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Spring Mountain Ranch State Park offering visitors escape from city

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.png
Posted at 10:47 PM, Oct 14, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Just beyond the bright lights of the Las Vegas valley, you'll find the natural beauty of the Spring Mountains.

And that's where you'll see the historic Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

"Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is a 520-plus acre state park and we focus on preserving one of the original ranch sites in Las Vegas. We have a 3-acre pond where wildlife, birds and the community can really enjoy," Nevada State Parks Interpreter Ranger Joshua Yelle.

The ranch gives visitors a break from the city life while bringing them up close and personal with the Spring Mountain range.

"We have a total of 4.5 miles of walking trails in the park; we have the Ash Grove Loop, the overlook trail that takes you through a unique part of the park along with a canyon trail that does include Lake Harriet," Yelle said.

The park is an easy 40-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, with plenty of natural beauty on display, being next door to the famous Red Rock National Conversation Area.

"We are located in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon. Surrounded with the Spring Mountains and Mount Wilson with several areas of greenery," Yelle said.

With year-round recreational activities, the state park serves as a popular getaway.

"This is a great place just to escape the heat from Las Vegas, and it is just a great location to explore some of the natural beauty the desert provides," Yelle said.

Visitors can enjoy the views have picnics, hikes and tours, along with exploring some of Southern Nevada's history.

"We afford visitors a look into the past, and that is something we don't have a lot left in Southern Nevada, and luckily the third oldest ranch in the state is preserved in essentially pristine condition," Yelle said.

The park is home to some of the oldest buildings in the state, with roots dating back to the 1860s that include a blacksmith shop and a founding main house that serves as the headquarters for the park and visitors center.

"Our visitors center is a sandstone building, and it was built in a style of a New England farm home with radio and movie star Chester Lauck using it as a vacation home where every family can now escape too."

Guests can walk through the historic sandstone cabin and re-visit what the home once looked like with some original furnishing and touches from the different eras and owners.

"The house is split into three different owners. You'll see the 1948-1955 era, the Vera Krupp era with a master bedroom and swimmers room through the 1955 to 1967 time range to the Howard Hughes ownership period from 1967 with a room dedicated to that time," Yelle said.

The historic ranch attracted some big names through its history, from James Wilson and George Anderson at the beginning to German movie star Vera Krupp in the 1950s to Howard Hughes purchasing the ranch in 1967 before becoming a state park in 1974.

"Owners such Vera Krupp created additions to the home such a sunroom and a secret passage to another room in the house. And guests can explore the different times of ownership of the home during a tour," Yelle said.

When it comes to outdoor activities, the park has several hiking trails - all offering their own experience from wetlands, overlooks, to even a lake.

"We have five different ecological areas, some of the older ash trees - something you won't find anywhere else in the Red Rock Canyon. And on any given day, walking through will give visitors something not offered at other locations in the canyon," Yelle said.

The Spring Mountain Ranch Park serves as the perfect family getaway, especially as we enjoy the cooler fall temperatures with planned events and volunteer opportunities returning.

"We have a great volunteer program. We are always looking for volunteers and you can participate in the Pioneer Day that is coming back and families don't want to miss out on that along with other programs throughout the year," Yelle said.

When you or the family need a quick getaway to a more relaxing time with Southern Nevada's beauty and history, make sure to include the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.