Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, in the distance
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park is about 18 miles south of Ely in the Egan Mountains. While this park is named for the 6 beehive-shaped historic charcoal ovens, the park also offers ATV-OHV riding, mountain biking, hiking, and fishing for naturally reproducing Brook, Brown and Rainbow trout in Willow Creek.

The charcoal ovens were built in 1876 to provide charcoal to 2 silver smelters located in Ward. The ovens are large enough to hold 35 cords of wood per firing. They were probably only in operation until the silver veins ran out and the smelters shut down in 1879. After that they have served off-and-on as shelters for prospectors and stockmen during bad weather. Rumor says local stagecoach bandits also hid in the ovens at times.

The State Park has only one campground: the Willow Creek Campground. There are 14 sites, 2 of which are large pull-through sites, and one other is designated as handicap accessible. There are 2 vault toilets centrally located in the campground. From mid-May to September there is drinking water available from a single hydrant located near the campground entrance. Picnic tables and fire grills are located throughout the park.

The park is surrounded by thousands of acres of BLM land that allows the use of ATV-OHV vehicles. There is an ATV-OHV multi-use trail through the state park that connects with many of the trails on the BLM land.

To get here go 7 miles south of Ely on US 50/6/93, then turn and go 11 miles further southwest on Cave Valley Road, a graded gravel road that is usually accessible by passenger cars for most of the year (look out in winter and after heavy rain).

Entry fees: $7 per vehicle per day for non-Nevada residents, $5 per vehicle per day for Nevada residents. Camping: $14 per site per night for non-Nevada residents, $12 per site per night for Nevada residents.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, Nevada
The Ward Charcoal Ovens
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park area mapWeepah Springs WildernessGreat Basin Scenic BywayMt. Wilson Back Country BywaySouth Pahroc Range WildernessBig Rocks WildernessParsnip Peak WildernessWhite Rock Range WildernessFar South Egans WildernessMt. Grafton WildernessFortification Range WildernessHighland Ridge WildernessBeaver Dam State ParkKershaw-Ryan State ParkCathedral Gorge State ParkEcho Canyon State ParkSpring Valley State ParkGreat Basin National Park
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park area map logo
Upper photos of Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park courtesy of Nevada State Parks
Lower photo of Ward Charcoal Ovens courtesy of Wikipedia userid AN63CA
Area map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!
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