Kershaw-Ryan State Park is cool retreat for campers

Kershaw-Ryan State Park is truly a desert oasis.

Although surrounded by 700-foot dry, rocky cliffs, the small park is nestled in its own lush side canyon fed by a spring. Plum and crab apple trees shadow the grassy slope and its many flowers spanning the distance between vine-covered cliffs.

And the spring is funneled into a pool constantly receiving fresh, cold, clear water. Fifty-foot cottonwoods keep the area cool for volleyball and playing horseshoes while cooking on the oversized grills.

The Nevada Division of State Parks has constructed an island cooking area of grills connected to deep sinks by a large flat-top food-preparation area.

You probably will never happen upon this oasis though. Despite being two miles south of the small town of Caliente, Kershaw-Ryan is on the way to nothing, tucked away in the northern edge of Lincoln County’s Rainbow Canyon. But it’s a worthy destination to seek out, taking a 155-mile journey to get there from Las Vegas by way of Interstate 15 North and U.S. Highway 93, then turning on State Route 317 for a couple miles.

The park, sitting at an elevation of 5,000 feet, offers 15 RV/tent campground sites and bathrooms with coin-operated showers to add to the list of meticulously maintained facilities.

The park has been around a while, facilities constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during 1934. However, most of those original structures were destroyed in the flood of 1984, according to the parks division.

Contact Trevon Milliard at or 702-383-0279. Find him on Twitter: @TrevonMilliard.

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