Spring Valley State Park is a popular area for fishing, camping and sight-seeing. Visitors also enjoy hiking, exploring and touring the historic Ranch House museum. The park is located 20 miles east of Pioche via State Route 322. Spring Valley State Park is open all year, although snow may make winter access difficult.
|FACILITIES & AMENITIES
HC 74, Box 201
PARK ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Archaeologists believe this area was occupied as long ago as 5,500 B.C.E. The large rock outcrop near the center of the valley, known to many as George Washington Rock, may have also been used as a look-out for these native people.
Mormon pioneers settled this part of eastern Nevada in 1864. The first weeks in the Valley were difficult for the Pioneers. They lived in their wagons until their homes were built. Some of these homes still stand today: the Stone Cabin is a prime example of the workmanship. Though changes have been made over the last century — the metal roof would have been logs tied together, chinked and layered with sod rather than the metal you see today — the cabin gives visitors a glimpse into the life of a pioneer.
A number of ranch buildings from the late 19th century still exist in the park, including those of the Rice Ranch, Millet Ranch and others. Today the Millet Ranch is used as the park headquarters.
Agriculture continues to be an important factor in Lincoln County’s economy, and was the reason for the construction of Eagle Valley Dam in 1965. The reservoir, located at the southern end of Spring Valley, was named for Eagle Valley where the town of Ursine is located. The state park was subsequently designated in 1969.
Spring Valley is situated at the upper end of Meadow Valley Wash. The wash is a number of valleys trending north-south through Lincoln and Clark Counties. Emptying into the Muddy River near Moapa in Clark County, Meadow Valley Wash eventually reaches Lake Mead near Overton. Although part of the Colorado River watershed, the park’s environment is typical of the Great Basin desert and riparian life zones.
The reservoir attracts a variety of waterfowl and shore birds, including mallards, teals, herons, avocets and the infrequent yet beautiful trumpeter swan. Eagles, hawks, songbirds, ravens and road runners inhabit the canyons and valleys.
Common animals include squirrels, cottontails, jack rabbits, coyotes, deer, skunks and an occasional bobcat. Several species of lizards and snakes also inhabit the park.
Vegetation varies throughout the park, depending upon elevation, precipitation, soils and slope. The most common trees and plants are pinyon pine, Utah juniper and big sagebrush. The flood plains support rabbit brush, big sagebrush and several grasses. In the meadows, springs and streams, cattails, sedges and grasses are common.
One of the largest geologic formations within Spring Valley is volcanic tuff and sediment, rocks which are found along the hillsides upstream from the reservoir. They give a dramatic backdrop to the park where light-gray, pinkish or white outcrops are exposed.
Evidence of older lake bed deposits suggest that Spring Valley was once inundated by a lake during the middle Pliocene and early Pleistocene when the climate may have been much wetter than today.
LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Spring Valley State Park is located 18 miles northeast of Pioche on State Route 322. The elevation of the reservoir is 5,836 feet.
The climate of the area is arid, with hot summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures range from 85°F at midday to 45°F at night. Rainfall is variable and thunderstorms are common. Although open year-round, visitors should be aware of colder winter temperatures and snow.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES
EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR: Eagle Valley Reservoir is the primary attraction at Spring Valley State Park. The 65-acre reservoir is currently managed as a put-and-take sport fishery. Rainbow trout is the primary species.
BOAT LAUNCH: A boat launch is located on the south shore of the reservoir adjacent to the day-use picnic areas. A ramp, dock and temporary docking slips are available.
TRAILS: A developed trail connects the Stone Cabin and Ranch Campground. Walks around the reservoir are popular and allow terrific views of the valley.
CAMPING: Horsethief Gulch Campground, the main campground, is located just west of Eagle Valley Reservoir. It has 37 campsites – each with table, grill and shade ramada – and three restrooms, two with showers. Water is also available. Ranch Campground is located two miles north of the main campground. This facility has seven campsites with tables and grills. Water and primitive restrooms are available. The camping limit is seven days in a 30-day period.
PICNICKING: The day-use-picnic area is located next to the boat launch at the reservoir. It includes eight picnic sites, each with table and grill, a restroom and a fish cleaning station.
GROUP AREA: Day and overnight groups are accommodated at the south end of the reservoir. Reservations should be made in advance.
Fees: Fees are charged for day use, boating and camping. A current fee schedule is posted in the park.
Please join the majority of our visitors who maintain this area and preserve the fragile desert environment by observing these rules:
- No operating of ATVs in the park boundaries. All vehicle operators must be licensed. Drive only on designated roadways.
- Camping is allowed only in designated areas. Saving or reserving campsites is prohibited, even if pre-paid.
- Fires are permitted only in the fire rings and grills provided. Collection of fire wood within the park is prohibited.
- All plants, animals, rocks, minerals and historic artifacts within the park boundaries are protected by state and federal law. Please do not remove or destroy these features. They should be left undisturbed for future generations to enjoy.
- Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
- Use garbage dumpsters provided. Do not burn or bury garbage.
- Quiet hours in the park are from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Visitors are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations in effect. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park.