Fort Churchill was once an active U.S. Army fort. Built in 1861 to provide protection for early settlers. It was abandoned nine years later, and today the ruins are preserved in a state of arrested decay. A visitor center displays information and artifacts of the fort's history. The Pony Express and the Overland Telegraph once passed through this area. Nearby is Buckland Station, a Pony Express stop, supply center, and former hotel built in 1870. Facilities at Fort Churchill State Historic Park include trails, a campground, picnic area, group-use area and access to the Carson River. Visitors can enjoy hiking, historic and environmental education, camping, picnicking, photography and canoeing. The park is located eight miles south of Silver Springs on Alternate U.S. 95, and one mile on Fort Churchill Road.
Location & Climate:
Fort Churchill is located along the Carson River, eight miles south of Silver Springs on US 95A. The park is situated 40 miles east of Carson City, and 36 miles west of Fallon.
Caution: Visitors are advised to enter the park from US 95A, on a short, paved access road. While Fort Churchill Road along the Carson River from US 50 is scenic, it is 16 miles and unpaved. Summers at the fort are hot with daytime highs of 94°F and nighttime lows of 58°F in July. Winters are cold with occasional snow.
Entrance Fee: An entrance fee is charged to enter the park, with additional fees for camping. Current fees are posted at the park entrance. Click here for all individual park fees by region.
Visitor Information: The Visitor Center offers exhibits telling the colorful history of Fort Churchill. All park visitors should make this their first stop upon entering the park to better appreciate the ruins. Postcards and books are on sale at the Visitor Center. Drinking water and restroom are nearby.
Camping: The campground has 20 sites suitable for travel trailers, motor homes or tents. Campsites include a table and fire ring, and all are shaded by large cottonwood trees. Sites cannot be reserved. There are no hook-ups, but an RV dump station is nearby.
Picnicking: Tree-shaded picnic sites on the banks of the Carson River offer tables, grills and restroom.
Group Area: The group area will accommodate up to 60 persons for group camping or picnicking on a reservation-only basis. No electricity is available. No RVs, please. For reservations, contact the park office.
Reminders: To make your visit and the visit of others more enjoyable, please observe the following:
DO NOT CLIMB ON THE RUINS. The adobe is fragile and will deteriorate rapidly. This is also for your personal safety.
Fires are permitted only in designated fire rings, barbecues, or approved portable stoves. Visitors should supply their own firewood.
The collection of plants, animals, rocks, minerals and artifacts is prohibited. Please do not disturb or remove them.
Motor vehicles are permitted only on designated roadways and parking areas.
Pets are allowed but must be on a leash.
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