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Ward Charcoal Ovens

State Historic Park

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About Ward Charcoal Ovens

Perched in the Egan Mountain Range in eastern Nevada, Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park is a scenic, forested retreat. The park features six beehive shaped charcoal ovens that were used from 1876 through 1879 to help process rich silver ore that was discovered in the area. Once mining ended, the ovens were used to shelter travelers and even had a reputation as a hideout for stagecoach bandits. The ovens remain today and are open for touring. Visitors can also enjoy camping, picnicking, hiking and fishing while surrounded by a diversity of wildlife within the park, including mule deer, grouse and elk.

Park Detail

FACILITIES & AMENITIES

Camping: Willow Creek Campground has two large pull-through spaces for RVs, and many other distinct spaces for every type of camper. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced.

Group Camping: There is a group camping facility in the campground. Please contact the park for reservations.

Picnicking/Day Use: There are two day use areas that provide a great spot for a day hike and picnic. These areas have covered tables, restrooms, grills and wonderful views.

Fishing: There is fishing in Willow Creek. Rainbow trout are stocked as needed and the browns and brook trout are naturally reproducing.

Hiking: There is a trail system that covers each end of the park and is suitable for many types of activities, including hiking and mountain biking. During winter months these trails are great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

OHV Trails: There is an off-highway vehicle trail that connects into thousands of acres of Bureau of Land Management lands. 

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


FIELD NOTES

  • No climbing on the ovens; it is not safe and causes extensive damage to them.
  • No shooting firearms in the park.
  • 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.
  • Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length.
  • Collection of wood is prohibited.
  • Please use trash cans or dumpsters provided.
  • 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 Nevada State Parks at (775) 684-2770. 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.

NATURAL RESOURCES/CLIMATE

The park is in a classic Great Basin, high desert environment. Major vegetation consists of big sagebrush at lower elevations and pinyon/juniper forests at higher elevations. The park contains many different creeks with springs as sources. The park has an elevation range of 7,000-8,000 feet. There is diverse wildlife within the park, including Elk, deer, rabbit, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote and fox share the area with various bird species. (READ MORE)


HISTORY OF WARD OVENS – Established in 1969

The basin near Ward Charcoal Ovens was a major stopover for settlers who used Cave Valley road to travel from Pioche, Nevada, to the nearby railroad town of Toano (1870-1876). Silver ore was discovered here in 1872 when freighters were looking for oxen that were grazing in the Willow Creek Basin area. The Ward Mining District, located two miles north of the park, was then developed. Small claim mining continued in this area for several years. In April 1875, the Martin & White Company from San Francisco invested money to extract silver ore, bought up several small claims and built smelters (furnaces) for melting ores. (READ MORE)

Park Fees

Nevada residents get a $2.00 park entrance discount

Day use entrance fee:  $7.00   per vehicle

Camping:  $14.00 per night

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