Lahontan State Park is located just a little over ten miles east of Silver Springs, NV, and is one of the most popular camping parks in the area for RVs. It stretches along 69 miles of the Lahontan Reservoir’s shoreline and is surrounded by an amazing array of willow and cottonwood trees. Campers can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities here, including boating on the 12,000 surface acres of the reservoir, catch-and-release fishing, and viewing wild creatures. Such easy access to the lake makes this camping spot particularly popular during the summer months. You can bring your own watercraft along and enjoy boating, water skiing, canoeing, and fishing just a stone’s throw from your campsite. There are several boat launches available to make getting in an out of the water safer and easier.
Nature lovers will love spotting all sorts of wildlife in the park. Keep your eyes peeled for wild horses, bobcats, foxes, and deer. Birdwatching at Lahontan State Park is popular activity, and observers can spot a variety migratory waterfowl, pelicans, egrets, herons and hawks here. Plus, the area is also a nesting site for bald eagles!
Silver Springs Beach is a developed campground right on the beach, less than six miles from Silver City, NV. Dispersed camping, which is allowed on any of the marked beaches at Lahontan State Park, truly takes you back to basics. You can camp right along the shore of the freshwater lake, which means you’re pretty much guaranteed a lake view. Campers with larger sized vehicles should set up their rigs near the tree line to avoid sinking into the soft sand by the beach. If you are driving a smaller, lighter rig, or trailer, you are welcome to park it right beside the water.
Lahontan State Park can be accessed from several entrances off of US Highway 50. It is located to the east of Silver Springs, Nevada. Once inside the park, please keep to a speed limit of 25 miles per hour within the recreation area, and 15 miles per hour near the beach and within the busier areas of the park.
If you’re in a large rig, set up camp by the treeline. If you’re in a smaller rig, you can set up camp closer to the lake. Boat launch areas are available on both sides of the park and on the beach, so getting around by boat is another way to explore the park. Please make sure that you keep to the five mile per hour speed limit within 100 feet of swimmers.
Lahontan State Park provides about 25 rustic, paved campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis at Silver Springs Beach, on the western edge of the lake. There are no electric, water, or sewer hookups, however, each of the developed campsites has a firepit and a picnic table. Many of these campsites are spacious enough to accommodate big rigs, but some of the sites on the waterfront are not as level as others, so you may want to bring along blocks to even out your trailer.
Campers are allowed to used generators during daytime hours, but they must be silenced during the park’s quiet hours, between 10 PM and 7 AM. This developed campground has water faucets with potable water, clean bathrooms with flush toilets, and sanitary dumpsites which can be found at both entrances to the park.
Lahontan State Park offers year-round camping facilities in Silver Springs, Nevada. Campers can choose to set up their own primitive no-hookup campsites anywhere they like, except near the day-use and boat ramp areas. With miles and miles of shoreline along the lake, you’re bound to find a waterfront campsite.
Facilities include a dump station and water facilities at both entrances to the park and restrooms with showers and flush toilets available at a cost. These facilities are closed during the off season, from October to May.
Campsites are limited to two vehicles each and up to eight people per site. They are available on a first come, first served basis only. Lahontan State Park is pet-friendly, provided you keep dogs on a leash at all times.
Those who enjoy the sport of fishing even without the promise of a fish dinner will enjoy trying their hand fishing at Lahontan State Park. This reservoir is a great place for anglers to engage in a little catch and release fishing, which can be enjoyed year-round. You will need to get a fishing permit from the Nevada Department of Wildlife before fishing on Nevada State land. The reservoir is filled with all sorts of interesting fish, including walleye, white bass, channel catfish, trout, and wipers, which are a hybrid between white bass and striped bass, better known as stripers.
It is important to note that quite a bit of mercury has found its way into this particular lake from the run-off from old mining operations. While this is a great place to wrangle fish, mercury concentrations make it hazardous to eat the fish that you do land.
Hunters will want to ensure that they acquire a hunting permit from the Nevada Department of Wildlife before heading to Lahontan State Park during hunting season. This gorgeous state park is also an excellent spot for hunting mule deer, grouse, and wild turkey. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in the park as well but requires an additional federal Duck Stamp for anyone over the age of 16.
There are several designated hunting areas throughout Lahontan State Park. Please make sure you are aware of the hunting areas and stay well clear of the designated use areas in the park, including the camping area.
Birdwatching enthusiasts will want to bring their birding kits in their RVs when they visit Lahontan State Park. The ecosystems in this park are varied, making it a wonderful home or stop-over point for a large number of species. Near the wetlands you are likely to see water-loving birds like ducks, geese, swans, killdeer, avocets, and pelicans. Blackbirds, bluebirds, warblers, and wrens often spend time near the rivers. The dry desert habitat attracts a large number of sparrows, wrens, and thrashers. Commonly seen raptors can include bald and golden eagles, prairie falcons, and peregrine falcons.
Whether you’ve parked your trailer down by the shoreline or up closer to the trees, you are likely to find that you have access to a wide stretch of beach where you can launch your own pontoon, motorboat, or canoe. For those interested in bird watching, motorless boating is a great way to get around without disturbing the wildlife. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars in your campervan!
There are two paved boat launch facilities with extra parking situated on either side of the state park: the Silver Springs boat launch near the day-use area, as well as the Churchill Beach boat launch near the North Shore Marina. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can launch your boat directly from the beaches at Lahontan State Park. There is a no-wake area near any buoys and boat launches, so speeds should be kept under five miles per hour in these areas, and boats are prohibited in certain areas of the lake, so keep an eye out for posted signs.
Lahontan State Park is a great spot to enjoy a spring or summer picnic. There are two developed, day-use picnic areas built for this purpose at this state park. You will find one of the picnic areas directly across Lahontan Dam and the other on Silver Springs Beach. Picnic facilities include picnic tables and fire pits. Not only are there modern plumbed restrooms available nearby, but the park’s new facilities are ADA-friendly as well.
Lahontan State Park provides a home to many different varieties of life. Not only is this a great birding area, but there are a number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that live here. Wild horses and deer are often spotted browsing the lower-lying plants, and rabbits, chipmunks, lizards, and squirrels scramble through the underbrush. Insects such as painted ladies, wasps, and preying mantises can be found on the lush vegetation. Predators such as coyotes, fox, and bobcat also live in the area, but may be somewhat more elusive and difficult to spot.