Cathedral Gorge State Park shows off its alluvial shelves
The Las Vegas Strip radiating with excitement at night
Canoeing across Lake Tahoe’s crystal-clear waters
The scenic byway through Valley of Fire State Park
The sky ablaze over Spencer Hot Springs
Rugged rafting at Reno’s Annual River Fest
Massive Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park
Winding Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway
Spotlight on the star-studded sky in Great Basin National Park
Jarbidge’s Wild West setting
- The Silver State
From canyons to entertainment, it’s a sure thing
Road trips are the heart of the Nevada experience. Drive along U.S. Highway 50 (known as the Loneliest Highway) to pass over awe-inspiring mountain ranges while taking in spectacular sights, including Great Basin National Park. Although the highway is pretty empty, make sure to stop by historic mining towns and the ruins of Fort Churchill. Find an 1860s-era U.S. Army base and water activities at Lake Lahontan. On your way to Las Vegas, take U.S. Highway 95 South and stay the night in Tonopah, known for having some of the darkest night skies in the world. For classic roadside photo opportunities, visit the International Car Forest in Goldfield then travel down to Rhyolite, which is just outside the city of Beatty.
Cowboy Culture and Pioneer Adventure
Old West hospitality reigns in Elko, home of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and J.M. Capriola Co., original makers of Garcia Bits and Spurs and other fine products of the Old West. Visit the California Trail Interpretive Center to experience the struggles endured by the pioneers. Take a free tour of an area gold mine, or a scenic drive up to Lamoille Canyon, where you can fish, hike and mountain bike. Or, get really daring with a Heli skiing excursion down the Ruby Mountains. For more Wild West nostalgia, make sure to include a visit to Virginia City, known as the home of the Comstock Lode and one of the largest mining camps west of Denver. Today, its trusty wooden sidewalks carry visitors who come to see this real-life bonanza.
Dramatic Natural Beauty
Nevada is the most mountainous state in the contiguous USA, so before you head to the bright lights of Las Vegas, explore the outdoors. Visit nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for hiking, biking and climbing adventures (follow that with a much-needed spa treatment at the Red Rock Resort). There are incredible sandstone formations at Valley of Fire State Park, zip lining in Boulder City and year-round golf courses across the state. Drive to Laughlin in the Colorado River Valley for a variety of outdoor activities.
After a visit to Lake Tahoe, the nation’s largest alpine lake, head to Carson City, a frontier town edged by the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Backcountry enthusiasts and mountain bikers can take on historic flume trails dating to the 1850s. Visit the nearby Stewart Indian School to learn about Native Americans and indigenous traditions. Next, head to the Biggest Little City, Reno, for daytime rafting down the Truckee River. Explore the foodie culture Midtown has to offer and then head downtown for exciting nightlife. Get to know the audacious city of Las Vegas with a walk down The Strip, taking in historic casinos, sprawling hotels, brilliant signage and dancing fountains before diving into the scene.