from the Vegas heat, McWilliams Campground is definitely the choice. I can honestly say, for being a desert, we’ve got a pretty great camping spot here.” —The Dyrt camper Nikki E.