The evening before we left Valley of Fire State Park, I walked up into the hills to find a cave, and then took photos of the Atlatl Rock Campground from above.
That's our rig near the center of the photo below.
As I mentioned previously, at both the Atlatl Rock Campground and the Arch Rock Campground on the other side of the rocks around the corner, all sites are first-come, first served. But you can arrive early in the morning and claim a site as several folks leave between 8:00 a.m and 10:00 a.m. Although you can stay up to 14 days in a 30-day period the campgrounds tend to be very transient and there is quite a bit of turnover each day.
Arch Rock Campground has 29 sites that have no hook-ups. Atlatl Rock Campground has 44 campsites, 20 of which have electric (50/30 amp) and water hook-ups and are set aside for RVs ONLY (however, not all of them are level).
The rest of the sites in Atlatl Rock have no hook-ups. Generator hours are 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
All sites in both campgrounds have a fire ring, picnic table, and standing grill. Almost all also have a ramada (shade structure) over the picnic table. Atlatl is more suitable for larger rigs, even in the sites without hook-ups. Many of the sites without hook-ups have a non-threaded water spigot in the site.
There is a dump station that is easily accessible coming and going to either campground, but it is more convenient to Atlatl Rock. There is also potable water there to fill your tank.
Bathhouses have flush toilets and showers.
Base cost of a campsite is $10 per night, BUT you also have to pay a $10 entry fee for the park, so the sites without hook-ups are $20 per night. For an electric/water site, you pay an additional $10, so they are $30 per night.
Now, Nevada State Parks has a couple of annual passes as follows:
All Access Permit: The permit authorizes the holder to enter all parks and use the facilities of the parks without paying the entrance, camping or boating fees for 12 months. The All Access permit is $200. An additional fee is required for the use of hook-ups.
Annual Entrance Permits: This permit authorizes the holder to enter ALL parks in the system for 12 months without paying the entrance fee. The Annual Permit is $75. An additional fee is required for camping, boating, hook-ups, group use areas and to attend special events.
So, just like other state annual passes, it just depends on the math and how many nights you stay in the parks in a year that determines whether the annual passes are the way to go.
This morning, we packed up, put water in our fresh water tank, hooked up the Jeep and pulled out of our site a little after 9:00. After dumping tanks, we exited the park around 9:45 and they asked for our campground receipt at the gate. Apparently, if you don't have a day pass receipt taped to your windshield, you have to present your camping receipt to prove you paid your entrance portion at the campground. Good thing we kept it.
We made the easy 70-mile trip to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and pulled into the campground road around 11:00. The campground road is two miles east of the Visitors Center and Scenic Drive.
The campground is about a mile off the busy NV Hwy 159 tucked down below a ridge.
Across the road from the main campground shown above is a group section. Only the group sites are reservable - individual sites are not reservable.
As we approached the entrance to the camping loop, we saw a sign straight ahead that said "RVs Only - no tents, no vans". Not really knowing if we should go there, we pulled into the main camping loop and spoke to a camphost. The main loop is open to tents and RVs, but most of the sites would not accommodate a larger RV.
Linda took the Jeep around the main loop and then drove to the "RVs Only" section. The RV section is basically a cul de sac with pull-off sites next to picnic tables.
In the cul de sac, there are two back-in sites that are right on top of each other - there was a fifth wheel in one - and the other was so close, I wouldn't even think of parking there. It's quite a strange set-up, but it's pretty much your only option if you have a 40-footer. The good news is there are some good views and it's likely quieter than the main camping loop.
Still we opted for Site 12 in the main loop. It was plenty big enough for the Class C, and we liked that it had a ramada over the picnic table and was a more traditional site with good spacing between the sites (not all the sites have such good spacing).
The lower section of the main camping area has ramadas at the sites, but the upper level sites do not. All the sites have picnic tables, fire rings, and a stand-up grill.
We had actually chosen Site 13, but it turned out to be too unlevel. We tried the automatic levelers, and they rejected the site. We determined we didn't have enough blocks to get it level, so we moved to Site 12. It was level side-to-side but wasn't level enough front-to-back for the automatic levelers. We decided to just use blocks - a new experience for us.
We blocked up the rear tires, and realized we would need to use all our blocks because of the dual rear wheels. You don't want to block just one tire of the duallies. We weren't perfectly level, but it was fine for a couple nights.
The sites don't have hook-ups, so we could choose to pull in or back in. We chose to back in due to the angle of the sun even though it put our picnic table on the wrong side.
This campground is $20 per night ($10 for the true walk-in sites for tenters). And because it is a federal facility, those with the America the Beautiful Senior Pass or Access Pass get 50% off the camping fee.
There are vault toilets and spigots throughout the campground to get drinking water. However, you are not allowed to fill RV fresh water tanks, there is no dump station, and there are no trash cans or dumpsters, so you have to pack out your trash. You need to come prepared.
The campground is not Valley of Fire beautiful, but it ain't bad. And the views going out the campground road aren't too shabby.
So, there are campground overviews for Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. It's been a great week of camping in the public campgrounds we enjoy.