Flickr album link: Beaver Dam State Park
Beaver Dam State Park is located on the border between Caliente, Nevada and Cedar City, Utah, so there are a few travel routes to choose from to get to this unique wilderness area. From Cedar City, the roads are paved most of the way, till the final leg of the route weaves its way through the high elevation dirt roads of the national forest. Coming from Caliente, a lengthy gravel highway runs all the way to the state park access road and this dirt road pathway actually is smooth enough for RV campers and trailer haulers. Stocking up on food fuel and water prior to arrival is advisable, since Beaver Dam State Park is in a very remote area and the scenery is so picturesque that a visitor will likely not want to leave anytime soon.
Although a standard road map depicts this region as being featureless, this part of eastern Nevada is where the the Great Basin Desert sagebrush country transforms into lush high elevation forests and the views are as majestic as can be. Beaver Dam State Park is nestled high up in the mountains, so the temperatures are bearable even on the hottest summer day, while on the opposite extreme, freezing temperature are common at night during the change of seasons. Passing storms can cause the temperatures to plummet too, so it is best to pack more than shorts and a t-shirt for the trip. This is especially true since consecutive years of severe drought have brought about campfire bans, which means packing a heating device may be necessary during the cooler seasons.
Beaver Dam was one of the original Nevada State Parks and it was created back in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corp was very active in this region. Basic campground facilities were established by the CCC onsite and a dam was constructed in the deep mountain wash where a creek runs through. The Shroeder Reservoir was the main attraction of this park back in those days, until a flash flood completely destroyed all of the Beaver Dam State Park facilities and the earthen dam was washed away. A recovery project took place in ensuing years, but the dam was never rebuilt and the mountain wash was returned to its natural state. Remnants of the original earthen dam can still be seen, but Shroeder Lake is now long gone.
In modern times, Beaver Dam State Park has evolved into a hiking, mountain biking and ATV riding destination. There are extensive ATV trail systems that begin in this area and there certainly is plenty of deep pine forest wilderness to explore. The geology of this area is fascinating to see, because this upheaval zone features exposed white color rock outcrops that beckon to be explored. The volcanic tuff deposits are heavily eroded and there are many solitary pinnacles to encounter in the deep woods, so a landscape artist will feel right at home in this place. Fly fishermen will feel right at home too, because there are several beaver ponds to be found along the creek, so fresh trout can be be an option for the campsite menu. The best part is the campground has been moved to the high ground and it features basic facilities along with plenty of shade trees for quality rest and relaxation. Bear aware food storage is necessary in this forest and there are also mountain lions, so keeping small children within view is best to do. For those seeking crisp clean air and pristine mountain top views with plenty of deep woods to explore, Beaver Dam State Park is the place to be, so be sure to chalk this spot high on the list!
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