The Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is a recreational area located just south of the Red Rock Canyon.
It is a 30km (20mi) drive from the south end of the Las Vegas Strip and easily reachable via Rd. 160.
The place is first reported to be used as a campsite in 1829, due to the availability of water, for caravans on their way to the west coast. There is evidence that a famous trapper turned his 'career' to horse stealing and kept these on the site. During this time the first buildings, some of the oldest in Nevada, were constructed (around 1864), the Sandstone Cabin and a Blacksmith Shop. They can be visited today.
The land was first filed in 1876 as the Sandstone Ranch and mainly used for cattle ranching.
In the later years, the Ranch had two prominent owners. Vera Krupp, a famous German actress, who became a US citizen in 1947 (and gave the ranch its current name) and the millionaire Howard Hughes. The latter never actually lived on the ranch.
It became a state park in 1973.
History and Tour:
You can visit the main building, all others are just accessible with a guided tour. I didn't do a guided tour when I was there, but I've heard that it is worthwhile doing as you learn a lot of the history of this place.
You can do a bit of walking (I would rather not call it hiking, as these are really easy and short trails) and enjoy the landscape. There are several trails with trailheads at various points of the property. I found the 'Overlook Trail' to be probably the best one, as it goes into the 'mountains' and leads you to a nice overlook point from which you can see the whole ranch site. Hikes max out to about 2-3km.
Otherwise, you can enjoy the grass and the picknick area for a relaxing afternoon
And have a look at their event calendar. They have various interesting events scheduled throughout the year.
Overall it is a great place to relax in a beautiful landscape with the close-by surrounding hills.
The entrance fee of $10 is higher than e.g. the one for the Floyd Lamb Park. You might want to consider at least a 1/2 day stay.
If feasible, try to avoid this park during the weekends as it can get a bit crowded as families love to come together for gatherings because of the large green and picnic benches.
Type of activities
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