South Fork State Recreation Area

It is no secret that a state park provides an ideal location for the outdoor enthusiast who is looking for a day excursion or vacation destination. Many of the activities that are enjoyed by nature lovers can be found closer than they may think. Since the first state park came into existence, the popularity of these recreational facilities has steadily increased for well over a century. Large families find such parks ideal, as the vast array of attractions they offer ensure that every member of the family will find an activity that he or she will enjoy.

South Fork State Recreation Area

South Fork State Recreation Area features a 1,650-acre reservoir surrounded by over 2,000 panoramic acres of meadows, hills, scenic overlooks, and hiking trails. The area is best known for camping, picnicking, boating, hunting, winter sports, hiking, and wildlife viewing. The reservoir is well known for its trophy-worthy brown and rainbow trout, and excellent bass fishing. Shotgun and bow and arrow hunting are permitted during the appropriate season, however, one must have the necessary license on his or her person at all times. In addition, he or she must stay a minimum of 1/4 mile clear of any boat ramps, or developed campsites.

Picnicking and Camping

South Fork State Recreation Area permits picnicking virtually anywhere in the park, however, no developed day-use facilities currently exist. Many families and couples stay at nearby hotels or resorts, and picnic daily at South Fork, as this is a great way to enjoy a new area of the park each day.

A 25-site campground is situated on the north park access road, and its times of operation are from May 5th to November 15. Campers have access to fire grills, showers, restrooms, and an abundance of campsite tables. On the western side of the reservoir, one can indulge in open camping. This is an especially fun option for those who are serious outdoor lovers. The scenery and landscape offer a panoramic backdrop for all camping activities. Situated in proximity to the park’s north entrance is an area for larger RVs and motor homes. This site offers electrical hook-up dump stations and is open year-round for those who prefer this style of camping.

Hiking Paths and Nature Trails

With its juniper filled woodlands, the South Fork State Recreation Area boasts rolling meadows featuring an abundance of sagebrush. The deep canyons and picturesque hills create a perfect scenic backdrop that will please hikers of all ages. South Fork is home to a wide variety of wildlife, as well, and some visitors choose this area for their first hiking excursion for just this reason. Coyotes, badgers, beavers, Rocky Mountain Mule Dear and kit foxes are just a few of the residents of the park a person may encounter on one of the park’s nature walks or hiking trails.

South Fork Reservoir

The stable water levels of the reservoir make it an ideal fishery. In addition, it is extremely popular with bass and trout fishermen, and waterfowl can be seen in abundance in the reservoir area, as well. If one is observant, he or she will see Pintail and Mallard ducks, Common Coots, Canadian geese, and American Widgeons, to name a few. The Ruby Mountains are approximately 10 miles to the east of the reservoir and offer an outstanding scenic backdrop, as they are approximately 11,000 feet high at Ruby Dome.

Temperature and Climate

The South Fork area features temperatures typical of Northeastern Nevada with hot, arid summers and decidedly cold winters. Temperatures generally reach the 90’s during the summer months, with lows often reaching single digits during the winter.

Whatever a person’s goals may be for his or her visit to South Fork, he or she is certain to have the experience of a lifetime exploring all the area has to offer. Those interested in obtaining more information about this beautiful and interesting park can do so by accessing the following website or email: