Flickr album link: Illipah Reservoir Recreation Area
The Illipah Reservoir Recreation Area is located a few miles south of U.S. Highway 50 between Ely and Eureka, Nevada. This large desert irrigation reservoir was created in 1953 when a dam was constructed on Illipah Creek. Water is a strong attractant in an arid region, so it did not take long for the reservoir lake to become a popular spot for tourists and weekend warriors. Improvements were made through the years and this park now features a developed campground with basic facilities. The lakeside picnic tables and a small craft boat launch provide a clue as to what the most popular activities are at this remote BLM recreation area. For those who seek fun in the sun and world class trout fishing in the rolling hills of the Great Basin Desert, Illipah definitely is the place to go.
The Illipah Reservoir is stocked with rainbow trout and a healthy population of large lake trout also reside in these waters. Fishing during the late summer bug season is most popular, since the winter season brings icy cold weather. This lake does freeze over during the coldest winter months, so Illipah is also a good ice fishing destination. On the downside, the narrow valley acts as a wind tunnel and strong steady gusts can be expected on any given day. There are strong steel wind blocking structures that protect many of the campsites, so if high winds are forecasted, it is best to hunker down next to one of these shelters. Other than the high winds, the Illipah Recreation Area is a sunny relaxing place to be, so be sure to chalk this spot high on the list when planning a tour of Highway 50 through northern Nevada!
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