Explore Southern Nevada's State Parks

Posted: September 09, 2022 | Author: Kate Lyons | Read Time: 4 minutes

Southern Nevada state parksSouthern Utah University is ideally located for you to travel in and out of state to see some of the best sites the country has to offer. Nevada state parks offer ADA-accessible camping, handfuls of activities, a welcoming environment for your leashed pets, and low entrance fees. So, pack up your weekend gear and prepare for a memorable outdoor adventure in southern Nevada!

Seven Southern Nevada State Parks to Visit

Beaver Dam State Park

73 miles from campus

$10 entrance fee

Designated as a Watchable Wildlife Area, you’ll encounter mule deer, bobcats, fox, lizards, turkeys, jackrabbits, and so much more! Full of numerous trails for all hiking abilities, travel by foot to see the streams, waterfalls, forests, and sedimentary and volcanic rock. Be sure to head over to the Overlook Trail to get a full panoramic view of the canyon that’s sure to amaze you. While at the park, you can also enjoy biking, horse trails, and fishing in this breathtaking area.

Learn more about the Beaver Dam State Park.

Cathedral Gorge State Park

83 miles from campus

$10 entrance fee

Enjoy the beauty that took geologic processes tens of millions of years to achieve. While exploring the area, enjoy a weekend of camping, hiking, and picnicking. Tour the cave-like formations and picturesque spires alongside a nature study and gift shop. Bring pets, friends, and family along for an unforgettable time!

Learn more about the Cathedral Gorge State Park.

Echo Canyon State Park

89 miles from campus

$10 entrance fee

This 65-acre reservoir offers adventures in boating, fishing, water sports, and swimming. If you prefer to be on land, take the opportunity to explore the area by hiking. You’ll be able to see owls, vultures, hawks, and eagles, as well as coyotes, deer, and even the occasional bobcat. Echo Canyon sits at the head of Dry Valley and is part of the Colorado River watershed. Bring your camping and fishing gear and enjoy a great time outdoors.

Learn more about the Echo Canyon State Park.

Kershaw Ryan State Park

99 miles from campus

$10 entrance fee

Immerse yourself in the scenery of rainbow-colored cliffs, natural springs, a wading pool, and 700-foot natural walls. Kershaw Ryan State Park is an oasis in the middle of a desert. You’ll find wild grapevines, white oaks, fruit trees, and abundant wildlife. Enjoy biking, bird watching, camping, hiking, and picnic areas in this rare sanctuary!

Learn more about Kershaw Ryan State Park.

Spring Valley State Park

107 miles from campus

$10 entrance fee

Open 365 days a year, this state park is a one-stop area for many of your favorite outdoor activities. Enjoy bike trails, boating, water sports, horse trails, fishing hiking, and more. You might catch a glimpse of eagles, hawks, songbirds, ravens, and even road runners. The 59-acre Eagle Valley Reservoir is surrounded by volcanic tuff and sediment, offering a light-gray, pink and white landscape. As an added bonus, feel free to join in on the tour of historic ranches from the late 1800s while you’re there.

Learn more about Spring Valley State Park.

Valley of Fire State Park

140 miles from campus

$10 entrance fee

Check out the petrified trees and the over 2,000-year-old petroglyphs in a landscape of red Aztec sandstone and neutral-colored limestone. The area was inhabited as far back as 11,000 years ago. The Visitor Center provides information on the area’s geology, ecology, and history. While you’re there, explore the area through biking, bird watching, hiking, and camping.

Learn more about the Valley of Fire State Park.

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

195 miles from campus

$15 entrance fee

See some of the oldest buildings in Nevada! The area once was a working ranch and a luxury retreat. When you visit, you might stumble across a kit fox, bighorn sheep, wild burros, lizards, badgers, and jackrabbits. The plant diversity is on-point with its show of marigolds, Joshua trees, Mohave Yucca, globe mallow, and Indigo bush. This is one place where you can see plants typical of the desert and woodlands. If you visit in the summer, you can attend the Super Summer Theatre which offers a variety of outdoor shows. In addition, you can hike the area and check out the gift show and picnic areas.

Learn more about the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.


If you’re looking for a quick but mesmerizing place to get away, Southern Nevada state parks are a must-see. As the University of the Parks, SUU encourages you to get outside and explore! If you’re looking for a way to rent some gear for your next adventure, be sure to check out SUU Outdoors to help you out. Whether the plan is to camp, hike, bike, or be on the water, they’ve got you covered.

Tags: Outdoor Recreation Student Life

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