Rye Patch State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Featuring an abundance of recreational opportunities, Rye Patch State Park is an RV lovers dream all year round. Rye Patch State Park is located in an area of Nevada that in prehistoric times was located under Lake Lahontan. Around 23,000 years ago, animals such as camels, horses, rabbits, and squirrels would drink from the large lake that dropped to lower than the present day level of Rye Patch Reservoir. Archaeological evidence from Lovelock Cave and other areas shows that humans would camp along the Humboldt around 8,000 years ago. Modern day society in the area started in the mid-19th century around the time of the California Gold Rush.

The highlight of the park and its namesake is the gigantic Rye Patch Reservoir. The reservoir is an 11,000-acre impoundment on the Humboldt River and also features the smaller Pitt-Taylor Reservoirs. The Rye Patch Reservoir was constructed between 1933 and 1936 by the Public Works Administration during the Great Depression as a New Deal relief project. In 1971 the reservoir was made a Nevada State Recreation Area and is the Pershing County Water Conservation District controls dam operations and reservoir storage. The reservoir is the most popular place for recreation with visitors enjoying fishing and boating.

Camping at Rye Patch State Park is available in two different campsites. The river campground below Rye Patch Dam has 22 sites, while the campground on the reservoir's west side has 25 units. Rye Patch State Park is open all year round.

RV Rentals in Rye Patch State Park

Transportation in Rye Patch State Park

Driving

The main area of Rye Patch State Park is located at the end of State Route 401 (Rye Patch Road), which connects to Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 95. The park is located about 22 miles (35 km) northeast of the town of Lovelock, which is the only incorporated city in the county of Perishing. Besides Lovelock there are a few other small towns in the immediate area, including Winnemucca (around 52 miles to the north) and Battle Mountain (which is around 104 miles to the east). The closest major city to Rye Patch State Park is Reno, which can be found 118 miles to the south-west.

Since the park is in a remote location make sure that you have adequate supplies before beginning your drive. If you are coming from Reno (this is the most popular route) we suggest that you stock up before you leave the city. You shouldn't have any problems accessing the park as the roads are wide and there are no overhanging trees due to the desert location. The park is open all year round but call the park if you are traveling in winter to make sure that all services and amenities are still available.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available for visitors to Rye Patch State Park.

Public Transport

Unfortunately there are no public transport options available for you to use to get to Rye Patch State Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Rye Patch State Park

Campsites in Rye Patch State Park

Reservations camping

Winnemucca / I-80 KOA

The Run-A-Mucca Motorcycle and Music Festival held in late May happens in Winnemucca, NV. At other times of the year, explore what this historic gold-mining town amidst mountains and high desert has to offer. Pull up at Winnemucca / I-80 KOA and find a spacious spot with full hookups, up to 50-amp service, and picnic table. Buy propane and other camping needs from the on-site convenience store. Wi-Fi and cable TV are available. Play with your pets in the dog park, rent bikes, swim in the heated pool, or play at the playground with the kids. Rigs up to 70 feet are welcome.

River Campground

The River Campground is the smallest of the two campgrounds that accommodate RV campers. In total there are 22 available sites that are close to the river. All sites in this campground are non-powered but most of them come equipped with a picnic table and fire ring for you to enjoy. There is no dump station at the River Campground but a restroom with flush toilets and hot showers is available for you to use.

The River Campground also has access to a volleyball court, horseshoe pit, great fishing spots on the banks of the river and one of the picnic areas.

You should be able to get cell phone reception on all networks within the campground. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced and quiet hours exist between 10:00PM and 7:00AM. River Campground is also pet friendly but they must be leashed at all times. Reservations are available by calling the park office.

Westside Campground

The Westside Campground at Rye Patch State Park is the largest of the two campgrounds that accommodate RV campers. In total there are 25 available sites that are known for being large, flat and quite private. All sites in this campground are non-powered, however that doesn't mean that there are no amenities.

During your stay you will be able to use restrooms that feature flush toilets and hot showers along with a sanitary dump station that has potable water. The Westside Campground also has access to the boat ramp, picnic areas and it is nearby to the swim cove.

You should be able to get cell phone reception on all networks within the campground. A camping limit of 14 days in a 30-day period is enforced and quiet hours exist between 10:00PM and 7:00AM. Westside Campground is also pet friendly but they must be leashed at all times. Reservations are available by calling the park office.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Rye Patch State Park

In-Season

Picnicking

Once you have finished with the reservoir you can take the chance to have a relaxing picnic within Rye Patch State Park. The park contains two different day use picnic areas that vary in use. If you have a small picnic group we recommend using the river picnic area. It has tables, grills and restrooms available for your convenience. The west side of the reservoir has a group-use picnic area has space for up to 100 people. It is also is equipped with tables, grills, water collection points and restrooms.

Boating

Along with casting out a line, boating is another popular choice for visitors who want to enjoy the most of Rye Patch State Park. Motorized boats are allowed on the reservoir and they are quite popular. You will also see people using canoes, kayaks and other personal watercraft during the summer. If you have a boat to launch there is a double-lane boat ramp and dock available for you to use. They are available next to the campground on the reservoir's west side.

Fishing

Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities that is available for visitors to Rye Patch State Park. Common species caught in the reservoir include crappie, wipers, white bass, channel catfish, black bass and walleye in spring and early summer. A handy tip is to bring your own bait since it may not be available in the area. A Nevada fishing license is required for you be able to fish legally, which can easily be bought online.

Off-Season

Wildlife Viewing

If you were to take a glance at the desert in Rye Patch State Park you might not think that living things were in abundance. This is not true as there is plenty of wildlife for you to view in the park, you just have to sometimes look a little closer. Leopard lizards are very common on the hiking trails and you may even catch a glimpse of some larger animals, including deer, turkeys, rabbits, ducks and pelicans. With all wildlife make sure you keep a good distance between them and try not to scare them.

Hiking

A great way to get out and explore Rye Patch State Park is by making use of the hiking trails. The trails in Rye Patch State Park are quite short so they will suit hikers of all ages and skill levels. One of the most popular trails in the park is the one mile East Cove Trail. The classic Nevada desert scenery of sagebrush and other shrubs will be seen and as you leave the trailhead area the terrain will change to colored bands of dirt and rock strata as you descend. Since this park is very remote make sure you tell the park rangers of your hiking plans.

Rye Patch Nugget Shoot

The Reno Prospecting and Detecting Club holds an annual event known as the Rye Patch Nugget Shoot that brings together people of all ages to try and find some old fashioned gold nuggets. The event is held within Rye Patch State Park and those participating in the Rye Patch Nugget Shoot use metal detectors to try and locate their loot. Many gold nuggets have been found in Pershing County since the mid-1800s, and there are plenty more nuggets still out there waiting to be found. For more information on the Rye Patch Nugget Shoot contact the Reno Prospecting and Detecting Club.

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