Spring Valley State Park


Spring Valley State Park is located about 20 miles east of Pioche. The park is home to abundant wildlife, a wide variety of native plants, and a large rock outcrop near the center of the valley, known to many as George Washington Rock. This rock may have been used as a look-out for the native people. The elevation of the reservoir is 5,836 feet and is open year-round.

Archeologists believe the area was occupied as long ago as 5,500 BC, but due to no sign of permanent dwellings it is assumed that the area served only for seasonal hunting and gathering camps. Evidence of an early Indian camp is located in Eagle Valley. 

Mormon pioneers settled in this scenic area of Eastern Nevada around 1864. These pioneers lived in their wagons until their homes were built. Some of the homesteaders’ homes still stand today. The Stone Cabin Living History Museum is available for tours and gives visitors a glimpse into the life of a pioneer. It was renovated in 1995 to its original appearance. A number of ranch buildings still exist from the 19th century. Today the Millet Ranch house is the home of the park headquarters.

Agriculture was and is an important influence to the economy and the reason the Eagle Valley Dam was constructed in 1965. The reservoir is located at the southern end of Spring Valley and the area was designated as a state park in 1969 when the operation was turned over to the Nevada State Park System.

The park’s ecosystem is typical of the Great Basin desert with a variety of waterfowl and shore birds living near the reservoir. Eagles, hawks, songbirds, and hummingbirds are a few of the birds that inhabit the canyons and valley. Squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, and skunks are a common sight. The predominant native trees at the park are the single-leaf pinyon pine and Utah juniper. Along the streams, willows, cattails, and other riparian plants flourish. The hills are covered with sagebrush and rabbit brush.

 

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is the large rock outcrop near the center of the valley referred to by many as George Washington Rock?
  2. What are some of the benefits of a reservoir?
  3. What are some of the environmental impacts of a reservoir?

 

Sources

 

 

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For a demonstration or more details, contact Karen Karst-Hoskins
at karenh@knpb.org or call 775.682.7805 or 775.544.9061.


Funding provided by NV Energy and the Walmart State Giving Program.
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