The state of Nevada is located in the west of the United States of America. On the list of the largest states, Nevada ranks seventh. It joined the United States in 1864. The capital of Nevada is Carson City, which is located near the border with California. Large parts of Nevada are restricted military areas and not open to the public.
The state consists mostly of desert and steppe-like landscapes. In the northwest, however, one can already speak of an alpine landscape. Most of the state is rather sparsely populated. Nevada is considered one of the states with the largest gold deposits. The precious metal silver is also found there in abundance, not for nothing does Nevada bear the epithet “Silver-State”. Many cities look back on a history during the great gold rush. In the following we present you the 16 best places to visit in Nevada.
16. Las Vegas
The city of sins and rampant consumption of alcohol and many other intoxicating substances. Las Vegas has been a magnet for glittering personalities and people in search of great fortune since its inception. For precisely these fortune hunters, Las Vegas can boast a very high density of casinos. Numerous top class hotels and magnificent casinos adorn the streets. Along Las Vegas Boulevard, also called “The Strip”, numerous attractions can be marveled at over a total length of 6 kilometers.
Especially famous are the fountains in front of the Bellagio, which have already appeared in numerous movies and music videos. Las Vegas always tries to decorate itself a little with the fame and attractions of other cities. Thus, a 165-meter-high duplicate of the Eiffel Tower is also located in Las Vegas, and the Grand Canal Shops are modeled after the Italian city of Venice.
15. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is located exactly on the border between the two states of Nevada and California. The lake has an area of almost 500 square kilometers and is artificially dammed by a dam wall to ensure the region’s water supply. It is ideal as a recreational area and offers enough scenery to take long hikes. Similar to Loch Ness, there is a legend about a lake monster.
This sea monster is called Tessie. The lake has also been featured in numerous movies and series. For example, the series Bonanza was filmed in the region of the lake. Lake Tahoe is also considered an excellent body of water for fishing. Numerous companies around the lake offer guided fishing trips.
14. Valley of Fire State Park
Just about 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas is Valley of Fire State Park, which takes at least half a day to visit. It takes about 45 minutes by car. Nestled in gray limestone in the foothills of the muddy mountains, the fire of this preserve “burns” in its rocks. The shape and color of the rocks changes to red, pink, ocher, scarlet, yellow, white, etc. in daylight. There are stone dunes, weathered sandstone sculptures, rock domes and bridges, and petrified tree trunks.
Unlike red rock canyons formed by crustal fractures, the namesake red sandstone of the Valley of Fire was formed by large sand dunes during the Jurassic period. Elevations and folds, along with millions of years of erosion, eventually formed the valley, which is 6 miles long and 4 miles wide.
Reno doesn’t call itself the “greatest little city in the world” for nothing. A wide range of indoor and outdoor recreational activities provide long-lasting employment for young and old. In the evening, after an adventure on the ski slopes or on one of the 50 golf courses, Western-style salons, various bars or dance clubs where you can shake your hips to Latin American rhythms will entice you, depending on your taste. Shopping opportunities range from special offers in the numerous outlets to The Summit, an open-air plaza that combines shopping with lifestyle.
Whether you want to explore downtown’s cultural and nightlife districts or try a rafting trip on the Truckee River, there’s a lot of fun to be had in Reno and the immediate area. If you’re done with the attractions in the city or generally prefer to spend time in nature, a hike in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains is a great option. The highest peak, Peavine Peak at 1158 meters, can be conquered on foot or by bicycle.
12. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located on the border between Arizona and Nevada. It is an extremely popular and widely known national recreation area. This is due to the area’s diverse landscape of canyons, valleys, mountains, and lakes that provide nature lovers with a year-round playground. Lake Mead is also the place to see Hoover Dam and find your own retreat off the beaten path in a remote wilderness area.
Among the main activities of vacationers at Lake Mead are boating and water sports. Because of the large area, this can be done without much trouble. Those who like it a bit more sporty can combine the urge for physical activity with boating and explore the lake with a canoe. The small boats can be used to explore parts of the lake that are not accessible with larger boats.
11. Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is located about 30 km west of Las Vegas and is worth a day trip. The area is perfect for hiking and offers some very impressive views.
The most comfortable way to explore the area is the Scenic Drive, which is about 21 km long. It can be driven by car and leads across the area. It connects several viewpoints where you can see the red rocks and the different rock layers. The Scenic Drive passes several picnic benches and parking areas. So it is always possible to stop and explore the nature on foot.
For all hiking enthusiasts, there are twenty different trails that lead through the park on different routes. They have a length of 4-15 km and lead in places through quite challenging terrain. Before you start, you should inform yourself about the trails and always pack enough water.
10. Virginia City
Virginia City is an old mining town that once enjoyed immense wealth. Located less than 20 km from Carson City, it is an ideal day trip destination. Entering the city today, there is not much left to indicate its former wealth. The landscape around the city seems barren and dry. Nevertheless, Virginia City manages to attract a large number of nostalgic people on the trail of the gold miners every year.
From time to time, the nostalgic museum train of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company runs from Virginia City to Carson City. So the city has something to offer for all fans of old railroads. Otherwise, the town can only be reached by very narrow and narrow winding mountain roads.
9. Great Basin National Park
The national park is one of the younger among the parks in the United States of America. The park was established in 1986 and attracts an average of up to 100,000 visitors per year. Through the research of a student, it was discovered that there are pine trees on the grounds of the park that are up to 4000 years old. This fact is now cited as the main reason for the establishment of the national park.
The park is located in a depression that extends from the Sierra Nevada to the Rocky Mountains. In the extensive area with a surface of 316 square kilometers, many different landscape forms and rock formations can be discovered. The park also boasts a variety of wildlife and isolated and hidden stalactite caves.
8. Carson City
The capital is located in the far west of the state and near the border with California. It is thus about 350 km from the metropolis of San Francisco. The city is located in a rugged and rather inhospitable landscape and is supplied with water by the Carson River. It is said that the best way to explore Carson City and the nearby surroundings is by bicycle. Numerous trails and bike paths invite visitors to take short or long tours around the city.
In order to show visitors as many important and historical points of the city as possible, the “Blue Line Trail” was created, connecting 60 historically significant points in the city. For all visitors who enjoy hiking, a stop at Carson Hot Springs is a must. Here, water gushes out of the ground around the clock. The temperature is a constant 49.4 degrees.
7. Black Rock Desert
At the site of the Black Rock Desert there was a salt lake, Lake Lahontan, thousands of years ago. This dried up over time, leaving behind a salt clay desert with an area of about 30,000 square kilometers. The desert forms an almost perfect plain and is therefore used for various motor sport events. Due to the almost endless and straight surface, the Black Rock Desert has already been the scene of numerous high-speed tests. For example, the world speed record for land vehicles was set here.
The turbine-equipped vehicle reached an incredible speed of 966 km/h in 1997. Furthermore, the Black Rock Desert is the venue for the Burning Man Festival every year. Up to 80,000 people gather in the desert and party to the music. Many arrive with campers and there is a huge campground around the festival area. The highlight is the burning of a huge wooden figure, the Burnung Man.
6. Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is located on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It dams the Colorado River, forming Lake Mead. Without the Hoover Dam and the water supply it secured, the city of Las Vegas could never have developed into the dazzling metropolis it is today. Construction of the gigantic structure began in 1931 and lasted 4 years. Until the construction of a larger dam in Italy, the Hoover Dam was the largest dam in the world.
The construction is said to have cost about 49 million dollars at that time, the costs for the maintenance and repair of the gigantic structure may have already increased this sum significantly. In addition to securing the water supply, the dam also ensures the power supply. The 17 turbines provide an output of 130 megawatts each.
5. Lamoille Canyon
Lamoille Canyon is located in northwestern Nevada. The valley is located in the Ruby Mountains and is the largest valley in the area at 19 km long. Its formation is due to the movement of glaciers during the Ice Age. The valley is characterized by a green but still rather barren landscape. In winter it impresses with a great view of the snow-covered mountains.
Great photo motifs can be found in many places. On the numerous hiking trails, the valley can be roamed in search of beautiful and quiet places. The canyon begins at an altitude of 3,363 meters and then quickly drops to lower elevations.
4. Mount Charleston
Mount Charleston is actually called Charleston Peak, but is increasingly called Mount Charleston. With its 3632 meters height it is the highest mountain in the state of Nevada. The mountain is located in the Spring Mountains, which in turn are only about 50 km away from Las Vegas. So if you want to escape the heat and the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas for a day or two, a tour to the Spring Mountains is a good idea.
At Mount Charleston there is a small town of the same name, which can serve as a starting point for tours to the summit. The summit itself can be tackled without much prior knowledge and without special equipment. However, it is advisable to join a guide who is familiar with the area.
3. Massacre Rim
Nestled between the Black Rock Desert and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Massacre Rim is not only one of the darkest places in Nevada, but also in the entire United States. Its remoteness provides protection from human habitation and associated light pollution: the two largest urban areas near Massacre Rim are 150 miles south and 163 miles west. With a population of just over 800, this area has little to no impact on the night sky and offers Massacre Rim visitors the opportunity to experience truly dark skies.
2. Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake is located about 50 km northeast of Reno and is fed by Lake Tahoe via the Truckee River. The lake is about 40 km long and 20 km wide. The lake is characterized by its slightly salty water. Due to evaporation and a small supply of new fresh water, the salinity has built up over time. However, seawater is six times saltier than the water of Pyramid Lake.
175 meters off the eastern shore of the lake is the island “The Pyramid” which is connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island is not very large and can be easily circumnavigated on foot. It also provides an excellent backdrop for photo shoots.
1. Fly Geyser
This magical geyser on the edge of the Black Rock Desert was actually created by humans – though not intentionally. There are two geysers in the Fly Ranch area. One first appeared about 100 years ago when parts of the desert were being turned into farmland. A hole was drilled and suddenly boiling hot water (200°C) bubbled out. Of course, such hot water cannot be used for irrigation purposes. So the geyser was left to itself and formed a 3 to 4 meter high cone of calcium carbonate.
The second geyser, Fly Geyser, has grown enormously in the last 40 years. This is due to deposits of minerals in the hot water on the dry surfaces. Because there are several geyser wells, the cone of the geyser is smaller than the first. But the ever growing hill looks like from another world. The geyser is surrounded by algae, which give it an iridescent and fascinating color.