The Dirt: East Walker River



Enjoy this unspoiled section of the East Walker River, which is part of the Nine Mile Ranch Unit of the new Walker River State Recreation Area. The Bighorn Campground at “The Elbow” and staging areas provide access to the adjacent USFS and BLM lands, and to trails and fishing within the park boundaries along the Walker River. Facilities in this portion of the new park are in the process of being upgraded and include a picnic table and fire ring in each campsite. Restroom facilities are also available.

The campground provides access to several USFS trails and road, including longer routes to natural hot springs, incredible vistas, and access to the historic mining town of Bodie, CA.

High clearance vehicles (ATV, UTV, small 4x4s) are recommended. Expect technical and washed-out trails in some areas.


Directions from Highway 395 in Carson City:

  • Follow Highway 395 South from Carson City for about 30 miles.
  • Turn left onto NV-208 E, at Holbrook Junction, and head East for 12 miles.
  • Veer Right onto State Route 338, heading South and continue for 24 miles.
  • Turn left onto dirt road NF-028 (sign for Hawthorn) and continue 6 miles to the campground.

From Bridgeport to the South:

  • The NF-028 turnoff is approximately 15 north of Bridgeport, on CA-182.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Nevada Division of State Parks

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

1200 Franklin Way

Sparks, Nevada 89431

Telephone: (775) 331-6444

Ingress-Egress for OHVs is allowed within the Bighorn Campground. On USFS, BLM and State Parks lands, motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only.

Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.
Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Land Manager

Plan Your Visit