The Dirt: Sweetwater Mountains



Desert Creek Campground is a remote camping experience in Douglas County, Nevada, and is located within the Sweetwater Mountain Range of the Toiyabe National Forest. It is generally frozen in winter and snow levels make much of it inaccessible. There is a Forest Service campground (no charge) with restrooms and tables at the lower end and several primitive camping spots along much of the creek.

OHV users can enjoy miles of backroads in this area. Native American petroglyphs between 1,000 and 4,000 years old can be found within a 1/2 mile downstream of the USFS campground. There is high recreational diversity at Desert Creek and the Sweetwater Mountains, including fishing, biking, hiking, and camping as well as OHV riding.


From the town of Wellington, head south on Hwy 338 for less than ¾ mile. Turn right onto Desert Creek Road; there is a small wooden sign denoting Desert Creek. The campground is about 6.5 miles south. Access road is narrow and has creek crossings, so a high clearance, 4WD vehicle is recommended. Area may be inaccessible during the early spring runoff, and snow limits or prevents access in the winter months.

From Bridgeport, head north on CA-182, which turns into NV-338. Travel about 46 miles and turn left onto Desert Creek Rd.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: USFS Bridgeport Ranger District

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only.

Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.
Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Plan Your Visit