Skip to Content

Camp McGarry Nevada

Camp McGarry Nevada

Camp McGarry Nevada Overview

From 1865 – 1868, the U. S. Army operated Camp McGarry twelve miles northeast of Summit Springs near Summit Lake.

The troops protected the Idaho-California mail, stage roads, and the nearby trails in Nevada and Oregon.

Year Established/Founded

November 23, 1865

Camp McGarry Nevada History

It was named for Brevet Brigadier General Edward McGarry.

With a size of 75 square miles it was, at the time, the largest military reserve in Nevada.

The army established this camp in November 1865 to protect travelers using trails in northwestern Nevada and southern Oregon. Its several stone buildings included a large storage barn, mess hall, and barracks with walls two feet thick.

The camp and reservation were abandoned after three years of use and troops were sent elsewhere.

The grounds eventually became part of the Summit Lake Indian Reservation, and in later years Indians came in the Summer to graze stock.


  • November 23, 1865 – Camp McGarry was established as a field camp 
  • 1866 – The headquarters of the district of Nevada were moved from Fort Churchill to Camp McGarry
  • Summer 1868 – The bulk of the troops were moved from Camp McGarry
  • December 18, 1868 – The camp was abandoned 
  • March 25, 1871 – The camp was relinquished by the Army and turned over to the U.S. Department of the Interior for use as the Summit Lake Indian Reservation

Nevada Historical Marker Category

  • Military
  • Native American

Nevada Historical Marker Marker Type

Blue marker

Nevada Historical Marker Number

Camp McGarry Nevada is Nevada Historical Marker #162.

Click here to view the complete list of Nevada State Historical Markers.


Humboldt County, Nevada

GPS Coordinates

41.394447, -119.166116

Nevada Historical Marker Transcription

The U. S. Army operated Camp McGarry twelve miles northeast of here at Summit Springs near Summit Lake on the Old Applegate Trail from 1865 to 1868.

Troops protected the Idaho-California mail and stage roads and the nearby trails in Nevada and Oregon. The army constructed officers quarters, a mess hall, barracks, and a 100-horse stone barn near here.

In 1866, Camp McGarry was made headquarters of the district of Nevada. In autumn 1868, troops were moved to Camp Winfield Scott, north of Paradise Valley, Nevada, and Camp McGarry, largest military reservation in Nevada, comprising 75 square miles, was abandoned.

In 1871, the land transferred to the Bureau of Land Management and was eventually used as an American Indian reservation.




References Used

Camp McGarry Nevada