5-Star Boondocking: Lake Mohave’s Telephone Cove

Boondocking can be a hit or miss affair. For us, it sometimes takes place in boring, entirely forgettable places. Sometimes, it’s just the opposite. Every once in a while we boondock in a location that totally takes our breath away. One such location is on the Nevada side of Lake Mohave within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area called Telephone Cove. What makes this place special is that you can camp there literally a few feet from the lake. Better yet, you can camp there for free. Beach camping on a pristine lake in the desert surrounded by rolling hills and mountains? What’s not to like about that?

Getting to Telephone Cove is easy. From Laughlin, Nevada head west on Highway 163 for 4.4 miles. Then turn right on Nevada Telephone Cove Road and drive 4.3 miles south to Lake Mohave and the Nevada Telephone Cove camping area. The road to the Telephone Cove is graded dirt that’s a bit rough in places with light washboarding, but most RV’s, including towables, can make it there with no problem. The place has enough room for about 10 to 12 rigs with a decent amount of privacy. There are no numbered sites, just find a spot along the beach and park. GPS coordinates for Telephone Cove are N 35.232933 W 114.594296.

The facilities at Telephone Cove are pretty decent for a free camping area. The facilities consist of five pit toilets with a large dumpster for trash. The toilets are cleaned daily and the facility is patrolled by park rangers two or three times a day. A boat ramp is also onsite. Unfortunately, the facility doesn’t have potable water, so before arriving make sure your fresh water holding tank is full. The burning of pallets is strictly forbidden due to the nails they leave behind. There is a seven-day camping limit at Telephone Cove. Cell coverage with Verizon is surprisingly good with 2 bars of unboosted service. The elevation of Telephone Cove is 652 feet, which means you’ll enjoy terrific temperatures during the winter. When we were there, we enjoyed highs in the upper 60s and lows in the upper 40s. Perfect!

The setting along Lake Mohave is very scenic with lots to do. Lake Mohave is a reservoir on the Colorado River created in 1951 after the completion of Davis Dam. Named for the Mohave Indians who previously inhabited this region of the Colorado River Valley, Lake Mohave extends approximately 67 miles from the Hoover Dam to the Davis Dam. Fishing is a major attraction with striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and sunfish in the lake. Hiking in the area is also excellent with several nearby coves and canyons that you can explore. Wildlife abounds in the Lake Mohave area. We saw ducks, seagulls, quails, bats, small lizards and rabbits. We also saw a couple coyotes in the camping area, so if you have small pets keep a close eye on them.

In conclusion, Telephone Cove is a terrific little place to get away and boondock for a few days or even a week. I’ve always had an affinity for camping next or near water. There’s something about it that makes camping special. The desert setting makes it even better. Indeed, Telephone Cove is like an oasis in the middle of the desert. Even though it can get a little crowded on weekends, being able to camp in such a scenic setting for free makes it worth it. I rarely dole out high ratings for boondocking locations, but I’d have to give Telephone Cove a 5-Star rating. The setting is that good.

About Mello Mike 889 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.


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