NOTICE: Cave Lake boat launch only open to non-motorized watercraft. Read More
UPDATE: Cave Lake has re-opened following installation of safety measures. The lake is accessible to non-motorized watercraft only, via a designated single entry point. The shoreline of Cave Lake is closed to lake access.
Ely, NV- In October 2019, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), in coordination with the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) and the Nevada Division of State Parks (NDSP), commenced a rehabilitation project to restore and repair the Cave Creek Dam, located within Cave Lake State Park. Following the lake drawdown, project engineers discovered unstable and potentially dangerous conditions at Cave Lake, including deep mud along the shoreline as well as a small whirlpool. To help address these issues and protect visitors, a new entry point has been installed near the boat dock and a safety barricade surrounds the whirlpool.
Visitors to Cave Lake State Park may now resume access to the lake and enjoy an abundance of activities, including ice fishing during winter months and kayaking and swimming in the summer. The public is advised to only access the lake via the newly installed entry point and to stay off the shoreline, as unsafe muddy conditions may persist. The boat dock will remain closed for the duration of the project.
The Cave Creek Dam restoration project is anticipated to be complete in four to five years, depending on weather conditions, funding, and other factors. Status updates and other pertinent information surrounding Cave Lake State Park are available online at parks.nv.gov/cavelake.
“The Nevada Department of Wildlife, together with our partners, is committed to ensuring all Nevadans and visitors can continue to enjoy the myriad recreational opportunities and natural splendor that Cave Lake State Park has to offer,” said NDOW Chief Engineer Rodd Lighthouse. “We appreciate your understanding as we complete these critical safety projects at Cave Lake to help ensure safe, memorable, and amazing recreational experiences for all.”
Originally constructed in 1932, Cave Creek Dam’s aging infrastructure, coupled with findings from a recent engineering assessment, indicate that the dam needs repair and improvements to help accommodate extreme weather and storm events. The Cave Creek Dam rehabilitation project includes enhancing the overall stability of the dam with an expanded spillway, increased stormwater storage capacity, advanced technology, and other necessary long-term improvements.