Flickr album link: Echo Canyon State Park
There is a lot of travel time involved when touring the Great Basin Desert region of Nevada and finding points of interest does require a mapping system search, which is best done ahead of time since there are large cel signal dead spots in this vast expanse. Searching for key words, like "wildlife area, historic site or recreation area" will reveal plenty of touring options and the best part is most of these destinations are small enough to not attract much attention. Even the state parks do not readily appear unless a map search is performed, so there are gems to discover that are hidden in plain sight. One such spot is Echo Canyon State Park, which is located only 10 miles off the Great Basin Highway, yet the majority of travelers between Las Vegas and Ely are simply in too big of a hurry to check it out.
The travel route to Echo Canyon begins in old historic Pioche, Nevada and touring this famous gold rush ghost town is highly recommended before setting sail to the state park. The road to Echo Canyon is smooth enough for higher than average ground clearance passenger cars and even RV trailer haulers will have no problem. The views along the way of the rolling sagebrush hills and distant mountains certainly are pleasant to see, yet there are few clues as to what lies in store up ahead. It is not until a visitor arrives that the full scope of this majestic place is revealed and all it takes is one look to be captivated.
Echo Canyon State Park features a large reservoir lake that serves as a fishing, swimming and light craft boating recreation area. This lake attracts a wide variety of migrating waterfowl, so this is a good place for birders to be during the change of seasons. This lake is stocked with trout, bass and panfish, so casting a line in the water can be the means for some traditional gourmet campfire cooking. Echo Canyon State Park features a large lakeside day use picnic area complete with picnic tables, chargrills, a boat launch and a fish cleaning station, which is perfect for weekend anglers. This park also features two large camping areas and one is a modern full facility campground complete with RV hook-ups, so planning an extended stay is easy to do.
The reservoir lake attracts a lot of attention and there are plenty of aquatic activities that will entertain visitors of all ages, but this body of water is not really what this state park is most famous for. A stream feeds this lake in the far end of the park and this stream runs through a long deep gorge where a unique anomaly occurs. The vertical walls of this narrow canyon produce loud echoes that reverberate several times and hours can be spent in this entertaining place. The Echo Canyon anomaly site is well marked with signage and there are several other spots in this canyon that produce echoes too. There are lush green wetlands areas in Echo Canyon that spell out pure relaxation and there is an old historic pioneer site to experience just beyond the mouth of the canyon in farm country. A road runs through the entire length of Echo Canyon, so anybody can do the tour, but the hiking trails are the better option for those who wish for a timeless experience. Echo Canyon State Park definitely is a place where a visitor will not want to leave anytime soon, so be sure to just plan on doing some easy going camping in this picturesque destination!
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