From canyons to entertainment, it’s a sure thing
A spirit of discovery runs deep in Nevada. Across the state's adventure-packed northwest, to the metropolitan desert of Las Vegas, unlimited experiences are waiting for you to discover, explore and conquer. Whether it’s traversing vast expanses of wide-open spaces or joining in something a little more communal like music and art festivals, Nevada’s landscape and culture are tailor-made for cowboys, visionaries, dreamers and doers.
Road trips are the heart of the Nevada experience. Drive along U.S. Highway 50 (known as the Loneliest Road in America) to pass over awe-inspiring mountain ranges while taking in spectacular sights, including Great Basin National Park. Make sure to stop by historic mining towns and the ruins of Fort Churchill. Find water activities at Lake Lahontan, Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake. 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 USA. 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. For an extraterrestrial quest, take a detour on State Route 375 and visit the Little A’Le’Inn, where all creatures are welcomed.
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 learn 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 by heli skiing in 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 a fabulous Las Vegas spa). 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. Backcountry enthusiasts and mountain bikers can take on challenging 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 in the World", 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.