First Time at Kershaw-Ryan State Park

There are five Nevada State Parks in close proximity to Cathedral Gorge and while we were in the area we wanted to check them all out. You can read reviews on parks from a variety of sources but when cell coverage is a must nothing beats driving to the location and checking it out in person. Turns out that ALL of these parks are really cool and have unique features although not all of them are appropriate for us to stay in.

Kershaw-Ryan is one of those parks that was donated land. Samuel and Hannah Kershaw first moved to the nearby Meadow Valley Wash in 1873 and over time they built a lush oasis in a canyon with natural springs. Like many other places in this part of Nevada it looks deceptively barren but as you travel into the park it was the most startling place. Truly I was blown away by what we saw but let me show you.

The entrance was pretty stark

The we headed a short ways back into the park and just wow. There were grapevines all along the canyon cliffs and ultimately the road dead ended into a beautiful oasis.

An explosion of green
I’ve never seen anything quite like this


What a lovely setting for a wedding and the shelter/picnic area was really nice.

As we continued to walk the path we came to an area with huge grapevines. I mean they were monster big covering large oak trees. Here’s a picture with Lee for scale.

The history of this place is fascinating. The land was bought by James Ryan who kept it safe and ultimately donated it to the State of Nevada. In 1935, the civilian corps of engineers built the original picnic tables and facilities and it became one of Nevada’s first four state parks.

The oasis portion is a relatively small area (although packed with vegetation) and as you climb the hill the landscape once again becomes very sparse. The hike up the hill is pretty short, but wear good shoes because the path is rugged.

Lee can’t resist climbing to the highest spot

If you are in this area I absolutely would make this a stop. The campground is pretty utilitarian and the ATT signal was just so-so but if you are staying in Cathedral Gorge make the trip and see this wondrous oasis.

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