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Great Basin National Park Fees & Reservations

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English: Details of flowing water at Lehman Cr...

English: Details of flowing water at Lehman Creek, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entrance to Great Basin National Park is FREE. Yes, you read that correctly, you don’t have to pay anything at all to visit Great Basin National Park – you will have to pay for other stuff you want – camping, tours etc but that’s to be expected. The great thing is that you can visit the Great Basin National Park and have a fantastic time without having to pay for the privilege.

Great Basin National Park – Lehman Caves Tours

All cave tours are charged on a “per person” basis, even visitors who have something like an “America the Beautiful Pass” still have to pay for tours of the Lehman Caves, although there are discounts for holders of Golden Access and Golden Age cards.

Lehman Caves are a fragile ecosystem which can be affected very easily by the actions, even just by the presence of visitors. For this reason there are certain rules which people must follow when they visit the Lehman Caves.

  • Things you may take with you on your Lehman Cave Tour – jacket, flashlight, hand-held camera
  • Things you may not take with you on your Lehman Cave Tour – food, water, purses, backpacks, tripods, camera cases, gum, cigarettes, tobacco, strollers, pets . . .
You’re only permitted to enter the Lehman Caves as part of a guided tour. There are two different tours to enjoy, which are offered every day of the year except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
  • Lodge Room Tour – this tour is a little less than a half mile and takes around 60 minutes. This is the best tour for families with young children in tow. On this tour you’ll visit the Gothic Palace, the Music Room and the Lodge Room. There’s a maximum of 20 visitors per tour and you are strongly recommended to make a reservation, particularly during the summer and over holiday weekends. Prices for this tour are $8 per adult, $4 per youth between the ages of 5 and 15 years, under 5’s go for free.
  • Grand Palace Tour – this tour is a little further, just more than half a mile and takes around 90 minutes. Children under the age of 5 are not permitted to take part in this tour. On this great tour you’ll visit the Gothic Palace, the Lodge Room, the Music Room, Inscription Room and of course, the Grand Palace. Again a maximum of 20 visitors may take part in each tour and booking is highly recommended.  Prices for this tour are $10 per adult and $5 per youth between the ages of 5 and 15 years. As I’ve already said, under 5’s are not permitted on this tour.
You can make reservations for Lehmans Cave Tours when you arrive at the visitors center, alternatively call (775) 234-7517 to make an advance reservation, Monday through Friday 9am – 4pm Pacific Time.

Camping at Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park is a terrific place to take a camping trip. There are a total of five developed campgrounds at the park, plus one primitive campground.  All of these campgrounds are on a first come, first served basis – it’s not possible to make a camping reservation. You are advised to find your campsite early on in the day, especially during the summer months and holiday weekends.

  • Lower Lehman Creek Campground – this campground is open all year round but water is only available during the summer months. There are 11 sites costing $12 per night. It’s around 2.5 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. A limited number of the sites are suitable for RV’s and trailers, although there are no hook-ups. The facilities at this campground include vault toilets, tent pads, picnic tables and campfire grills. Each campsite is limited to a maximum of eight people, three tents and two vehicles.

  • Upper Lehman Creek Campground – has 22 sites, one of which being wheelchair accessible. This site is open between the middle of April through to October and sites are charged at $12 per night. The campground is located around 3.5 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. The campsite does have water plus vault toilets, tent pads, picnic tables and campfire grills. Again each campsite is limited to a maximum of eight people, three tents and two vehicles.
  • Wheeler Peak Campground – there are 37 sites here, one of which is wheelchair accessible. This camping site is open between June through to October at a charge of $12 per night. The campground is located at the end of Wheeler Peak Drive, around 14 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. There is water available plus vault toilets, tent pads, picnic tables and campfire grills. Remember that Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive is narrow, steep and winding and is closed for vehicles and trailers which measure more than 24 feet.
  • Baker Creek Campground – is open from late in May through until October. There are 34 campsites at this campground, 2 of which are wheelchair accessible. The campground is located on the Baker Creek Road, approximately 3 miles from the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Water is available as well as vault toilets, tent pads, picnic tables and campfire grills.

  •  Strawberry Creek Campground – is open all year round, accessed by a dirt road. It’s free to camp here, there are 8 campsites (2 of which are walk-in sites) and 2 group camping sites. There is no water available at this campground.
  • Grey Cliffs Group Campground – this group campground is the only camping in the Great Basin National Park where reservations are not only available, they are required. You must reserve your site and pay up full at the time of your reservation. This group campground is charged at $25 per night.
Primitive Camping at Great Basin National Park 
There are primitive camping sites at Great Basin National Park at Strawberry Creek and Snake Creek. These campsites are available free of charge. Some have fire grates and picnic tables, some don’t. Some of the sites at Snake Creek have pit toilets, some don’t. This is primitive camping at its finest.  Camping here is available year round but bear in mind that it can get extremely snowy and muddy in the winter and springtime. You’ve got to camp within the designated sites within a maximum of 30 feet from the picnic tables or fire rings. Generators are permitted between the hours of 8am and 6pm. You are only allowed to stay at any Great Basin National Park for a maximum of 14 consecutive days.

RV’s at Great Basin National Park
There is an RV sanitary station provided at Great Basin National Park which is open between the end of May and October (depending upon the weather). There’s a dump station, trash receptacles and potable water around half a mile inside the park on Nevada Highway 488. The fee for using this sanitary station is $5.
Campground Regulations For All Campgrounds in Great Basin National Park
  1. A maximum of 8 people, three tents, one RV or two vehicles per site (except the group sites of course).
  2. Generators may be used between 8am and 6pm, quiet hours are between 10pm and 6am.
  3. Check out by 12 noon.
  4. 14 consecutive day stays maximum.
  5. Tents must be pitched within 30 feet of the picnic table and fire ring provided.
  6. All pets must be kept on leash at all times, no more than 6 feet in length. Pets are not permitted on the hiking trails.
  7. Fires are only permitted within the fire rings provided. All unattended fires must be extinguished.
  8. You may not use a chainsaw to collect wood without a permit. No wood may be collected above 10,000 feet. Only dead wood which is laying on the ground may be collected for firewood.
  9. Keep your campsite clean.
  10. The use of ATV’s or Off Highway Vehicles is prohibited throughout the Great Basin National Park
  11. You may not bathe, wash dishes, clothing or any utensils at the water spigots.
  12. All food, garbage and scented items must be stored inside a vehicle or within an animal resistant container.
  13. Protect the park at all times. That means no digging, destroying, injuring, removing or disturbing any of the parks plants, animals, minerals or other resources.
  14. Strictly no hunting or trapping is permitted within Great Basin National Park.

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