Cave Lake State Park
Cave Lake State Park Overview
Cave Lake State Park offers outstanding recreational opportunities year-round.
Stocked with rainbow trout and home to German brown trout, the 32-acre reservoir provides outstanding fishing and boating.
Other summer activities include swimming, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. Once winter arrives, guests of the park can enjoy ice fishing, skating, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
The park is also home to abundant and diverse wildlife.
Attribute: N Walters / Public domain
How to Get to Cave Lake State Park
- Follow US-93 N/Great Basin Hwy, NV-318 N and US-6 E to State Hwy 486 in White Pine County
- Turn right onto US-50 E
- Turn left onto State Hwy 486
- Turn right onto NF-574
- $5.00 Entrance Fee
- $10.00 Boat Launch Fee
- $15.00 per night Camping
- $20.00 per night Camp and Boat Combo
A Nevada fishing permit is required to fish in Cave Lake!
Open seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Cave Lake Weather
|January 39° / 21°||February 40° / 20°||March 46° / 24°||April 50° / 29°|
|May 59° / 37°||June 70° / 45°||July 77° / 53°||August 76° / 51°|
|September 67° / 44°||October 55° / 35°||November 44° / 26°||December 37° / 20°|
June to early September is the ideal time to hike around Cave lake with average temperatures being in the 70s. However, nighttime lows can still drop into the high 40 so be sure to come prepared if you plan to spend the night!
Best Time of Year to Hike
We found that June to early September is the ideal time to hike around Cave lake with average temperatures being in the 70s. However, nighttime lows can still drop into the high 40 so be sure to come prepared if you plan to spend the night!
Best time of the Day to Hike
Any time there is sunlight is a great time to hike at Cave Lake during the summer months. The cool weather and tree coverage make for great day hiking. However, don’t forget to bring sun protection and plenty of water with an altitude of 7,300 feet dehydration can sneak up on you quickly.
Cave Lake State Park Trails
Cave Lake has 3 major trails surrounding it
- The Cave Springs Trail is five miles of moderately strenuous hiking. It starts at the lower parking lot and meanders throughout the surrounding hills.
- The Cave Lake Overlook Trail is a strenuous 4.5-mile loop that starts on the east end of the lake.
- The Twisted Pines Trail. This trail is moderate, starting below Elk Flat Campground. It is just over four miles one way and ends on the Overlook Trail loop.
Yes! Bring your 4 legged friends to enjoy this beautiful lake, however, they must remain on a leash at all times.
There are plenty of family-friendly activities you can do at Cave Lake. However, be sure to keep a close eye on them with the lake being so close to the campgrounds.
Restrooms at Cave Lake State Park
Full-size restrooms are available for visitors in the campgrounds. There are also showers available for use.
Cell Phone Service at Cave Lake
Some Cell Phone Carriers have limited service in the area. We were able to get a few bars with Verizon. Check with your carrier to see if they cover rural Nevada
There are two campgrounds on the lake
- Elk Flat Campground is the first camping area visitors see as they approach from the highway. Showers and flush-type toilets are available while the campground is open.
- The Lake View Campground is near the lake and is open year-round with flush toilets and showers. (In extremely cold conditions the facilities may be closed)
Regular campgrounds are on a first come first serve basis. Contact the park to reserve large group campsites.
Fishing is allowed at Cave Lake with the proper permits! The lake is stocked with Rainbow trout often which makes it an excellent place to relax and do some fishing.
While the hiking trails around cave lake prohibit motor vehicles there are plenty of public dirt roads in the surrounding area!
Biking is allowed on the main trails in Cave Lake with plenty of room to explore. For long-distance cyclists, Nevada State Parks have the “No Turn Away“ policy guaranteeing that touring bicyclists are not turned away from a park should it be full, especially since campgrounds are sometimes the only option riders have after a long day.
Drones at Cave Lake
The use of drones is prohibited in Nevada State Parks unless in an area designated for that use by a park supervisor, and a commercial use permit is in effect. All applicable FAA regulations apply.
While a ranger station is found near the campground it is recommended to bring your own first aid kit for small injuries. Check our First Aid Kit Guide for what you should bring for your personal pack.
Plants to Watch for in the Area
Vegetation around Cave Lake is Typical for the Great Basin Area Including Aspens, Sagebrush, Juniper Trees, and Wild Rose
Places to Stay
If you aren’t a fan of camping but still want to enjoy everything Cave Lake has to offer? You can stay in Ely Nevada at one of its numerous hotels or RV Parks.
Cave Lake is surrounded by mountains containing all sorts of wildlife including Elk, Mule Deer, Haws, Eagles, Vultures, Bob Cats, Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and more!
Cave Lake Snakes
The area has the occasional Western RattleSnake so be sure to watch your step when you are out exploring and in camp.
Stargazing at Cave Lake
Far away from any major cities, Cave Creek is a perfect place to see the stars.
Cave Creek Picnics
Cave Creek has two large picnic areas along the lake including Restrooms, tables, grills, and water are available.
ADA campsites are available for those with physical limitations. Nevada State parks offer additional support by calling Nevada State Parks at (775) 684-2770.