Walker River

state recreation area

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About Walker River

The State of Nevada benefited from an extraordinary opportunity to acquire land to establish the Walker River State Recreation Area. The acquisition includes several large ranch properties that have been largely closed to public access for over 100 years. Today, they afford the potential for a vibrant outdoor experience that no other single Nevada State Park can provide. The new state park includes four units: the Pitchfork Ranch, Rafter 7 Ranch, Flying M Ranch and the Nine Mile Ranch. The park units will open to the public over time, as development and infrastructure is completed. Currently, the Elbow section of the Nine Mile Ranch is open for exploration. The Pitchfork Ranch opened to the public on September 22, 2018. Announcements will be made as phased development is completed.

Park Detail

FACILITIES & AMENITIES

Pitchfork Ranch

The century-old Pitchfork Ranch, located near Yerington, Nevada, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with 7 miles of the celebrated East Walker River open for exploration. Visitors are invited to experience camping, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing in an idyllic country setting.

Getting Here: From Yerington, head south on Hwy 208 and turn left on East Walker Road. You will see a brown road sign that directs you to Walker River State Recreation Area. Continue for 4 miles to the giant arch entrance of the Pitchfork Ranch. Follow signs to the Visitor Center. 

From Hwy 395, take the 208 turn off and go through Wellington, NV. When you get through Wilson Canyon, take the 208 turn off. In approximately 4.5 miles turn right on East Walker Rd. You will see a brown road sign that directs you to Walker River State Recreation Area. Drive 4 miles on a dirt road and look for the giant arch entrance to the Walker River State Recreation Area.  

Camping: The Riverbend campground has 16 sites suitable for travel trailers, motorhomes or tents. Campsites include a table and fire ring, and shade ramada. Sites cannot be reserved and there are no hook-ups, but an RV dump station is nearby. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.

RV Camping: RV sites with power and water hookups are available at the Quail Run Campground.

Cabins: Situated approximately 1.5 miles passed the main entrance on East Walker Rd. Cabins drop down into their own private meadow campground with stunning views of the river corridor, easy access to the nature trail, and river access.

  • A covered front deck, eating area with table, chairs, full-size refrigerator, microwave, cooktop (no conventional oven), bathroom, heating, and air conditioning. Wi-Fi is not available.
  • All Cabins - 1 bedroom/1 bathroom (walk-in shower, toilet, sink) plus an additional bunkroom with 2 twin bunkbeds and living room with full size sleeper sofa can comfortably accommodate up to six occupants. View Cabin Floorplan
    • Cabin #1: Prairie Falcon (Handicap Accessible)
      Cabin #2: Bald Eagle
      Cabin #3: Horned Owl
      Cabin #4: Red Hawk

  • Reservations can be made by filling out the Cabin Reservation Form and emailing to wrsra@parks.nv.gov

Floating: Kayakers and floaters will enjoy miles of floating along the Walker River. Ask park staff or refer to the Water Trail Map to learn about current river conditions and put-in/take-out locations.  

Hunting: Hunters will find rich opportunities along the Walker River, from big game such as deer, antelope and Big Horn sheep, to water fowl and upland game such as chukar and dove. Refer to the hunting zone map for detailed hunting zone locations. 

Group Day-Use Area: The group area will accommodate up to 60 persons for group picnicking on a reservation-only basis. For reservations, contact the park office.

Picnicking: A day-use area is available near the river.

Visitor Center: The Visitor Center offers exhibits telling the colorful history of the Walker River State Recreation Area. 

Programs: Information about program scheduling may be obtained from either park staff or kiosks. Upon request, special presentations can be arranged for groups.

Hours: Open seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The "Elbow" at Nine Mile

This unspoiled section of the East Walker River is fabled among fishermen and will remain rustic and undeveloped to retain its allure to devout anglers and seekers of the truly serene.

Getting Here: From Wellington on Hwy 208, travel south on the Wellington Cutoff to Hwy 338. Continue south on Hwy 338 for about 23.5 miles, turning east on Sweetwater Road. You will see a green sign that says “Hawthorne 38 miles” and below it a brown road sign that directs you to “The Elbow” at the Walker River State Recreation Area. This is a County maintained dirt road. From here, continue east about 7 miles to reach the Bighorn Campground at the Elbow. 

From Yerington, travel south on Hwy 208. Go through Smith Valley and continue onto Hwy 338. Continue south on Hwy 338 for about 23.5 miles, turning east on Sweetwater Road. You will see a green sign that says “Hawthorne 38 miles” and below it a brown road sign that directs you to “The Elbow” at the Walker River State Recreation Area. This is a County maintained dirt road. From here continue east about 7 miles to reach the Bighorn Campground at the Elbow. 

From Hawthorne, head north on Hwy 95. Turn left on Hwy 95 Alt towards Yerington, NV. When you reach Yerington, travel south on Hwy 208. Go through Smith Valley and continue onto Hwy 338. Continue south on Hwy 338 for about 23.5 miles, turning east on Sweetwater Road. You will see a green sign that says “Hawthorne 38 miles” and below it a brown road sign that directs you to “The Elbow” at the Walker River State Recreation Area. This is a County maintained dirt road. From here continue east about 7 miles to reach the Bighorn Campground at the Elbow. 

Camping: The Bighorn Campground has campsites that include a table and fire ring. Sites cannot be reserved and there are no hook-ups. Restroom facilities are available. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.

Fishing: The Walker River is home to trophy fisheries, including the fabled “Elbow” at the Nine Mile Ranch. Fishing enthusiasts will find world class angling at various locations along the river corridor. 

Picnicking: A day-use area is available near the river.

Hours: Open seven days a week, 365 days a year.


FIELD NOTES

  • Fires are permitted only in designated fire rings, barbecues or approved portable stoves. Visitors should supply their own firewood.
  • Please remember to respect the area when using your OHVs and UTVs. Use only trails and designated areas for these types of recreation. If you are unsure where you can use these, please speak with a member of the Park Staff.
  • Removing, disturbing or damaging any historic structure, artifact, rock, plant life, fossil or other feature is prohibited. State and federal laws protect this area and its resources.
  • Motor vehicles are permitted only on designated roadways and parking areas.
  • Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length.
  • A fishing license is required for anglers 12 or older. Visit ndow.org for more information.
  • Visitors are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations in effect. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park or may be obtained from any Park Ranger.
  • Those with developmental and/or physical limitations are invited to enjoy all of the recreational activities of Nevada State Parks. If you would like to request additional support or accommodations, please call the Nevada State Parks division office. We continually seek ways to provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities and welcome any suggestions you may have.
  • View a  list of frequently asked questions.

Park Fees

Day use entrance fee:  $5.00 per vehicle (Non-NV Vehicles $10.00 per vehicle)
Camping:  $15.00 per vehicle, per night (Non-NV Vehicles: $20.00 per vehicle, per night) + $10.00 for sites with utility hook ups
Cabins: $95.00 per night (weeknights), $120.00 per night (weekends & holidays). Includes 2 vehicles. Additional vehicles $15.00 per day.
Bike in:  $2.00 per bike

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