Black Rock NCA Cabins

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Black Rock NCA Cabins

Soldier Meadow BLM Cabin

Best Kept Secret of the BRD. Looking for the opportunity to camp in the BRD but don’t have a lot of camping gear?  Check out one the best kept secrets of the BRD.  Camp in one of three cabins on BLM property at Soldier Meadows, Stevens Camp, and Massacre Ranch.  All three have cabins available to the public free of charge on a first come first serve basis.  Some are equipped with bunks, cooking stoves, tables and benches, and vault toilets. This page will be developed with more information soon.

Massacre Ranch

Here is a link to Massacre Ranch with some info on the cabin:

In the 1930s, several newspaper accounts referred to a massacre along the Applegate Trail north and west of the Black Rock Desert. These reports went into lurid detail to describe an attack that took place in 1850. According to these accounts, Indians killed 40 emigrant men and buried them in a common unmarked grave. The published stories describing this “massacre” had no substantiating evidence, just the legend passed on from one writer to the next. In 1977, an article by Thomas Layton in the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly convincingly disproved any emigrant “massacre” of such a magnitude occurred in 1850 or any other year in this part of northwestern Nevada. Although the name “Massacre Valley” does show up in History of Nevada published in 1881, none of the emigrant diary accounts of the Applegate Trail from that period mention either a large-scale Indian attack or any emigrant deaths of this number. If a massacre of this magnitude had occurred, it would have been sensational enough to be reported and recorded. Large-scale attacks on emigrant trains were not characteristic of Indian warfare in this region. Marauding Indian bands such as one led by Black Rock Tom did attack isolated prospectors, ranchers, and stage stations in the 1860s, but nothing like the “massacre” attributed to 1850.

The article in the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly suggests that perhaps two large piles of rocks near the Massacre Ranch buildings could have some bearing on the creation of this tale. Layton surmises that perhaps the rocks were placed there to mark a cache of belongings left behind by emigrants who could no longer carry them and hoped to return. Such behavior was not unusual for distraught and over loaded emigrants. The theory is that people came along later and seeing the rock piles assumed that they must mark the location of a burial site. More recently, military historian Mike Bilbo has suggested that the rocks were a foundation for military tents. There was a temporary U.S. military supply encampment called Camp Black that was known to be in the area around 1865 supporting troops on Indian campaigns. Fort McGarry and Soldier Meadows Ranch (an outlying picket post of Fort McGarry) were 1st Regiment, U.S. Cavalry during the Civil War. In the time since, a person is reported to have found 1st Regiment Cavalry insignia and a 1st Cavalry-marked rosette from bridle at the site.

Steven’s Camp

Here is a link to Steven’s Camp with some info on the cabin:

Soldier Meadows

Travel Nevada website:
A short video:

More Information

Here is link to the Black Rock NCA that mentions there are cabins at Steven’s, Massacre, and Soldier Meadows:

Here is an interactive map that helps show more of the area: