The Wild East of the Wild West
Nevada’s Eagle Valley Reservoir offers fishing and a foray into the state’s pioneer past
In a special pocket in Nevada’s southeastern corner lies a reservoir as wild and pristine as they come. Located some 27 miles east of Pioche—one of Nevada’s roughest and most notorious mining camps—lies Eagle Valley Reservoir, one of the state’s least notorious fishing locales. Planted firmly in the heart of Spring Valley State Park, the reservoir offers a host of fishing opportunities for the whole family. Those who make the journey are often rewarded with a heaping helping of spectacular views, historic structures, and—if not a limit of whoppers—at least a good story or two to take home.
Archaeologists believe the area now referred to as Spring Valley State Park has been inhabited for at least 7,500 years by native Americans, who relied upon the valley’s lush vegetation and plentiful natural resources. In 1864, Mormon settlers made their way into the valley and constructed permanent dwellings, some of which still stand at the park today. Stone Cabin—one of the park’s main attractions—gives visitors a glimpse into what life was like during the early days. Constructed during the 1870s by pioneer George Moody, the cabin is comprised of hand-hewn volcanic tuff blocks quarried from the surrounding hills. In 1965, Eagle Valley Dam was built to support Lincoln County’s vital agriculture operations, and the resulting reservoir has acted as a hub for an abundance of outdoor activities ever since.
The 65-acre Eagle Valley Reservoir is known for its offerings of rainbow, tiger, and brown trout. Anglers can sail their boat or kayak from the park’s boat launch, or fish from one of several shoreline access points. Bait anglers frequently have luck using nightcrawlers and PowerBait. The reservoir also freezes during the winter months, providing anglers with ample ice-fishing opportunities.
Near the boat launch, visitors can enjoy a day use picnic area or take a stroll on one of the park’s many hiking and walking paths, enjoying the spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife sightings. The reservoir is home to a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds, including mallards, herons, avocets, and trumpeter swans. Eagle, hawk, songbird, and road runner sightings are also common.
Those wanting to stay the night can pick a spot Horsethief Gulch Campground, located just west of the reservoir. The campground offers 37 sites, each with its own table, grill, and shade structure. The campground also offers three restrooms, two of which offer showers. Ranch Campground—located two miles north of Horsethief Gulch—offers seven campsites with tables, grills, and primitive restrooms.
EXPLORE IT ALL
Oftentimes in Nevada, the journey is as important as the experience. Sure, the fishing at Eagle Valley Reservoir is spectacular, but take some time to enjoy all that the area has to offer. Historic cabins, scenic drives and hikes, and abundant wildlife make this destination well worth the journey.