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Does anyone rough it around Las Vegas? I see plenty of land owned by Bureau of Land Managment (BLM), what are the rules? What about around Lake Mead, do you have to camp at the campgrounds?
 

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Does anyone rough it around Las Vegas? I see plenty of land owned by Bureau of Land Managment (BLM), what are the rules? What about around Lake Mead, do you have to camp at the campgrounds?
There is lots of places you can camp at around Vegas, but there isn’t a lot of water to drink around Vegas. Doesn’t take being a rocket scientist to know how that effects where you WILL camp.
 

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And if you're unfamiliar with the desert do a little reading before you go. Could be 80-90 during the day and drop down to the 40's at night. Be prepared.
 

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Lake Mead is a National Recreation Area so it has some rules. Check em out by looking up the website.

Mount Charleston, Red Rocks and Valley of Fire are the closest rec areas. Red Rocks is a magnificent place with some backpacking opportunities, especially in winter when there is more water around. There is an endless supply of BLM in all directions. So Utah is close by and the North Rim of the GC.
 

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I camped with some friends up in the Valley of Fire a few years ago. At the time it was $10 for a camp site, first come, first served. It was the middle of the week and the middle of summer, so the place was empty. For me it was one of the most incredible places I've ever camped - the light hit the canyon walls at sunrise and made the whole place look like it was on fire (hence the name). They're pretty serious about protecting the environment, so you can only camp in designated campgrounds - no backcountry camping. Here are the details:

http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire-state-park/
 

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Summer is the off season around Las Vegas. Spring, winter and fall are much better times to be at a place like Valley of Fire. In the summer head for higher ground.
 

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I do not think you are getting the specific answer you are looking for.
First Lake Mead is a National Recreation Area governed by the Forest Service. You cannot simply camp wherever you like there, you must camp in designated areas for camping. However there are guite a few around the perimeter of the lakes Nevada side shore. The Arizona side's shoreline camps are more remote.
There is only one designated campground at Red Rock and it is not within' the main area of the Red Rock National Conservation Area where the 13 mile loop drive is it is across the highway in a more open (read "less scenic" area. I do believe you can get a backcountry permit for overnight backpacking however in the more remote areas of Red Rock.
Valley of Fire has a very nice campsite but is almost a 60 mile drive from downtown Vegas.
My suggestion would be to seek out a BLM area not specifically designated as a National Recreation Area or a National Conservation area. You are allowed to free camp on non- designated BLM land.
Lovell Canyon would be my suggestion. It is about 30 miles from the center of town and is located in Pinion-Juniper woodland. It is located roughly in between Las Vegas and Pahrump and the Backside of Red Rock.
 

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I agree, hiking red rock canyon is incredible. Las Vegas has a lot of areas designated as National Recreation Areas, and that means lots of rules... Google the specific area for more info.

As for BLM land, the GENERAL rules are camp anywhere you want for up to 14 days at a time, but then you have to move to a new spot. One site I like is: www.freecampsites.net it is a great resource for free and nearly free camping spots.
 

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I agree, hiking red rock canyon is incredible. Las Vegas has a lot of areas designated as National Recreation Areas, and that means lots of rules... Google the specific area for more info.

As for BLM land, the GENERAL rules are camp anywhere you want for up to 14 days at a time, but then you have to move to a new spot. One site I like is: www.freecampsites.net it is a great resource for free and nearly free camping spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Additional question

Thanks for all the good information from everyone.

When you drive east out of Vegas on Lake Mead, as soon as you go over the first pass you're in wide open desert, which lasts about 15 miles before you hit the Lake Mead reserve. Any idea what rules apply there? Could you just hike out away from the road and camp in those hills for a couple days? I don't want to get arrested for trespassing, etc!
 

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I lived at the lake mead rec area for a month when I was homeless. There are 2 campgrounds where you can stay for $5 a night. The southern one is the tourist spot and has the beach. Great fun. The northern one is more secluded and quiet with a great and helpful caretaker. They each have a 2 week stay limit. However the rec area is free to enter on foot and has numerous out of the way places to drop a bedroll during the day. Look for high places and big rocks. You'll find em. Naping like this during the day and being active during the cooler nights worked well. Boulder city is an 8 mile uphill hike but has your best resources, and hitching into henderson from the north camp is pretty easy. A bus pass from vegas will get you in and out from either. Theres plenty of homeless camping up in the hills behind the casino in boulder city but I never went up there. As for water, most fast food places will let you fill a water bottle from their fountain. Otherwise learn where the faucets are. Bathroom sinks in lake mead are potable.
 

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txprep is trying to continue the stereotypes. I go to Las Vegas to visit relatives and go hiking. We never go to the Strip or gamble since we live in Nevada and ignore a lot of the stuff that goes on here.
 

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txprep is trying to continue the stereotypes. I go to Las Vegas to visit relatives and go hiking. We never go to the Strip or gamble since we live in Nevada and ignore a lot of the stuff that goes on here.
I live in Las Vegas and probably go to the strip less than 10 times a year. There is sooooo much more to Vegas than Las Vegas Boulevard. Even the locals who go to casinos often tend to go to the ones that are removed from the strip.
 
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