The park offers two designated campgrounds - Elk Flat Campground and Lake View Campground. Extra fees do not apply to tow-in vehicles. All sites are level and include a fire pit with grill, table and parking. Access roads to campsites are unpaved. With the exception of one group site in each campground, camping is on a first come, first serve basis . Fees are charged per vehicle and are payable at fee stations located in the campgrounds. Reservations are accepted for the group camping sites at Lake View and Elk Flat Campgrounds starting January 2nd each year. Please contact a ranger for overflow camping information.
Elk Flat Campground is the first camping area park visitors see as they approach on the Success Summit Road from US 50/93/6. The campground does not take reservations (first-come, first-serve). It opens in May and closes mid-October. Elk Flat has a modern restroom facility with heat showers and flush type toilets.
Lake View Campground is first-come, first-serve (no reservations accepted). It is located near the lake and open year-round with flush toilets and showers.
For a most unique camping experience try Yurt camping. A Yurt is a Mongolian style round tent with a wood lattice frame and plywood floor. Contact the park directly for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A RV dump station is located along the Success Summit Road at Elk Flat. There is no additional fee to use the dump station for those camping in the park. A fee is charged to those not camping in the park.
Cave Lake State Park is located 15 miles southeast of Ely via U.S. 50/6/93 and Success Summit Road. Drive 8 miles south of Ely on U.S. 93. Turn onto Success Summit Rd. (NV 486). Continue east for 7 miles to the park.
Cave Lake State Park
P.O. Box 761
Ely, Nevada 89042
Brown trout are an introduced species that occur naturally in Cave Lake and area streams. Hatchery raised rainbow trout are stocked in the lake, and crayfish are very abundant . Large and small mammals such as elk, mule deer, bobcat, mountain lion, coyote, various rodents and rabbits reside in the area. Various birds of prey are common as are vulture, pinyon jay, magpie, sage grouse, various waterfowl, and songbirds. Several varieties of reptiles are present including the occasional western rattlesnake. Park vegetation is typical of the Great Basin and includes aspen, big sagebrush, rabbit brush, Mormon tea, wild rose, chokecherry and currant. A pinyon/juniper woodland area interspersed with wetlands surrounds Cave Lake. Sedimentary limestone's and shale's typical of the Great Basin dominate park geology, and the area is characterized by large up thrusts, narrow canyons and shallow caves.
Park weather is highly seasonal with wide variations in temperature. Summertime highs may range from the upper 80's and 90's with lows in the 30's and 40's at night. Wintertime highs are often in the 30's and 40's and nights are often below zero. Extreme lows may reach thirty below zero. Snow is common from early December through early April with several feet on the ground through peak winter months. The remainder of the year is relatively dry, and rain and snow showers are infrequent. However, late afternoon summer thunderstorms are common. Ely, Nevada weather reports are consistent with weather at the park.
A fee is charged for entrance to the park and is payable at the fee station located at the entrance to the lake area. General information is available at kiosks throughout the park.
The ranger station is staffed intermittently with no scheduled hours. Cave Lake does not have land-line phone service, and cell phone service is intermittent. Although the park rangers and staff can provide assistance in an emergency they are not always available. In the event of an emergency, dial *NHP or 911 from your cell phone.
Several picnic areas can be found along the lake shore. Restrooms, tables, grills and water are available. Fees are charged for each vehicle and are payable at the fee station located at the entrance to the lake area.
An area for groups is located on the west side of the lake. It can be reserved for a small fee. When not reserved, the area is available on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact the ranger station for reservation information.
Fishing and crawdadding are permitted 24 hours a day. Licenses are available in Ely, and a trout stamp is required. Fishermen will find naturally born brown trout in Cave Lake and park streams. The lake is also stocked with rainbow trout. Fishing is excellent for boaters as well as from the shore. Motorized boats are permitted on the lake, but may not exceed 5 mph (flat wake). For more details on license requirements, fishing methods, and limits, see the current year Nevada fishing regulations.
Motorized vehicles are prohibited on all trails. Two developed hiking trails areas are maintained. An easy, three-mile round trip can be found on the Steptoe Creek Trail. The trail starts at the parking lot below the dam crossing the creek on a series of foot bridges and returns via Success Summit Road. The Cave Springs Trail, including five miles of moderately strenuous hiking, starts at the lower parking lot and meanders throughout the surrounding hills.
Winter recreation is popular at Cave Lake during normal winters when several feet of snow may cover the park. While snowmobiling is prohibited within the park, snowmobiles may be unloaded at the turnout at the end of the pavement on Success Summit Road and at the parking area at the East end of the lake, for access to the surrounding National Forest lands. The lake ice may be as thick as 24" during the coldest part of winter. Ice fishing is popular, and the catch rate is very good. The boat launch area is used for outdoor ice-skating. Sledding and snowshoeing are also popular activities. Most of the roads through the park are paved and kept free of snow. However, plowing may not occur for one or two days after a storm. Please keep this in mind if you don't have a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Cave Lake State Park is host to the White Pine Fire & Ice Show. This event is held in mid-January. Click on the link above for more information.
Interpretive programs are offered on a variety of natural history topics. Presentations are given as time and staffing permit. Information about program scheduling may be obtained from either park staff or kiosks. Upon request, special presentations can be arranged for groups.