SILVER SPRINGS, Nev. — Among the arid, high-desert vegetation and desolate hills of the Pine Nut Range, lays an integral key to Nevada’s history — Fort Churchill State Historic Park. Located 40 miles east of Carson City and 36 miles west of Fallon, visitors can enjoy the ruins, brush up on the West’s history, camp, picnic or enjoy the group-use area.
Following many battles between Native American and settlers, July 20, 1860 marked the nascent era of Fort Churchill as a desert outpost on the Carson River to guard the Pony Express and other mail routes. Fort Churchill housed hundreds of soldiers between expeditions against Native Americans.
The fort’s adobe buildings also served as an important supply depot for the Nevada Military District during the Civil War. In 1869 the fort was abandoned and auctioned. After many owners and caretakers, and having served many purposes, the state of Nevada gained ownership of Fort Churchill in 1957.
The park’s visitor center offers a thorough history lesson and is recommended to better appreciate the fort’s ruins.
Twenty campsites are available to travel trailers, motor homes and tents. Sites contain a table, fire ring and are shaded by large Cottonwood trees. Sites cannot be reserved. Hookups are not available, but a dump station is nearby.
Shaded picnic areas line the Carson River and include grills and restrooms.
Fees are charged upon entrance and vary for different uses. The group-use area can accommodate up to 60 people for camping or picnicking and reservations are required. Electricity is not available and RVs are not recommended. For reservations and fees, please call 775-577-2345.
For more information contact:
Ft. Churchill State Historic Park
10000 Highway 95 A
Silver Springs, Nevada 89429
What is a State Park?
National Parks, State Parks and City Parks share similar purposes. They emphasize preservation of scenic areas or of historic significance. National parks preserve areas of national interest and State Parks preserve areas of state interest and so on. The Nevada Division of State Parks is under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Division “preserves areas of scenic, historic and scientific significance in Nevada.”
Jamie Roice is a graduate student studying Interactive Environmental Journalism at the University of Nevada. Currently, she is interning with the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resource and ThisisReno.com. Each week a State Park will be highlighted with an article and multimedia to gain attention to Nevada’s State Parks.