Elko Recreation Areas

If spending time in the Great Outdoors is on the agenda, Elko is the place to be. With a variety of areas dedicated to pure, unadulterated outdoor fun, Elko is home to several spots dedicated to hiking, boating, biking, birding, camping, fishing and anything else you can imagine to while away your leisure time.

And, as with anything worthwhile, getting there is a major part of the fun in Elko County. Scenic drives through areas such as Angels Lake, the South Fork State Recreation Area and Wild Horse State Recreation Area are rewarding on their own, but also promise lots of outdoor adventures once you arrive at your destination. Explore these hidden Western gems and start plotting your next trip to Elko today!

Photo by Sydney Martinez | Travel Nevada

Angel Lake Scenic Byway

Favorite activities include picnicking, fishing, non-powered boating, backpacking and hiking. Angel Lake Campground has 26 sites plus nine picnic areas with potable water, vault toilets and on-site hosts. Make reservations by calling (877) 444-6777. Take I-80 east toward Wells, getting off at Exit 351. Follow Highway 231 to Angel Lake.

South Fork State Recreation Area

South Fork is a favorite among locals for all water sports, including boating, water-skiing, and fishing. Camping is available in developed sites around the recreation area. South Fork is located 16 miles southwest of Elko following State Routes 227 and 228.

Photo by Sydney Martinez | Travel Nevada

Photo by Nevada State Parks

Wild Horse State Recreation Area

Wildhorse Recreation Area comprises more than 120 acres of outdoor fun and adventure. Boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and an annual ice-fishing derby round out the endless recreational options. The area can be reached 67 miles north of Elko on State Route 225.

Best Times to Travel to Elko Recreation Areas

Spring in Northern Nevada explodes with color as acres of wildflowers bloom in splendor. Bright sunshine warms the land to blazing new life. Abundant wildlife awaits discovery. With clear days and cool nights — spring and summer hold a wealth of recreation possibilities. Open yourself to all the Elko area has to offer.

Winter months in the Elko area are usually blanketed with snow. Whether your idea of adventure revolves around the hush of falling snowflakes in a pristine alpine meadow or racing through powder with adrenaline-pumping speed. Northern Nevada can fulfill your longings.

With the challenge of winter recreation come new risks to visitors unfamiliar to our terrain.

To ensure safe adventures, please consider the following precautions:

  • Avalanches frequently occur throughout our mountain ranges where steep ridges may cause unstable snowpack conditions. Winter adventurists should be knowledgeable about avoiding likely avalanche areas.
  • When driving, carry snow equipment such as chains, shovels and sand.
  • Hypothermia can kill those who are unprepared for sudden cold temperatures, snowfall, icy rain and chilly winds. Sudden weather changes are common, so be prepared.
  • It is always wise to check road conditions before starting a drive. For up-to-date information, contact the Nevada Department of Transportation at (775) 777-2700 (office) or (877) NV-ROADS (toll-free road conditions information) or the website at www.nevadadot.com.