If you’re searching for a park to get away from it all and immerse yourself in breathtaking scenery, Beaver Dam State Park is the place to be. Although it’s considered to be one of Nevada’s most remote State Parks, this area’s deep canyons, flowing streams and waterfalls, thickly wooded forests will impress nature enthusiasts and hikers alike.
The area was originally discovered in 1849, when a group of emigrants stumbled upon its scenic beauty en route to California. Instead of a shortcut, they encountered steep cliffs and valleys nearly impossible to cross. While most moved on leaving only insignias as proof, one family, the Hamblins, erected a small cottage, blacksmith shop and a one-room schoolhouse for children in the area. While visiting the park, remnants from these properties can be found today.
Later in the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed camping and picnicking areas, but severe flooding destroyed the majority of these amenities. In 1961, new facilities were erected, including a manmade dam, creating the Schroeder Reservoir. Another flood rushed through the area in 2005, damaging the dam, and in 2009 the reservoir was drained and Beaver Dam Wash was restored to it’s original naturally occurring pre-dam state.
While beavers heavily populated the area in earlier days, there is still some evidence of modern beaver damming within park boundaries! Additionally, a multitude of wildlife can be found here, including coyotes, foxes, bobcat, mountain lions, cottontail and jack rabbits, porcupines, turkeys, great blue herons, and a variety of snakes and lizards. It’s no wonder the park is designated a Watchable Wildlife Area.
Beaver Dam’s primitive and rustic 5,500 acre park borders Utah, and is nearly 34 miles east of Caliente. The park offers fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking, photography, and even includes a nature study. When planning your adventure to Beaver Dam, high clearance vehicles are recommended, as the road to the park is gravel and dirt. Although it’s graded throughout the year, call the ranger station to check road conditions before visiting the park. That being said, this wonderful state park is completely worth the trek.