Kershaw-Ryan State Park
One of the most picturesque spots in Nevada can be found in Kershaw-Ryan State Park, just three miles south of Caliente at the northern edge of Rainbow Canyon. The valley’s early settlers planted a lovely garden with fruit trees, grape vines and lush grass bordering a natural spring-fed pond, which today contrasts beautifully with the rugged surrounding landscape for a pleasing oasis effect.
The long, narrow valley is sheltered by sheer canyon walls that reach heights of 700 feet, formations that were created as water eroded across the landscape. A mere 10,000 years ago, the entire region was submerged in vast lakes. As they drained, revealing the ground beneath, the flowing water created the area’s deep canyons. Today, Kershaw-Ryan State Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, which is why it’s so popular with visitors. A lovely picnic area and developed trails are ideal for photography, nature study, exploration and relaxation. Both Horsespring and Rattlesnake Canyon trails are a half-mile in length, while the Canyon Overlook Trail covers about a mile. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, which includes a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians in the lower elevations, as well as coyote, deer and even the occasional mountain lion farther up the canyon. Other amenities at Kershaw-Ryan State Park include a children’s wading pool and playground and a group use area. The park has a 15-unit campground with a restroom, coin-operated showers and an RV-dump station. Each site has a shade ramada, picnic table, fire ring and grill.
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