Beaver Dam State Park:
1 hour, 23 minutes from Pioche (47.6 miles)
CLICK HERE for directions
Indians first explored this area, camping and hunting along the streams of Headwaters Creek and Pine Creek. The two streams come together to form Beaver Dam Wash which is directly above the reservoir. Spaniards may also have crossed the region between 1540 and 1775 while establishing trade routes in the Southwest. In 1849, a group of emigrants left the Old Spanish Trail to the south, and journeyed west to seek gold in California.
Inhospitable weather and terrain forced them to abandon their wagons on the east rim of Pine Park Canyon. They proceeded on foot with their horses and mules. But before leaving the area, twBeaver_Dam_photo2o men, Wesley Smith and Henry W. Bigler (who later became governor of California) engraved their initials in a cliff: “WHB, Saturday, Nov. 3, 1849”. The first to homestead the area was the Hamblin family during the 1860’s. Today, the only remains are an early 1930’s railroad tie house and wooden corral.
Interest in the park began in 1917 when residents near Clover Valley (now Barclay) would visit the Hamblin Ranch (near the present western park boundary) about twenty-eight miles to the east – a day or two outing. The 1935 State Legislature designated Beaver Dam as a state park due to the insistence and support of local residents and state officials. Exceptional scenery and the recreational possibilities of Beaver Dam Wash were primary objectives in the park’s designation.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked at the park from 1934-36 and constructed camping facilities. No other improvements were made until August 1961 when the dam was completed, creating the reservoir that provides flood control and enhanced fishing opportunities. Dedicated in 1962, the 15-acre reservoir was named for George Schroeder, an engineer who suffered a heart attack at the construction site. After the campgrounds built by the CCC had washed away, new campgrounds were later developed away from the flood-prone wash.
Deep canyons, meandering streams, and diverse plant communities characterize the park’s landscape. Volcanic rocks are dominant and include extrusive pink ryhyolite, dark red and grey andesites and white ashfall tuffs. Vegetation varies from dense to sparse depending upon the microclimate, soil cover, topography, and other physical conditions. Dominant plants include pinion-juniper woodlands, ponderosa pines, sagebrush, Gambel’s oak, willow and cottonwoods, and several varieties of cactus.
The native wildlife at Beaver Dam is also diverse. Common animals include beaver (who actually build dams along the stream), mule deer, rabbits, bullfrogs, and a variety of birds, bats, rodents, lizards, and snakes. The Division of Wildlife stocks Schroeder Reservoir and the streams with rainbow trout. Desert suckers and golden shiner fish are also locally abundant.
Location & Climate:
Beaver Dam State Park is Eastern Nevada’s most remote park, and is a popular area for hikers and nature enthusiasts who enjoy its primitive and rustic character. Situated in rugged canyon country, this 2,393-acre park is located approximately thirty-four miles east of Caliente and is adjacent to the Utah border. Motorists can reach the park by driving six miles north of Caliente on US 93, then 28 miles east on a graded gravel roadthat leads to the park entrance.
Weather is highly seasonal with wide temperature swings. Summertime temperatures range from 95º F by midday and drop to 50º F at night. The park is open year-round, but due to harsh winter conditions, heavy snowfalls and below zero temperatures, the access is limited. During these winter months, only vehicles with four-wheel drive are recommended. Rainfall is variable with thunderstorms common in July and August.
Camping: Two developed campgrounds offer thirty individual campsites, each containing a fire pit, picnic table and parking pad, some suitable for trailers up to twenty-eight feet in length. Camping is on a first come, first serve basis. Water hydrants and vault or chemical toilets (no flush facilities) are conveniently scattered throughout the park. Water is available from April-November with fees charged year-round. Current fees are posted at the park entrance.
Group Area: A shade ramada, with capacity for fifty persons, may be reserved for group use.
Day-Use: A day-use picnic area is located at the trailhead to Beaver Dam Wash. Visitors may also picnic at any of the developed campsites, as available. A Park Entrance Fee must be paid for use of these facilities.
Fishing: Fishing may be done at any point along Beaver Dam Wash, beginning at the day-use area and hiking either upstream or downstream. Persons fishing must possess a valid Nevada fishing license with trout stamp. Only single barbless hooks and artificial bait are permitted.
Hiking: Four developed trails are available at Beaver Dam. The Interpretive Trail leads from Campground #2 to an overlook of Beaver Dam Wash. The one-mile Waterfall Trail begins at the park’s south boundary. The Beaver Dam Wash Trail begins in the picnic area, leads to the dam and continues south along Beaver Dam Wash to the south boundary road. Finally, the Oak Knoll Trail begins at Oak Knoll and leads to the creek below the dam where it joins the Beaver Dam Wash Trail.
Park Information: General information may be found on the entrance fee board. From May to October park staff provide visitor services. Due to the remote location, however, electrical and phone services are not available.
Reminders: To make your visit and the visits of others more enjoyable, please observe the following rules:
1. Firewood or other combustibles must be contained within the rims of grills or stoves provided with a maximum length of 22″ for wooden materials to be burned. Occupants must remove all unburned materials when vacating site.
2. Camping is allowed only in designated campsites.
3. Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length. Pets are not allowed in park buildings or structures.
4. State law protects all plants, animals, artifacts, rocks and mineral materials.
5. Drive your vehicle only on approved routes of travel (see map), and park only in designated parking areas. Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not allowed on trails in the park.
6. A Nevada fishing license with a trout stamp is required for fishing within the park. Single barbless hook with artificial bait only.
7. Pack it in. Pack it out. There is no trash collection at Beaver Dam.
8. Practice Leave No Trace skills and ethics and Tread Lightly minimum impact camping techniques.
You are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park. Nevada Division of State Parks prohibits discrimination in its program and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, handicap or age.
Beaver Dam State Park
PO Box 176
Panaca, NV 89042