Nevada has some of the most beautiful state parks you’ll ever see. Beautiful lakes, lush mountain forests, and scenic canyons are just a few of the things you’ll encounter if you’re fortunate enough to visit our state parks. And if you enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, boating and exploring nature – Nevada has you covered! If you’re planning to take a road trip this summer to visit some of Nevada’s most amazing state parks, definitely make sure these 10 are listed on your itinerary.
1.) Cathedral Gorge State Park - Panaca, Nevada
Cathedral Gorge State Park became one of Nevada's first four state parks in 1935. This state park is nearly 2,000 acres in size and is situated in a long narrow valley. Everyone loves exploring the slit canyons in this state park.
2.) Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park - Gabbs, Nevada
Established in 1957, Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park protects and displays North America's largest known ichthyosaur fossils. This state park also preserves the mining town of Berlin.
3.) Cave Lake State Park - Ely, Nevada
At this year-round state park, you'll enjoy warm weather recreational activities such as trout fishing, hiking and swimming, and winter recreational activities such as ice skating and cross-country skiing.
4.) Spring Mountain Ranch State Park - Blue Diamond, Nevada
Located only 15 miles outside of Las Vegas, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is a combination working ranch and luxurious retreat that sits on 520 acres.
5.) Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park - Incline Village, Nevada
Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park offers a number of different areas for visitors to enjoy such as Sand Harbor, Memorial Point, Hidden Beach, Cave Rock, Spooner Lake and Marlette/Hobart Backcountry. These areas combined are more than 14,000 acres.
6.) Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park - Ely, Nevada
Located in the Egan Mountain Range, this state park is known for its six beehive-shaped historic charcoal ovens that operated during the years 1876 to 1879, which happened to be the silver boom years of the Ward mines.
7.) Spring Valley State Park - Pioche, Nevada
The Spring Valley State Park area was originally settled by Morman pioneers in the 1860s, and many of their homes still stand today.
8.) Washoe Lake State Park - Carson City, Nevada
Washoe Lake State Park was established in 1977, and its original inhabitants were Washoe Indians - how the park received its name. This state park is a very popular area for camping, boating and hiking.
9.) Kershaw-Ryan State Park - Caliente, Nevada
Kershaw-Ryan State Park is located in a beautiful, scenic canyon in Eastern Nevada. This canyon was settled in 1873 by Samuel and Hannah Kershaw, and in 1904, they sold the property to James Ryan - a rancher. Mr. Ryan eventually donated the land to the Nevada State Parks system in 1926, and in 1935, it became known as Kershaw-Ryan State Park - one of Nevada's first four state parks.
10.) Valley of Fire State Park - Overton, Nevada
Valley of Fire State Park, dedicated in 1935, is Nevada's oldest and largest state park. The way this state park received its unique name is quite interesting. The red sandstone formations throughout this state park were formed from shifting sand dunes more than 150 million years ago - the dinosaur age. As the sun's rays reflect off these red sandstone formations, they look as if they are on fire.
If you’ve been to any of these Nevada state parks, please feel free to share your experience(s) in the comments below. If you have a favorite Nevada state park that’s not a part of this list (and for that I apologize), please feel free to share that, too!