Walker River State Recreation Area
A sublime stretch of the East Walker River invites all Nevadans and visitors to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Silver State. The creation of Walker River State Recreation Area was made possible by a donation from the Walker Basin Conservancy, and will continue to develop in the coming years. This storied stretch of the stunning Walker River had been under private ownership for over 125 years, until the Walker Basin Restoration Program acquired these historic ranches.
Units at Walker River State Park
With historic structures and valuable wildlife habitat intact, Walker River State Park parcels work together as four distinct park units, offering top-notch camping, biking, wildlife viewing, nature trails, OHV exploring, world-class fishing, and many other recreational opportunities.
Located near Yerington, Pitchfork Ranch is an outdoorsman’s paradise. With seven miles along East Walker River to be explored, Pitchfork offers a campground with full hookups, cabins, tent spaces, rafting, and access for OHV and equestrian trails.
The East Fork of the Walker River & Nine Mile Ranch
This unspoiled section of the East Fork of the Walker River—fabled among fly fishermen—remains pristine and primitive, raising allure to devout anglers and seekers of the truly serene. Here, visitors can find nearly two dozen campsites with direct access to the East Walker River. While en route, keep your eyes peeled for the 9 Mile Ranch. You might be in luck and can get a historical rundown from a Nevada State Parks staffer.
This ranch was quite the iconic stage stop, and it was named for being 9 miles from the junction to the lawless towns of Aurora and Bodie. The ranch was so well known throughout the American West, that even Mark Twain included it in his book, Roughing It. The home is not available for tours but can be appreciated from the exterior by amateur historians and shutterbugs just fine.
Coming Soon: Rafter 7 Ranch & Flying M Ranch
In the transition from private hands to state management, Rafter 7 Ranch and Flying M Ranch are not open to the general public at this time. (Don’t worry; we’ll keep you posted.)
The rustic country-home setting of the Rafter 7 Ranch will be an ideal gathering place for large groups on the Main House’s vast, fruit tree-studded lawn, as well as a tranquil base camp for hikers, kayakers and birdwatchers, all before sweeping views of Mt. Grant and the Wassuk Range. The Flying M Ranch will eventually become the centerpiece of this band of parks, featuring wide-open land, nearly 12 miles of river, and an amenity-packed historic estate that will serve large groups for overnight visits.
As heirs to heritage and the new stewards of these historic properties, the state of Nevada is committed to preserving their natural and human legacies, as well as to carrying on and sharing the rich traditions of recreation afforded by this special slice of the Silver State.
Walker River Camping
The Riverbend campground at Pitchfork Ranch has 16 campsites that are suitable for travel trailers, motorhomes, or tents. Campsites include a table and fire ring, and shade ramada for cozy, s’more-filled evenings. The Bighorn campground has riverfront campsites offering tables and fire rings, with restroom facilities a short walk away. Walker River camping spots cannot be reserved and there are no hook-ups, but an RV dump station is located nearby the Riverbend campground. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced for both sites.
Know Before You Go
From downtown Yerington, (about 1.5 hours southeast of Reno) head south on Highway 208 for about 17 miles, toward the Pitchfork Ranch. You’re in luck: the Mason Valley is undoubtedly always very scenic, but this particular stretch hugs an especially beautiful section of Walker River Land. Travel the 17 miles, or roughly 30 minutes, to the Pitchfork Ranch, which serves as the main welcome center for this new Nevada State Park. The state park also offers a Visitor Center that offers exhibits telling the colorful history of the Walker River State Recreation Area.
Travel Nevada Pro Tip
Walker River State Recreation Area’s rugged beauty is one of the reasons it’s so special. When planning your trip to the Walker River State Recreation Area and traveling all Nevada backroads, be sure to brush up on the Dirt Road Code and remember to take a vehicle suitable for off-pavement travel (4×4 recommended, just in case) with a spare tire. If your trip brings you to the area during the spring, get in touch with the park ahead of time to double check road conditions, as spring runoff may create impassible muddy road conditions in extremely remote areas.
Walker River State Recreation Area is open seven days a week, 365 days a year. While the park is open year-round, the Visitor Center is not. For the most up-to-date information on hours, campsite availability and entry fees, please click here.
Admission to Walker River State Recreation Area is $5.00 ($10 for Non-NV Vehicles). Camping is $15.00 per night ($20 for Non-NV Vehicles), while cabins at Pitchfork Ranch run $95.00 per night on weeknights and $120.00 per night on weekends & holidays.