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Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

Friday, April 2, 2021

Other Names

Willow Creek Basin, Ward Gulch, Ward Mountain, Comins Lake, South Fork Willow Creek, Cave Valley Rd, Taylor Rd, Ragsdale Canyon, Harnels Peak, Comins Meadow, Mt. Wheeler, Ward Legacy Trail

Last Known StatusOpen

This historic park offers one main OHV trail that eventually leads to BLM land. This trail is smooth, with great turns and very few rocks, but is sometimes snow covered until early summer.

There are plenty of gazebos with picnic tables and BBQ grills to choose from, and a nice campground on site that features potable water and restrooms. For a unique camping experience, check out the yurt style cabin (Mongolian style round tent) at nearby Cave Lake State Park. Reservations are required, so contact the park for more information.

The beehive shaped ovens are located at the center of the park and were used to generate charcoal for the nearby silver ore smelter from 1873 until the discovery of coal in 1879.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...

REGULATIONS

Permit RequiredYesNVOHV sticker required
Dates OpenYear-Round
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedYesNevada registration is not required if the vehicle is already registered in another state and will be located in Nevada for no more than 15 days.
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthYes (60 inches)narrow terrain
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesPermitted
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsPermitted
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSPermitted(maximum width 60 inches)
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Prohibited
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
Prohibited
2 Stroke EnginesNo Restriction
MX Helmet RequiredYes
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
Night RidingYesNot Recommended
Trail BlazingProhibitedno trailblazing
AlcoholNo Restriction
Rule EnforcementFew/PeriodicOn-Site Office/Station
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TERRAIN

Approx Size700 acres (1 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail30
Climate TypeForest
Elevation6750 to 9750 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has mostly loose dirt.Mostly
Hard PackThe trail has little hard pack terrain.Little
SandThis trail has little sandy areas.Little
MudThe trail has some mud after it rains.Some
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has little rocks.Little
TreesThe trail has many trees.Many
Steep HillsThis trail has few steep hills.Few
Water CrossingsThe trail has few water crossings.Few
Small JumpsThis trail has no small jumps.None
Large JumpsThis trail has no large jumps.None
BermsThe trail has few berms.Few
Sand/Gravel PitsThis state recreation area has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis state recreation area has some single track trails.Some
RoadsThis state recreation area has some roads.Some
IntersectionsThis trail has few intersections.Few
Rider TrafficThe state recreation area has no rider traffic on typical days.None
ShadeThis state recreation area has many shaded areas.Manyday use has gazebos
Ranges/GunfireThis state recreation area has no shooting ranges or gunfire.None
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards not marked)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has some beginner terrain.Some
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has some intermediate level terrain.Some
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has little expert terrain.Little

TYPE OF AREA

AreaMotorized Trails
LandBLM, State Recreation

KEY SERVICES

Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (N)Conoco (775) 289-9110
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (N)Conoco (775) 289-9110
Potable Water WaterOn SiteWillow Creek Campground (775) 289-1693
RV Hookups RV Hookup5-20 Miles (N)Ely KOA (775) 289-3413 or (800) 562-6671
RV Dump Station RV Disposal5-20 Miles (N)Ely KOA (775) 289-3413 or (800) 562-6671
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn SiteWillow Creek Campground (775) 289-1693
Convenience Store Conv StoreOn SiteWillow Creek Trading Post & Country Store (775) 289-8899

FEES & PASSES

ParkingYes ($5.00)
Ward Charcoal day use fee for Nevada residents - $5/vehicle, non-residents - $10/vehicle
Entry(None)
Riding(None)
CampingYes
Tent: $15.00
RV: $15.00
Addtl. Vehicle: $15.00
Willow Creek Campground fee for Nevada residents - $15/night, non-residents - $20/night.

RATINGS

Proslocals secrete, trails are smooth, no rocks, interesting charcoal ovens, plenty of picnic tables, BBQ grills and gazebos, nice place to take the family
Conscamping fees are bit steep, trails are limited
Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended StayFull Day
late spring
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Nearest CityEly, NV
AddressCave Valley Road, Ely, NV 89301
Go Back To Nevada List
Street Map
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Ely, NV
1) Take Hwy 50 East about 5 miles
2) Turn right (southwest) onto Cave Valley Road, continue about 10 miles
3) Follow signs to day use staging area or Willow Creek Campground (on the right).

OFFICIAL CONTACTS

Contact InfoWard Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
P.O. Box 151761
Ely, NV 89315
(775) 289-1693
(775) 867-3001
wardcharcoalovens@mwpower.net
parks.nv.gov
Contact InfoCave Lake State Park
(775) 728-8100
clsp@parks.nv.gov
parks.nv.gov

RIDER COMMENTS & REVIEWS

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

These charcoal ovens are the center-piece of the park.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

A trail at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Amenities at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

This is one of the many campsites in Willow Creek Campground. Each site comes with a picnic table and is surrounded by juniper trees.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Main trailhead and kiosk. (Follow this, and you will start to see the markers for the ATV and motorcycle routes.)

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

About 1/4 mile in on the main OHV trail.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Scenic view of Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Scenic view of Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

A short hiking trail leads from the day use area to the charcoal ovens.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

RV Trailer Staging Area and Camping at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Main entrance to the park.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

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Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

It was too early in the spring, and the snow eventually prevailed, but we could tell this trail would have been great.

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Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Example of terrain at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Trailhead for non-motorized trails.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

Some amenities at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

One of the many picnic areas in the day use area.

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

Ward Charcoal Ovens Trail Photo

OHV at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park Trail

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