• Menu

18 Free Mt Charleston Camping Spots

Last updated on May 7th, 2022 at 11:39 pm

Mount Charleston Boondocking

Mt Charleston Nevada is the eighth highest mountain in the United States. The mountain is located only a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas. If you love outdoor activities, Mt Charleston Nevada is a great place to visit. Here, you will be able to enjoy several outdoor activities such as horseback riding, hiking as well as skiing. In addition to that, there are several trails that you can follow if you are into hiking.

Other Posts About Boondocking and Hiking In Nevada

12 Great Basin National Park Boondocking Spots
18 Free Red Rock Canyon Boondocking Spots
14 Nelson Nevada Ghost Town Free Campsites
9 Free Gold Butte Monument Boondocking Spots
12 Best Basin and Range National Monument Boondocking Locations
14 Free Valley of Fire State Park Camping Spots
15 Best Red Rock Canyon Hiking Trails

History of Mt Charleston Nevada

With an incredible elevation of 11,916 feet or 3,632m above sea level, Mt Charleston Nevada is the eighth highest Mountain in the United States and the highest Mountain in Nevada. Mt Charleston, Nevada features high peaks that are separated by large and low basins making it the most topographically prominent peak in Nevada.

Mt Charleston Nevada is an excellent getaway for the residence of Las Vegas, along with visitors. It features several hiking trails, with some being extremely difficult, and others are pretty much easy to conquer. Mt Charleston Nevada is a snow-capped Mountain for more than half a year. In addition to that, it features approximately 200 campsites along with more than 150 picnic areas, with some of them being RV accessible.

At the base of the mountain to the ease lies a village of Mt Charleston Nevada.

License plates in the State of Nevada are caption with Mt Charleston, Nevada, along with an image of the peak in the background. The sales made from the plate are used in supporting the natural environment of the Mt Charleston Nevada area through the grants that are administered by the Nevada Division of State Lands.

18 Free Mt Charleston Camping Spots

Pinnacle Rock Joshua Tree National Park

1. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Champion Road at Lee Canyon

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 36.341408, -115.648895
Elevation: 7828′

Management – Public – National Forest (Official)

Easy access and right near Mt Charleston. The view are spectacular overlooking the Northern Vegas desert along with being in the shadow of Mt Charleston which is amazing in itself. Dirt / gravel road right off of the 57 with a few spots to either pitch a tent or park a truck/camper. I would not recommend this place for 5th wheels. I stayed here 11/2018 and was very quiet as I visited in the off season. There appeared to be a high level of bear activity so watch out for your food storage. No signal w TMobile

2. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Mack’s Canyon Dispersed Camping

FR 085 – Mack’s Canyon Road
Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 36.349721, -115.681065
Elevation: 8176′

Management – Public – Forest Service (Official)

The road in is Dirt. Mack’s Canyon Dispersed Camping is open year round. You may stay 14 days at Mack’s Canyon Dispersed Camping.

Can I have a campfire? It depends on the time of year and if a fire restriction order is in place. If fires are not restricted, please use existing sites and fire rings left from past campers. If fires are restricted, campers are limited to using propane-type camp stoves with an “On” and “Off” switch or knob. The Spring Mountains have wildfires each year. Many of these are caused by human activity, typically escaped campfires from dispersed campers. Campfires must be avoided when there are fire restrictions in effect due to high fire danger conditions. It is your responsibility to know if fire restrictions are in effect before you go camping.

3. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Bonanza trail spots

Enterprise, Nevada
GPS: 36.39468, -115.73716
Elevation: 6923′

Management – Public – Forest Service (Unofficial)

The road in is 4×4 and 14 miles from a paved road. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet.

Rough washed out road to get there. Sites not level and I had shore up one side with two 2×4 planks and max height on Anderson levelers. No campfires due to fire restrictions in effect. But, we did have fun on an ATV driving around, saw a nice herd of elk fairly close by, had solitude and a great view. It would be nicer if dirt road was graded and spots leveled more.

4. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – 11 Miles: – Unknown Name 10 miles NE Pahrump

Enterprise, Nevada
GPS: 36.27722, -115.84251
Elevation: 5240′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Dirt and 8 miles from a paved road. 10 miles NE Pahrump – Boondocking is open year round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 14 days at 10 miles NE Pahrump – Boondocking.

5. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Cold Creek Rd.

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 36.422111, -115.736734
Elevation: 6020′

Management – Public – Forest Service (Official)

Paved road south/southwest of hi way 95. Several gravel side road on BLM land that allow 14 day camping or drive 14 miles up hill to Cold Creek ponds on forest service land allowing 14 day camping. Gravel sites slightly unlevel. Wild horses, elk and other wildlife roam area.

6. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – 13 Miles: – Wheeler Pass Road

Pahrump, Nevada
GPS: 36.249052, -115.892829

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Gravel and 1/2 mile to many miles miles from a paved road. Wheeler Pass Road is open all year. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay unknown at Wheeler Pass Road.

This is a gravel road just outside of Pahrump. We took it up past the GPS marker and found it extreme difficult to find a space. The ground is extremely soft and rocky and they’ve graded across any small turnout roads. They we’re actually out there grading today. We managed to get up and over the worst of the road to find a nice large camp spot we actually found much better roads in our Yosemite visit.. Haven’t seen any wild horses but definitely a large coyote presence. Wouldn’t let our dog off leash. The road seems pretty busily trafficked and is in good shape.

Saw a couple RVs and some tent campers. Overall quiet and great views of the city. Here to take care of business so the location is convenient. At bottom of the road there seems to be a large population of either abandoned or extremely dilapidated trailers and a lot of trash which turned us off in the beginning. If you can find a spot out a way, you’ll be much happier.

7. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Lovell Canyon Campground

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 36.059785, -115.561924
Elevation: 5085′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

FREE sites, including group spaces. No amenities. There are camping spaces all along the Lovell Canyon road. Some are good for RVs as well as tents. This area is higher in elevation than Las Vegas so it’s always about 15 degrees cooler. There’s usually a little snow on the ground during the winter. The Lovell canyon road is paved but all the roads off of it are dirt. There are great hiking trails all up and down Lovell Canyon.

As others have noted, there are lots of dirt side roads with campsites all along Lovell Canyon. We stayed 3 nights above this site’s location on a shorter side road with a 360 degree view (36.08216, -115.56297). There are only two sites up there, but my long wheelbase Sprinter and an unrelated but huge 5th wheel were fine. Great place for a sunset, minimal noise even though we weren’t far from the paved Lovell road. Used this to access Bridge Mountain., which is well worth the hike: even if you aren’t a confident 3rd class climber, hiking to the base of the bridge gives amazing views of the city behind the peak. If you ARE a climber, put on your friction shoes and prepare to be impressed. Photo of Bridge Mountain is from the trail, NOT the campsite!

8. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Lovell Canyon, Pahrump NV

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 36.024154, -115.55927
Elevation: 4698′

Management – Public – Forest Service (Official)

Great place to camp out for a night… Less than 1 mile on paved road from Highway 160 is the first spot I took. There are many more if you keep going on the road north. No shooting allowed here, compared to the other place on Sandy Wash RD just west of here. No Verizon signal whatsoever! And pay attention to low areas that could be a flash flood problem…

Nice place to stay near Las Vegas but away from the city. We were able to find a spot not far from the main road, stayed one night in a tent in July 2020. The floor is a bit hard for a tent, but doable. Went for a walk around the site and found a rattlesnake, but not too close to the tent in order to worry. Interesting to see the glow of Las Vegas at night from behind the hill.

9. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Rainbow Springs Dispersed Camping

Just four or five dispersed campsites along a rocky gravel road in USFS land. High clearance 4wd only. NOT for a camper or RV. Small firepits and trails nearby. Access from the end of William Ranch Road. Be careful not to turn onto one of the private lanes.

Mountain Spring, Nevada
GPS: 36.024881, -115.503724
Elevation: 5528′

Management – Public – Forest Service (Unofficial)

10. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Sandy Valley Road Boondocking

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 35.9935, -115.60662
Elevation: 4140′

Management- Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Gravel and 1 mile miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 days at Sandy Valley Road Boondocking.

We drove down about a mile and found a little loop with about five campsites. There are signs of target practice in this area. In fact while we were camping a couple of men came and practiced shooting into the hillside. They were far enough away to not be a bother and they left after a few hours. Other than that it’s a quiet, peaceful spot. Google maps show lots of other potential spots along Sandy Valley Road.

11. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Gold Town Casino

771 S Frontage Rd, Pahrump, NV 89048
Pahrump, Nevada
GPS: 36.208195, -115.981977
Elevation: 2710′

Management – Private – Casino (Official)

The road in is Paved. Gold Town Casino is open year round. The maximum RV length at Gold Town Casino is unlimited. You may stay overnight at Gold Town Casino.

12. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Pahrump Nugget Casino

681 South Highway 160
Pahrump, Nevada
GPS: 36.211948, -115.983948
Elevation: 2710′

Management – Private – Casino (Official)

13. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Desert NWR – Dispersed

Corn Creek Road
Enterprise, Nevada
GPS: 36.43768, -115.35865
Elevation: 2917′

Management – Public – Fish and Wildlife Service (Official)

The road in is Dirt. There are 1-5 campsites at this location. Once you pass the visitor center, turn left and there are a few designated pull offs where camping is allowed. These spots are walking distance to the visitor center so with a big rig it might be a good idea to check if the nearby sites are open before driving down the road just to be safe. Past the close spots the roads are very slow going and
even further the road conditions vary.

The visitor center is a nice facilities with nice restrooms that are always open and a water bottle refill station. Behind the visitor center there are a few short trails
that are pleasant and also allow for some bird watching.

14. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Indian Springs

Indian Springs, Nevada
GPS: 36.57679, -115.668915
Elevation: 3130′

Management – Private – Truck Stop (Unofficial)

Behind the Chevron has station, directly off of Hwy. 95. It is suitable for a van, camper/truck or motor home. Simply a place to park and get some sleep. Also some great night entertainment watching the military drones in flight.

15. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Orleans Casino Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 36.105126, -115.199781
Elevation: 2211′

Management – Private – Casino (Official)

16. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Shoshone/Pahrump Overnight

Pahrump, California
GPS: 36.16296, -116.13197
Elevation: 2484′

On the south side of Highway 372, just before the ‘Your Public Lands’ sign when coming up from Shoshone is a nice pull out with a short gravel road in and an open gravel area with two level spots. It’s close to the highway. We are staying here in a 31′ Motor home. No amenities except for the nice views. There are other little pull-outs here and there on the BLM land between Pahrump and Shoshone. This one is a short drive to Pahrump.

17. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Terribles Casino Parking

Las Vegas, Nevada
GPS: 35.778845, -115.326336
Elevation: 2848′

Management – Private – Casino (Official)

Four very large lots for truck and RV parking. “No” casino reg. required, we went in and asked…

18. Mt Charleston Nevada Free Campsites and Boondocking – Horse Thief

Excelsior Mine Road
GPS: 35.773127, -115.888275
Elevation: 4600′

Management – Public – Bureau of Land Management

This free campsite is located within the Bureau of Land Management Needles District.

The best way in which you can get acquainted with Mt Charleston Nevada Charleston, Nevada is through hiking. There are more than 52 miles of trails that are available. These trails are ideal for both experienced hikers as well as novices. These trails allow you to hike through Mountain mahogany, juniper. And Ponderosa pine trees as you enjoy some incredible views of alpine slopes as well as dynamic limestone cliffs. Mary Jane Falls is by far the most popular trail with two hours hike and easy enough for a family, and it includes a waterfall and cave to visit.

In addition to hiking, horseback riding is another fun thing you can do on Mt Charleston Nevada Charleston, Nevada. While in this Mountain, the best trail for horseback riding is along the upper section of the Bristlecone trail; however, equestrians aren’t allowed at upper North Loop, cathedral rock, Robber’s Roost and Mary Jane, or developed campgrounds. Mt Charleston, Nevada Trail Rides at Kyle Canyon offers a guided horseback tour.

Mt Charleston Nevada Charleston, Nevada is an excellent draw for avid rock climbers who often visit the area for incredible bouldering as well as climbing challenges on pristine limestone. Some of the famous spots include The Hood, which is located along Trail Canyon, as well as Robbers Roost.

As an individual who loves staying indoors, then scenic drive Kyle Canyon will be the best place for you since it offers a brilliant overview of a wilderness area. As a driver, you should consider going across Deer Creek highway and then down Lee Canyon, and you will enjoy some incredible views.

Top 10 Trails to Hike at Mt Charleston Nevada

Some of the best hiking trails in Mt Charleston, Nevada include in your list.

1. Echo Trail

1. Echo Trail

This is a 1.1 mile trail which runs between Cathedral Rock trailhead and Echo trailhead. This trail runs through forests with ponderosa pine trees and white fir. It offers an incredible view of Kyle Canyon.

Length: 1.1 mi
Elevation gain: 370 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Walking, Forest, Views, Wildlife, Rocky, Scramble

2. Wild Horse Canyon Loop

2. Wild Horse Canyon Loop

The trail got its name from the Acastus checkerspot butterfly that is found in this region of Mt Charleston, Nevada. This trail is located below Spring Mt Getaway Visitor center, and it is 3.5 miles.

Length: 3.8 mi
Elevation gain: 1,033 ft
Route type: Loop

Hiking, Forest, Views, Wildlife

3. Robbers Roost Trail

3. Robbers Roost Trail

This is a short loop trail, and it leads to a limestone cave and goes through forests of the Mountain mahogany as well as pinion pine trees. The trail is 3 miles, and it is off highway 138.

Length: 3.0 mi
Elevation gain: 462 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Hiking, Mountain biking, Bird watching, Running, Cave, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Off trail, No shade, Fee

4. Cathedral Rock Trail

4. Cathedral Rock Trail

The trail starts in a Maze Canyon and then runs through ponderosa forest and the white fir trees. This is by far the most vibrant area within Mt Charleston, Nevada.

Length: 1.2 mi
Elevation gain: 741 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Hiking, Views, Rocky, Scramble

5. Trek Big Falls Trail

5. Trek Big Falls Trail

This is a 3.4 mile trail; it is moderately strenuous, and it leads to an incredibly big fall. The trail is relatively friendly with dogs.

Length: 4.5 mi
Elevation gain: 902 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Bird watching, Views, Waterfall, Rocky, Scramble, Snow

6. Trail Canyon

6. Trail Canyon

This trail goes through a canyon as well as a forest of ponderosa pine, aspen as well as mahogany trees. Just like Trek Big Falls trail, the trail canyon is dog friendly.

Length: 3.9 mi
Elevation gain: 1,574 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Hiking, Horseback riding, Running, Forest, Views, Wildlife

7. Mary Jane Falls Trail

7. Jane Falls Trail

This is a short trail of about 0.25 miles, and it goes through white fir, Mountain mahogany, aspen, and the ponderosa pine trees. During summer, this trail tends to be very busy due to its spectacular view.

Length: 3.9 mi
Elevation gain: 1,135 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Kid friendly, Hiking, Scenic driving, Skiing, Running, Cave, Forest, Views, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky

8. Mount Charleston North Access

8. Mount Charleston North Access

This is a relatively steep climb from the Cathedral Rock Trailhead. The trail is 4 miles, and it connects to Griffith Peak trail.

Length: 16.3 mi
Elevation gain: 4,737 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Bird watching, Running, Cave, Forest, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife

9. Eagle Nest Trail

9. Eagle Nest Trail

This is a 2.7-mile trail; it starts at Fletcher trailhead and goes North via dense ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, and the Utah juniper trees.

Length: 2.7 mi
Elevation gain: 413 ft
Route type:

Dogs on leash, Kid friendly, Hiking, Horseback riding, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Forest, Views

10. Bristlecone Loop

10. Bristlecone Loop

It is a 6.3-mile trail, and it starts from two different points which are accessible; the upper Bristlecone and the lower Bristlecone trailheads.

Length: 6.3 mi
Elevation gain: 1,345 ft
Route type: Loop

Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Views
How to get to Mt Charleston

The distance between Las Vegas and Mt Charleston Nevada is 39 miles. There are four ways in which you can get to Mt Charleston, Nevada from Las Vegas. These include Bus, Taxi, or Drive Yourself.

When using line 206 bus, it will take you approximately 1 hour 42 minutes to get there. When using a taxi or driving yourself, it will take you approximately 52 minutes to get there. Self-drive is considered the most affordable way to get there, costing approximately $3 to $6 as opposed to a taxi ride that will cost around $110 to $140. When traveling without your car, the best way in which you can get there is using the line 206 bus from Las Vegas to Mt Charleston, Nevada.

Things to Do at Mt Charleston Nevada

While at Mt Charleston, Nevada Charleston Nevada, some of the things you should consider doing include;

1. Visiting Fletcher View

The fletcher view campgrounds are an incredible place and are open throughout the year except during monsoon seasons. The camping ground is equipped with essential amenities such as restrooms, tables, clean drinking water, and a campfire. The area is clean and well-maintained and is a perfect getaway to escape the heat in the summer season.

2. Enjoy the Incredible Sight of Mt Charleston Nevada

On your way to the Mountain, you will be able to take some incredible desert-scape and incredible Mountains of Mt Charleston, Nevada.

3. Enjoy A Stay At Mt Charleston Nevada Resort

Located in a quiet and serene place, Mt Charleston Nevada Charleston, Nevada resort features some nice and comfy rooms along with a restaurant that serves popular dishes. You will be able to enjoy your stay at the resort at affordable rates.

4. Hiking The Many Trails For Great Photos

There are several hiking trails that you might consider following and enjoy some incredible views that the Mtain has to offer.

Accommodations and Dining At Mt Charleston Nevada

Resorts available on Mt Charleston, Nevada offers a full-service hotel and is a centrally located home base allowing you to explore the area better. Morning hours, you will be able to grab muffin and coffee at a Bistro or take your breakfast at a Cut Above a hotel restaurant. Once you are done with your breakfast, you can go hiking or skiing, and after the long day, you can relax in a dry or wet sauna and enjoy specious lobby on plush couches at the fireplace.

For a perfect overnight stay, you can book a cabin at the Mt Charleston, Nevada Lodge, which is located near the top of Mt Charleston, Nevada. Most cabins are equipped with a jet tub, fireplace, small kitchen, and balcony with an incredible view. However, there are no phones and Wi-Fi available in the cabins. Furthermore, cell phone coverage tends to be spotty. This is an incredible place whereby you can unplug and reconnect with mother nature. Mt Charleston, Nevada lodge has a restaurant that serves three meals per day and features a menu with some popular dishes such as free-range Elk burger.

As a camper, you might consider settling at one of the five great campgrounds in the Spring Mountains. Most of these camping grounds are located at a well-traveled Lee and Kyle cannons. In this site, simple tent camping is allowed, and guests should be expecting typical camping ground amenities like picnic tables, toiles, grill or fire ring, electricity, and potable water. However, electricity is only available at the Fletcher view only. Other rugged camping sites include amenities that you will decide to carry, set it up in a dispersed camping area at the cold creek, Westside-Pahrump, and Mt Spring, which tend to be accessible through off-road cars, foot, and bikes.

Mt Charleston Camping

Best Time to Visit Mt Charleston Nevada

Before visiting Mt Charleston Nevada Charleston, Nevada, it is best that you check the weather as well as the road conditions. Usually, the summer season is considered the best time to visit Mt Charleston Nevada Charleston, Nevada since you will be able to hike and enjoy cold weather up the mountain unlike in Las Vegas where temperatures are extremely hot for any outdoor activity. You should avoid visiting the place within July and August; this is the monsoon season.

What to Pack For Your Trip

When going for an easy hike, you should consider bringing;

1. Phone
2. Water
3. Sunscreen
4. Sunglasses
5. Proper clothing
6. Lightweight hiking shoes
7. Fanny pack

On the other hand, when it comes to advanced hiking, you should consider coming with the following;

1. Ample supply of water
2. Daypack
3. Foods consisting of complex carbohydrates
4. Boots that are light in weight
5. Proper clothing
6. Poncho
7. Hat
8. Sunscreen
9. Compass
10. Phone
11. Extra food
12. Extra clothing
13. First aid
14. Map
15. Matches
16. Pocket knife
17. Flashlight

With all the essential tools in place, you will be ready to start your hiking and enjoy your experience on Mt Charleston Nevada.

You might also like some of the articles from our website about boondocking and travel.

For complete photos and videos of our trip visit our photos on our page Facebook Page

You May Want to Join Our Facebook Group Boondocking Group on Facebook For More Information