From Great Basin National Park we headed west on US Route 50 which is known as the America’s Loneliest Road. We passed the BLM camping area called Sacramento Pass which looks like a terrific place to camp. We continued on west on Route 50 to Ely, Nevada with gorgeous scenery everywhere. We have been to and through Ely many, many times but always in winter with cold winds and lots of snow and ice. We have driven over Ward Mountain (Murray Summit) which lies just to the west of Ely about 7 miles. In the winter we were always worried about just making it over this summit but this time we were here in the summer. WOW, what a difference.
The Ward Mountain Recreation Area has a campground and both a South Trailhead and a North Trailhead. The campground is at the South Trailhead (which is to, you guessed it, the south). It is manged by the National Forest as it sits in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and is on Murray Summit at 7,400 feet.
The campground has 3 areas, Loop A, Loop B, and an RV area. RV’s CAN camp in Loop A and Loop B. All sites are dry camping and there is NO water at the campground nor is there a dump station. There are some fuel stations in Ely where you can pay to dump and fill.
Campground: Ward Mountain Campground
Location: Ely, Nevada
Site: 5 (back-in) – Loop A
Cost: $10 (50% off with interagency pass)
Services: dry camping
Comments: We loved, loved, loved our site and this campground. We walked the other loops and felt our site was the best in the campground. We had great site privacy and fantastic views. The only issue was lack of shade but we managed to hang out under the trees and moved our chairs as the sun moved.
The area has about 20 miles of hiking trails which are used for cross country skiing in the winter. That sounds great to us. The trails are marked and there is a board with a map on it but it is a very crude map. We still managed to find our way around with the goal of making it to a ski warming hut. We made it and had terrific views and some shade to allow us to cool down a bit.
We had some beautiful evenings with great sunsets and interesting skies. The moon was almost full so we didn’t get the great starry nights but we could still see stars (and satellites).
What a fantastic place!