SPRING VALLEY STATE PARK
Spring Valley State Park offers water oriented recreation at the 65 acre Eagle Valley Reservoir. Boat launching, picnicking and camping facilities are available. Visitors also enjoy hiking, exploring and touring the historic Ranch House museum. The park is located 20 miles east of Pioche via State Route 322. Spring Valley State Park is open all year, although snow may make winter access difficult.
Wilson family friend, Willard George, acquired the ranch in 1929 by paying off the outstanding debt incurred by Jim Jr. and Tweed. George was largely an absentee owner, leaving the ranch operation to the Wilson's. During 1941-43 the George family lived on the ranch. George was a prominent furrier in Hollywood, and during this time he raised chinchillas in addition to the cattle operation. George gave Jim Jr. and Tweed a life estate to the old cabins, which lasted until Tweed's death in 1959. Three generations of Wilson men are buried in a small family plot on the ranch.
Archaeologists believe this area was occupied as long ago as 5,500 BC. However, without evidence of any permanent dwellings, it appears the area was used for seasonal hunting and gathering. An early Indian camp area appears to have been located in Eagle Valley. The large rock outcrop near the center of the valley, known to many as George Washington Rock, may have been used as a look-out for these native peoples. It is important for all visitors to know that State and Federal laws protect all artifacts and rock art. They should be left undisturbed for future generations to enjoy.
Mormon pioneers settled this part of Eastern Nevada in 1864. A number of ranch buildings from the late 19th century still exist in the park, including those of the Rice Ranch, Millet Ranch and others. Today the Millet Ranch is used as the park headquarters.
Agriculture continues to be an important factor in Lincoln County's economy, and was the reason for the construction of Eagle Valley Dam in 1965. The reservoir, located at the southern end of Spring Valley, was named for Eagle Valley where the town of Ursine is located. The state park was subsequently designated in 1969 and today is comprised of 1,281 acres.
Horsethief Gulch Campground (main campground) is located just west of Eagle Valley Reservoir. It has 36 campsites (each with table, grill and shade ramada) and 3 restrooms-one with showers. Water is also available.
Ranch Campground is located two miles north of the main campground. This facility has 6 campsites with table and grill. Water and primitive restrooms are available.