If you explore beyond the glitzy lights of the Las Vegas Strip, you would see that there is something more about Vegas than meets the eye. Right above the boundary of the Lincoln and Clark counties are five of the most beautiful hidden treasures, each with its own unique character that would make any visitor gain a new perspective of Las Vegas. Inside each of these amazing parklands of the Lincoln County State Park, guests can find a host of activities that they can enjoy, including hiking, boating, running, biking, fishing, and camping to name a few.
Kershaw-Ryan State Park
The closest of all the parks to central Vegas is Kershaw-Ryan. One of the most noticeable about the park is that temperature can drop by at least 10 to 15 degrees. Once you get acclimated to that temperature, you would notice that the park has well-manicured lawns that beautifully blends with desert terrain. It boasts of a natural spring wading pool nestled in an orchard brimming with fruit-bearing trees – a true oasis in the desert.
The park hosts several events, including Park to Park Pedal-Extreme Nevada 100 every second Saturday of October, Pumpkins in the Park every October, and Winter Wonderland every December.
Cathedral Gorge State Park
Roughly 25 minutes from Kershaw-Ryan is the astounding Cathedral Gorge, formerly known as the Cathedral Gulch. The park was named as such for its dramatic landscape of soft bentonite clay that appears similar to spires of a Cathedral. The gorge used to serve members of the Civilian Conservation Corps who built picnic facilities, including a stone water tower, restrooms, and a gazebo.
A hiking trail in the park leads to a 19th-century cemetery and another one that brings visitors to a steel staircase where they can have a panoramic view of the rock formations, which could serve as a background for a sci-fi movie. Some of the events held in the park are:
- Las Vegas Astronomical Society Spring Fling every May
- Dutch Oven Cook-off every September
- Las Vegas Astronomical Society Fall Star Party every September
- Park to Park Pedal-Extreme Nevada 100 every second Saturday in October
Beaver Dam State Park
About an hour and a half from the Cathedral Gorge, you can explore some deep canyons with flowing streams and waterfalls at the Beaver Dam. Spanning more than 2,000 acres, the Beaver Dam is the biggest of all five parks. Used to serve as the home of migrants headed towards California, visitors can still see remains of what used to be a community made up of a family ranch, schoolhouse, homestead, and a blacksmith shop. Nestled in a rugged canyon area close to the Utah border, Beaver Dam offers an excellent venue for fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and simply enjoying nature in its raw beauty.
A few things to remember when headed to the park:
- The park does not have any electrical supply.
- Phone service is likewise not available. The closest landline phone is at Barclay, a few minutes west of the park. Mobile reception is possible at the north entrance gate.
Spring Valley State Park
Located about an hour north of Kershaw-Ryan State Park, visitors can head to Spring Valley. The state park may be famous among anglers for its trout, but Spring Valley is more than just the Eagle Valley Reservoir, as it also provides a glimpse into the rich American history. Notice the stone cabins, corrals, and other rusted farming equipment used by the Mormon settlers who used to live in the area. Aside from fishing, visitors can enjoy hiking the trail from the stone cabins to the campground to see the State Valley in a whole new light. The Ice Hole Golf Tournament is held here every January while the $50,000 Tagged Fishing Derby every May.
Echo Canyon State Park
Echo Canyon is the newest addition to the group, only founded in 1970, but it doesn’t make it less interesting than the others. About 30 minutes away from Spring Valley, Echo Canyon covers an area of 1,800 acres and is notably surrounded by a formation that proceeds towards a reservoir built by the Mormon settlers. Nowadays, the canyon offers a perfect place for camping, picnics, and boating. Those who are up for some fun can join in the many events in the canyon, including:
- Tagged Fishing Derby every May
- Free Fishing Day Kid’s Fishing Derby every second Saturday of June
- Park to Park Pedal-Extreme Nevada 100 every second Saturday of October
Las Vegas is more than just The Strip. Those who are looking for a different kind of fun can explore the natural wonders of Lincoln County State Park. Visitors who have visited these sites now know that Las Vegas is a desert oasis like no other.