Flickr album link: Toquima Campground
The Diana's Punch Bowl natural landmark was featured in a previous article and this destination certainly is way out in the middle of nowhere. In order to make the most of the venture, it is best to plot nearby attractions on a map to make the most of the mileage. Nevada Highway 82 is a moderately high speed dirt road that runs through a vast section of the Great Basin Desert between U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. 50. There are a few historic mining camps and ghost towns along this route south of Diana's Punch Bowl, while a unique native heritage site awaits about 16 miles north of the boiling hot spring. Toquima Caves is the point of interest to look for and a Toiyabe National Forest campground is conveniently located right next door.
The Toquima Campground offers only five campsites, but this area is so remote that the individual sites are rarely all spoken for. In fact, this cozy little campground up in the forested hills practically sits empty more often than not, so some peace and quiet is practically guaranteed. This campground features tent pads, trailer pads, chargrill fire rings and basic sanitation facilities. There is no drinking water available, so be sure to stock extra for the ride. This campground does close for the winter after the first snow, since most of this area can become inaccessible.
As mentioned earlier, Diana's Punch Bowl is nearby, but this boiling spring is too hot for people to enjoy. For those who dream of lazing the day away in a hot mineral water bath, Spencer's Hot Spring is located a few miles north of the Toquima Campground. Spencer's Hot Spring is also boiling hot, but it is a developed site with a pool and tub that offer safe temperatures. The short trail to the Toquima Caves Pictographs also begins at this campground and many hours can be spent pondering over the ancient messages at this native heritage site. The Toquima Caves Trail goes through the thick forest and visibility is limited, so it is best to not do this walk alone since this is mountain lion country. For this same reason, keeping children within view and pets on a leash is necessary for safety's sake. The Toquima Campground is yet another lesser known spot to get away from the modern world, so be sure to chalk it up when planning a tour of Nevada Dirt Highway 82!
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