The Dirt: Ft. Churchill and Lahontan State Recreation Area



This riding area encompasses a large portion of North Lyon County. The area includes fantastic views of the Carson River area, and includes three interconnected state parks. Looking out over the rolling sagebrush hills and ash trees, it is easy to imagine what life was like for the residents of Fort Churchill and Buckland Station a century and a half ago. This Area is heavily grazed by livestock and a mixture of public and private lands. Please respect all signage and fences.

The trails in surrounding area are primarily dirt and often cross fence lines as you travel further north. There are several pipeline, campground, and powerline access roads that provide good access to remote areas. BLM directional signage and historical markers can occasionally be found along designated routes. Secondary roads navigate cattle grazing land. Main access along Alt-US 95 and Fort Churchill Road is suitable for all riding abilities. Secondary roads and trails leading to higher elevations require more technical skills.

There are multiple staging areas along the Alt-US 95 and Fort Churchill Road. Pay camping is available at Scout Camp, an equestrian and mixed-use campground, along the Carson River. Please be respectful of camping restrictions on State Park property, and of other trail users such as equestrians. While you’re there, take time to visit the Buckland Station Museum and the historic Ft. Churchill ruins. Off-highway vehicle use in the park is limited in ingress and egress only from the camping areas. Services such as food, gas, and accommodations are available in Fernley, NV and Silver Springs, NV (both easily accessible via Alt-US 95).


From Silver Springs via Alt-US 95 :

  • Follow Alt-US 95 South towards Fort Churchill State Park, approximately 10 miles.
  • Ft. Churchill Historic Park and campground are on the right, before Buckland Station.
  • To stage or camp at Scout Camp, continue across the Carson River and turn left onto Simpson Road. Follow for approximately 1 mile, campground is down the dirt road on the left.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Nevada State Parks

NN Division of State Parks
901 S. Stewart St., Ste. 5005
Carson City, NV 89701

Telephone: 775-684-2770

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only. For local regulations regarding OHV use on county roads, check with the local authorities or land managers.

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
  • OHV use limited to ingress and egress only

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Land Manager

Plan Your Visit