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Nevada’s state parks to waive entrance fees Saturday

A northwestern Nye County landmark is one of 23 state parks which will be featured this Saturday, June 13, during “Discover Nevada State Parks Day.”

The observance is sponsored by the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (Division of State Parks) and will be marked by free one-day admissions to parks throughout the state. Additionally, participants may avail themselves of free fishing (no license required).

“This statewide event encourages Nevadans to explore the many exciting and affordable recreation opportunities right in their own backyards.

“Nevada’s 23 state parks offer a great diversity of outdoor opportunities,” said state parks administrator Eric Johnson. “For example, visitors can explore the slot canyons of Cathedral Gorge, tour a genuine ghost town at Berlin-Ichthyosaur or spend a relaxing afternoon fishing at South Fork.”

Discover Nevada State Parks Day is also an opportunity for visitors to take the passport challenge and add a stamp to their passport booklet or, if they do not have one yet, to pick one up while visiting a state park.

Once visitors have their passports stamped at 15 different parks, they earn a free annual pass to all state parks.

For more information on the passport booklet, you can visit www.parks.nv.gov. Additional information also is available by contacting Jenny Ramella at 1-775-684-2704 or by visiting jramella@dcnr.nv.gov.

The Nye County park features Berlin, a turn-of-the-century mining town which is “preserved in a state of arrested decay,” according to the state web site.

“A trail through the town site tells the story of Berlin and its mine.

“Ichthyosaurs (pronounced ick-thee-o-sores) were ancient marine reptiles that swam in a warm ocean covering central Nevada 225 million years ago. Remains of these giant marine vertebrates are on display at the park’s fossil house and these official state fossils are a primary attraction for visitors from throughout the world,” according to the state.

The park is east of Gabbs via State Route 844. The current drought forced the state to issue a warning about the park earlier this spring:

“Due to a rapidly dropping water table, at this time there is no water available at Berlin- Ichthyosaur State Park. This is a division priority and we are working to resolve the situation.”

The site was established as a state park by the 1957 Legislature “to protect and display North America’s most abundant concentration and largest known Ichthyosaur fossils. It also preserves the turn-of-the-20th-century mining town of Berlin as well as the Diana Mine.”

The park’s usual entrance fee is $7 per vehicle, $17 for camping or $65 per vehicle annually.

Closer to Pahrump is the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park near Blue Diamond in Clark County.

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