After 6 days in Yosemite, we hitched up and moved out. We made the long trek across Nevada after driving all the way through Yosemite from the Wawona Campground. We were entertained for a few minutes with each turn by the names of the different highways we traveled. First we were on the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, we turned on to the Extraterrestrial Highway, and then changed to some other highway. It was a nearly 9 hour drive and I had never been through a state that named every highway. We just use boring numbers.
Along the way, we had to stop at this place boasting ET Fresh Jerky. We wanted to make sure they were not actually making jerky out of Aliens (if they were it might explain some of the abductions and all of the probing). They promised it was made out of beef, so we bought our ice cream and used the “cleanest bathrooms around” (they were pretty clean, alright) before continuing on to Caliente, Nevada.
When we pulled in to Kershaw-Ryan State Park at 5:00, it was 102 degrees and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. One of the very nicest State Park Rangers I have ever met (and it turns out this park is full of them, which I loved!) suggested we go up to the day use area, which is about a mile up the canyon and quite a bit cooler.
They had a lovely wading pool for kids (and adults…felt good to walk around in the cool water)! The rose garden was beautiful, lots of shade, they had a nice play structure geared more towards kids under 6, volleyball and horseshoe courts, and a really nice outdoor grilling station with sinks and a covered place to eat.
The area also had a seep and green grass, and it was like our own private little oasis. We had a nice time just relaxing and letting the kids burn some energy off. There are also hiking trails in the area for days that might be cooler.
We started to get hungry and begrudgingly went back to camp to eat. There we were treated to a terrific storm. We get a lot of rain up here in the Northwest, but seldom see thunder and lightening. It can rattle your nerves sitting in an aluminum trailer in the bottom of a canyon. My husband assured me we were well-grounded – all I know is the cows in the nearby field were none too pleased with the booming and lights flashing all around. We assumed they should be used to it!
The storm treated us to amazing rainbows and one of the most stunning sunsets I have seen.
The campground is well equipped with nice flushies and lovely showers. The showers are coin-op (but very reasonable), so bring some quarters with you. The parking pads are gravel, but level. There are picnic tables with very sturdy covers for shade and a fire ring. There is a little bit of grass, and a small vineyard, but not a lot of privacy, which wasn’t an issue for us since there was one other site occupied at the end of the grounds. The Park is very well looked after and you can tell they care about the place a lot.
A Jr. Ranger program is also available, and due to an anniversary of the State Parks, the kids got some of the nicest Jr. Ranger badges ever.
We were not able to make reservations, but we were told it doesn’t get very busy in the summer due to the heat. Campsites for non-Nevada residents are $17/night. If I remember right, in-state folks pay $15/night.
We would be happy staying here again and were pleasantly surprised with everything the park had to offer. Caliente is 2 miles away for fuel and necessities as well. A great place to stay!