NV State Park Series – Lahontan

Categories Family, Nevada State Parks, Travels


Lahontan State Recreation Area is a popular place in northern Nevada for boating, fishing, and camping. It was always a weekend get-away for locals while I was growing up but I never really explored it myself. With my goal to visit all the state parks, I finally had an excuse to get out and see what the hype was about. Lahontan was created to irrigate farms nearby and I’ve seen it plenty of times driving on HWY 50. Droughts can make it pretty sad looking with boat launches completely dry in years past. Luckily, we have been fortunate recently and Lahontan is nice and full now.

Lahontan has two sections, one right off of HWY 50 heading east towards Fallon and another off of HWY 95 heading south past Silver Springs. I have spent a little time at both sides this winter. Side note: If you are looking to get a stamp in your NV State Parks Passport book in the off seasons, the stamp box is only on the Silver Springs side. Both sides have excellent day use areas with picnic tables and bbqs. Shade is minimal so bring your own and lots of sunscreen.

Lahontan Recreation Area Highlights

  • Extensive day use areas
  • Lots of shoreline for water activities
  • Fishing and boating
  • Beach camping

From what I understand there is a developed campground on the Silver Springs side but I haven’t found it yet. Most camping at Lahontan is primitive and on the beach. We are still tent campers and utilize the developed campground facilities extensively. At this point in life, Lahontan camping isn’t for me.  I am hoping to move to a small camp trailer in the coming years and then I can see us heading to Lahontan for beach camping. Especially when the water is as high as it is right now.

Spring break was this last week and the reason for me being a bit absent on here. Oliver only has preschool twice a week, but I wanted to make the most of our week together and the nice weather we have been having. It was a little stressful at first coming up with plans for the week and wanting them to be perfect. Once I decided to just get out there and roll with whatever the kids threw at me, the week ended up being awesome. We had a picnic and walk at Oliver’s favorite: Washoe Lake, went to museums, and spent an afternoon at Lahontan.  The day was full of playing in the water, blowing bubbles, and getting a little sunburn. Oliver has named it: Lakehontan. Oh that kid, he always makes me smile. This didn’t even include all the fun we had related to Easter with dying eggs, hunting eggs, and the great meals we had with extended family. I am sad to see spring break come to a close. It has definitely made me excited for all the adventures we will have this summer.


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