Saturday, April 18, 2009

There are two other BLM areas along the western shores of Walker Lake in addition to 20-Mile Beach where we're currently camped. Since we've never been to either area, we decided to check them out today, in part to report any necessary updates to our Day's End listings from the Escapees RV Club.

The closest area to us, Tamarack Point, looks like it might have been a *regular* campground at one time since there are dedicated back-in spots (compared with the dispersed camping at 20-Mile Beach). The Day's End listing says that there are covered tables at this spot, and perhaps at one time there were, but they are no longer here. This is a free area, too.

The next spot, Sportsman's Beach, is a fee area: $6 per day for the developed sites and $4 per day for the primitive sites (half-price for Golden Age/Access passes or their current replacements, the Senior and Access passes). There are also weekly fees of $36 and $22 respectively (again, half-price for holders of the federal Senior/Access passes). The Day's End listing says there is water here, so we brought our water jugs with us to fill up. However, after driving through the entire campground, including down to the boat launch area, we found only one water spigot, and it had a large warning sign on it: "Not for human consumption"

We knew that Walker Lake was low, but we didn't realize how low it was until visiting Sportsman's Beach. Just past the upper campground, there was a sign that said "Lake level in 1882." As we continued following the road down to the lower campground, we came across other signs showing the lake level at various time periods. According to the above website, the lake level has receded as much as 160', or 7 miles since 1882. The Walker Lake Working Group is trying to reverse this trend, but so far, have been unsuccessful. It would be a shame if Walker Lake is allowed to go dry because of the diversion of water coming into the lake for other purposes.


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