If you have attended one of my seminars or followed this blog over the years it is no secret that I rely heavily on Google Earth to locate places to explore, roads to get there, boondocking campsites nearby and how to access them.
A trip to explore the mining camp of Sprucemont, Nevada was no exception.
Looking for a boondocking site in advance (via Google Earth) I found a large camping area along the road to Sprucemont just over 4 miles from the highway.
Not being a fan of driving that far down a dirt road with the RV in tow, I kept looking for something closer to the paved highway, eventually locating a site just far enough off the highway to keep the noise down and be shielded from sight compliments of a grove of Juniper trees.
Using both satellite view and street view, I was able to determine the elevation of the area was fairly flat, and there was not a large gradient keeping me from exiting the highway onto the faint unnamed side road that would deliver us to the campsite.
However, as we closed in on the coordinates for the turn, we encountered road construction signs notifying us that only one lane of the highway was in use and to wait for the pilot car. I began to worry that the construction zone might continue past our planned turn-off and I wouldn’t be able to access our camp spot for the evening.
Luckily the construction zone was short, and we exited it not far before arriving at our turn-off, only to be presented with a new problem courtesy of the construction work. It turns out the construction work was to clean the drainage ditches and re-grade the shoulder of the highway.
The swale I had to cross from the highway to the side road no longer looked like the manageable crossing I had previewed on Google Earth street view, but was now a freshly graded ditch with a little straw thrown on it to reduce erosion.
After carefully studying the situation and wanting to get off the highway for the day, I decided to go up the road a bit, turn around and approach the ditch in a very diagonal trajectory from the opposite lane of the highway which would (hopefully) keep my travel trailer from dragging too badly.
Luckily, the plan worked, we enjoyed a very private campsite with a view of the mountains, were able to explore Sprucemont and the old mining structures above the town, and didn’t need to summon emergency road service to get us back across the ditch when we left.
How to get there
You will find the remains of Sprucemont at N40° 33.032 W114° 52.275
If you choose to drive the 4 miles down the dirt road to the campsite mentioned, you will find the “entrance” to the camping area at N40° 34.424 W114° 54.618
The turn for the campsite just off the highway (pictured) is at N40° 34.838 W114° 58.212
Navigating the bumps and ditches in the highway of life, just another adventure in RVing!
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Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Thanks for sharing Dave! My son and I checkout Mines, Ghost towns and Cabins all over the west and LOVE IT. Usually we aren’t dragging a trailer or RV, but rather a 4×4 gets us there. Recently, we’ve talked about base-camping in a RV and running out from there.
Love all the insight… keep up the great job and keep safe!
Herschel J says
Nice article Dave! I would like to CORRECT the post right above mine and say that MY DAD has talked about base-camping from an RV and running out from there. After he walked from Mexico to Oregon he has become a lightweight and wants to sleep in cushy RVs with common amenities such as showers and toilets!
Well. Maybe he earned that right.
Oh, hey Dad.
-Herschel (the son.)
Kathleen Zucati says
Did your dad walk the John Muir trail from Mexico to Oregon? Or? How cool is that, and I don’t blame him for wanting a bit of cush now!
Dave Helgeson - Adventures in RVing says
Hersh, Glad you enjoy ghost town and mine camp exploring as much as my wife and I do. An RV makes a great base camp to explore from. My truck is 4×4 and when it gets too rough for the truck we unload the ATV and dirt bike. Thanks for commenting.