Fort Churchill Nevada State Historic Park

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Fort Churchill State Historic Park

Fort Churchill State Park, not far from Lake Tahoe, California, covers more than 4,400 acres and offers a the traveler a historic visit to this fascinating region of Central Nevada.

  • Fort Churchill State Park gives the traveler insight into the Old West
  • Not far from the western shore of Lake Tahoe
  • Have a picnic along the banks of the Carson River
  • Hike the Orchard Trail to Buckland Station
  • View the historic displays in the Visitor Center

Overview

Fort Churchill State Historic Park tells the story of the pioneers who settled in this area and illustrates the struggle between the white man and the Indian. Fort Churchill was built in 1861, abandoned only 9 years later, leaving ruins that exist today. Not far from the western shore of Lake Tahoe, it makes an interesting side-trip on your Sierra vacation.

Location & Information

Fort Churchill State Park is 58 miles from Lake Tahoe. First take US Highway 50 to Silver Springs, Nevada, and then Alternate US 95 south to the Fort. It is 8 miles south of Silver Springs, and one mile further on Fort Churchill Road.

The park is accessible all year.

Contact information

Fort Churchill State Historic Park
1000 Highway 95A
Silver Springs, NV 89429
(775) 577-2345
Website: http://parks.nv.gov/parks/fort-churchill-state-historic-park/

Activities

  • Picnicking
    There are a number of shaded sites along the banks of the Caron River where you can enjoy a picnic. You’ll find tables, grills and restrooms.
  • Trails
    Take the self-guided trails around the ruins of Fort Churchill and read the interpretive signs to learn some history. Walk the Orchard Trail along the river to Buckland Station.
  • Visitor Center
    As you see the exhibits displayed in the Visitor Center, you’ll learn about Native American inhabitants, the history of the Fort and the natural history of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Buckland Station
    This was a way station and hotel for travelers on the Overland Route west. Supplying emigrants, soldiers and ranchers, this spot also served as a place for the Pony Express to change mounts and where the Overland Stage Company kept horses.
  • Carson River
    You’ll find the Carson River provides a number of water sports to those who need a respite from moving on down the highway. Canoeing is a popular pastime here.
  • Camping
    The campground in the park has 20 sites, so you can bring your travel trailer, motor home or tent and camp out under the stars. Each site has a table and fire ring. Large cottonwood trees provide shade.

Fun Facts

After members of volunteer soldiers and US Regulars defeated Native Americans in the Second Battle of Pyramid Lake, the US Army began construction of a fort along the Carson River, Fort Churchill. The fort was completed in 1861 and protected the early settlers as they traveled west.