Visiting Nevada desert hot springs

Too bad we forgot the bug spray.

This weekend, my friends (Brian, Tony, Elise) and I had the brilliant idea to visit some desert hot springs in Northern Nevada. Hot springs are free. Hot springs are outside. Free? Outside? Count me in!

Remember that one time that I talked about how cameras are evil? Well, I’m a big fat hypocrite because I love taking pictures. I also got a shiny new camera, so sue me, I took a bunch of photos.

Here’s what happened after I told Tony and Elise to “do something cute and coupley.”

Naturally, my friends were not down for a photoshoot in the desert wilderness. People are weird, what can I say? So I extracted my revenge with candid photos.

When we first arrived, Tony decided to stand on his truck bed, where I was able to forever preserve this photo gold. Seriously, every boy takes a picture like this when he graduates from elementary to middle school. Everything was going great.

“I didn’t know you were taking a picture” -Tony

After Tony’s involuntary photo shoot, we decided to set up camp. That was when dusk hit. The sunset was beautiful. The mosquitoes were not.

Luckily, no one brought bug spray!

I could hear my dad’s nagging voice in my head, gleefully chanting, Told you so, Told you so.  Here’s Brian’s thrilled face as mosquitoes attacked him during tent setup.

*mosquitoes not shown*

The swarms of mosquitoes naturally meant that everyone lost their minds. I asked Brian to grab the sleeping bags out of the car. He ran off into the sagebrush.

The only thing left to do was yell at Tony until he helped me set up the tents. Elise helplessly took pictures from the sidelines. Thanks, Elise.

Tony tent
Elise “helping” with camp setup. 

Then the mosquitoes got to Gabe, Elise’s dog.

Confused about the invisible forces of evil attacking him, Gabe panicked. He snapped wildly at the air, he wailed, and ran around in circles helplessly. Since Elise and Gabe are next-level connected, she, too, was out of commission.

The next thing I know, Brian was still wandering about in the sagebrush, and Elise was in Protect-Gabe-At-All-Costs mode. It was all up to Tony and me. And then there were two. 

When you’re a dog, mosquitoes don’t make sense. 

While I’m a fairly adventurous person, I have one request: a place to sleep. Naturally, I entered a psychotic state of “Mama Bear”, where I had to perfectly set up everyone’s tent and sleeping arrangements. Thankfully, Tony is also a Type A camper, so we teamworked our way to victory.

Eventually the chaos died down. Brian resurfaced and the mosquitoes flew back to whatever hell they came from.

Check out the little mosquito bite on Brian’s arm under his sleeve. One of many…

 So, here’s my note-to-self for camping in the Nevada desert:

Bring bug spray. Really.

Go buy a little travel grill from your local superstore. I have a mini barbecue that I never take out of my car. It was around $30 and brings me unlimited joy.

Since it’s still cool in the morning, start off your day by an early soak in the hot springs.

If you are traveling with boys, remind them (multiple times) to bring towels and pillows. Seriously, they will forget both.

Plan your arrival to avoid the desert heat of the day. Despite the mosquito attack, arriving at dusk was beautiful. If you do arrive in the middle of the day, definitely bring some shade.

Leave your phone on airplane mode. The desert is the perfect place to clear your mind.

The stars at night in the desert are unbelievably beautiful. Leave your tent tarp off (unless the weather is poor) so you can stargaze before you fall asleep. Since the desert tends to be flat, when you look up at the stars at night, I swear you can see the arc of the world.

The Nevada desert at dusk. 

Growing up in the Nevada desert, I only started to appreciate its beauty in the last few years. Now, I wish I had appreciated the peace of Nevada earlier. There’s nothing like our Nevada purple mountains.

If you’re in the Northern Nevada area here is a great guide to rural hot springs.

What camping trips do you recommend? Leave a reply to let me know 🙂

Until next time- Saludos!


2 comments on “Visiting Nevada desert hot springs

  1. Ky Sisson

    “If you are traveling with boys, remind them (multiple times) to bring towels and pillows. Seriously, they will forget both.” HA!

    Liked by 1 person

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