State Tourism Site: www.travelnevada.com
State Home Page: www.state.nv.us
National Park Service http://www.nps.gov/parks.html
California National Historic Trail, Great Basin National Park, Lake Mead
National Recreation Area, Pony Express National Historic Trail
Nevada State Parks http://state.nv.us/stparks
Beaver Dam, Berlin Ichthyosaur, Cathedral Gorge, Cave Lake, Dayton, Echo
Canyon, Floyd Lamb, Fort Churchill Historic, Kershaw-Ryan, Lahontan
Recreation Area, Lake Tahoe, Rye Patch Recreation Area, South Fork
Recreation Area, Spring Mountain Ranch, Spring Valley, Valley of Fire,
Ward Charcoal Ovens Historic, Washoe Lake, Wild Horse Recreation
Desert USA www.desertusa.com/placestogo/du_nevada.html
A comprehensive listing of desert attractions and information including
site links, feature articles, maps, flora and fauna.
Forest Service http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml#nevada
USDA site for National Forests: Humbolt-Toiyabe
GORP (Great Outdoor Recreation
Dedicated to adventure travel and outdoor recreation, offers information
about the best outdoor experiences available in Nevada.
NHS Nevada History on the WWW http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/museums/reno/histweb.htm
Nevada Historical Society page includes links to museums, historic
sites, Native American culture, ghost towns, railroad information and
Recreation opportunities on Federal lands
Tahoe Information www.tahoesbest.com
Comprehensive information on Tahoe area events, activities, news,
weddings and more.
Austin Legend has it that silver was
discovered in this 19th-century mining town when a pony express horse
kicked aside a rock that was blocking the entrance to a silver-laden
cave. Once a thriving mining camp, the town boasts many unique historic
buildings such as the 1897 Stokes Castle, a stone three-story home
resembling a Roman tower. Of interest are the 3 churches erected in 1866
and 1878. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the rugged landscape is popular
with mountain bikers and hikers.
Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area East
of town at 6,500 feet, prehistoric petroglyphs can be seen on a winding
self-guided interpretive trail. Historic trails include the Pony Express
and Overland Stage routes. Limitless hiking and wildlife viewing are
Battle Mountain Named for an 1857
Indian raid against pioneers, this area became a supply point for nearby
mining communities in the 1870's. It is minutes from golf, skiing and
Mill Creek Recreation Area A
Civilian Conservation Corps work camp in the 1930's, the site now offers
picnicking, fishing and wildlife watching. Bird watching is also
popular, with great horned owl, woodpeckers, swallows, hummingbirds and
various species of hawks among local bird life.
Beatty This picturesque desert town at 3,300 feet lies in the Amargosa River
Valley surrounded by the peaks of Sawtooth Mountain, Bare Mountain and
the Bullfrog Hills. Founded in 1900 by the Bullfrog Mining Company as a
railroad center, it is the town nearest Death Valley National Park, 15
miles away. Area attractions include natural hot springs, and the
Amargosa Dunes southwest of town where the river once flowed, which are
available for hiking, picnicking and ATV or dune buggy driving.
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Alkaline desert and spring-fed wetlands provide habitat for 24 species
of animals and plants found nowhere else on Earth. A rare Southwest
desert oases, the valley is scattered with wetlands and stream channels,
while sand dunes appear in parts of the refuge.
Beatty Museum and Historical Society
and changing exhibits focus on the mining boom of the 1900's and its
impact on modern culture.
Death Valley National Park Named by
miners who crossed during the 1849 gold rush, more than 3.3 million
acres of undisturbed wilderness offers rare desert wildlife, spectacular
scenery, sites of cultural and historic interest, and complex geology.
The lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is Badwater, at -282 feet,
and almost 550 square miles of the park lie below sea level.
Ecologically representative of the Mojave Desert, it contains numerous
mountains such as the 11,000-foot Telescope Peak. The Furnace Creek
Visitor Center houses exhibits, ranger guided hikes and programs are
available in peak season, and the annual Death Valley 49er's encampment
each November draws thousands of campers for backcountry tours, art
shows and square dances.
Rhyolite Historic Area South of
town, these ghost town ruins were once a booming mining town.. Of
interest is the "bottle house", built to withstand the
surrounding desert wind, constructed by a miner using 50,000 beer and
liquor bottles. Also intact are the mission-style railroad station and
the Cook Bank, the West's most photographed ghost town building.
Visitors enjoy hiking and picnicking.
Blue Diamond Established in the
1940s by a gypsum producing company, this village now lies just inside
the southern entrance to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, one
of the most beautiful areas in the state. An ideal destination for
hiking, climbing, rock hounding or enjoying wildlife such as wild
burros, bighorn sheep and wild horses.
Red Rock Canyon www.redrock.org
Experience the wonders of the Mohave Desert from blooming wildflowers
and Joshua trees to red- and cream-colored sandstone cliffs. Over 600
species of plants live in the canyon, along with a variety of wildlife.
A world-class rock climbing destination, visitors also enjoy hiking
across fossilized sand dunes, a visitor center and a 13-mile scenic loop
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Within the conservation area, the many mountain springs drew Paiute
Indians and mountain men here to the foot of the majestic Wilson Cliffs.
The 520-acre site was developed into a working and historic ranch,
offering guided tours of the ranch house and other historic buildings.
Also available are a visitor center, scenic hiking trails, a picnic area
Boulder City www.bouldercitychamber.com
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this town was built
to provide housing for thousands of Hoover Dam construction workers. It
is an unexpected oasis with quaint restaurants, golf, boutique shopping,
and Lake Mead a few minutes away (see Lake Mead below for information on
the Hoover Dam). Paddle wheel cruises, sky diving, Colorado River raft
trips, and scenic flights over the Grand Canyon are available. The
well-preserved historic district provides a glance into the 1930's, such
as the Boulder Dam Hotel, once a favorite of celebrities and royalty.
The 5.5-mile River Mountain Hiking Trail is popular.
Caliente Taking its name from area
hot springs, this city is known for the outdoor recreation in several
nearby state parks including Beaver Dam, Echo Canyon, Cathedral Gorge
and Spring Valley. The famed "Robbers Roost" hideout of Butch
Cassidy, it was a favorite spot of western author Zane Grey. The heart
of town is the 1923 mission-style railroad depot, which now houses an
art gallery. Attractions include fishing and hunting, Caliente Scenic
Drive, golf, a stable, rodeo grounds, and the Railroad Boxcar
Beaver Dam State Park At 5,000 feet,
this park is popular with outdoors enthusiasts who enjoy the primitive
landscape and exceptional scenery of deep canyons, meandering streams
and juniper forests. Activities include fishing and a picnic ground at
the trailhead to the small Schroeder Reservoir. Four developed trails
offer lake views and creek-side hiking. Common wildlife includes deer,
rabbits, a variety of birds, and beavers who build dams along the
Delmar Ghost Town After producing over 8.5 million dollars in gold, this mining town's boom ended when the town was destroyed by fire. Ruins include the mill, a cemetery and partially standing stone buildings.
Kershaw-Ryan State Park Situated in the colorful northern end of Rainbow Canyon, a lush spring-fed pond contrasts with the rugged, towering canyon walls which surround it. Visitors enjoy picnicking, photography, and hiking the backcountry on 3 developed trails.
Carson City www.carson-city.org
This historic frontier town and state capital was founded in 1858 and named for Kit Carson. Surrounded by rugged High Sierra beauty, it offers a wide variety of recreation, historical landmarks and wonderful views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Activities include a Children's Museum, hiking, biking, 6 casinos, 9 championship golf courses, and world-class skiing at alpine and cross-country ski resorts. A marked walking tour along the Kit Carson Trail highlights historical homes and the capitol grounds. Nearby Spooner Lake with an encircling interpretive path is home to bald eagles and osprey popular with bird watchers. Hot air ballooning, hang gliding and guided wilderness horseback riding tours are available.
Nevada State Railroad Museum www.nsrm-friends.org
Featuring over 60 pieces of restored railroad equipment, activities include hand-car races, operation of historic equipment, changing exhibits and a variety of railroad rides.
Nevada State Museum This 1866 building housed the U.S. Mint from 1870-1893, producing over $50 million in gold and silver coins. Exhibits include a gun collection, an Earth Science Gallery, replicas of a ghost town and underground silver mine, an operating coin press and coin collection, and one of the largest mammoths unearthed in North America.
Stewart Indian Museum Displays include American Indian arrowheads, basketry, pottery and artifacts along with a collection of E. S. Curtis photography. Arts and crafts are available in the Trading Post.
Washoe Lake State Park Once home to the Washoe Indian tribe, this 8,000-acre park at 5,000 feet provides spectacular views of the Carson and Sierra Nevada Ranges, plus activities including boating and water sports, hiking and mountain biking trails, equestrian areas, picnicking and camping. The wetlands provide refuge for thousands of waterfowl and migratory birds, and the park is home to such wildlife as coyote, deer, eagles, hawks and pelicans.
With the discovery of gold in the mid-1800's, this high-desert town became the earliest settlement in the state. Old Dayton retains its quaint mining town atmosphere, with hundred year old buildings. The Carson River meanders slowly through downtown, providing recreation and a wildlife habitat. Lahontan Reservoir offers water sports, historic Virginia City is 7 miles away, and world-class skiing at Lake Tahoe and Reno gambling are nearby. Attractions include a golf course, stables, and the annual Pro Rodeo and Dayton Valley Balloon Fiesta.
Dayton Historic Society Museum Housed in an 1865 schoolhouse, exhibits include photographs and artifacts depicting Dayton's history.
Dayton State Park Bird watching, picnicking, horseback riding and fishing are favorite pass times at this 160-acre park on the Carson River. Developed hiking trails traverse the river banks and the remnants of the 1861 Rock Point Mill, which processed Virginia City silver ore.
Vernon Wood Museum of Art This prolific painter produced a variety of artistic styles from abstract geometric to traditional landscape, and holds the patent for the process that creates collectible porcelain plates. His works were presented as gifts to Richard Nixon and Jackie Kennedy, and are sold in galleries and gift shops around the world.
Established in 1869, the heart of Nevada's cattle country offers a wealth of sightseeing and scenic wilderness areas. Attractions include horseback and trail riding, fishing and hunting, a stock-car racetrack, hiking, golf, and tours of two of the world's largest gold mines. The Western Folklife Center in the historic Pioneer Hotel is the site of year-round activities including the annual Cowboy' Poetry Gathering with cowboy music, dancing and storytelling.
Ruby Mountains Wildlife photography is popular with elk, big horn sheep and deer as well as waterfowl, cranes and falcons common on the mountain ridges, reservoirs and meadows. Snow Bowl and other recreation areas offer downhill and cross-country skiing and snow-mobiling. Over a hundred miles of hiking trails are available. Lamoille Canyon Scenic Area, a 12-mile-long National Scenic Byway, offers a self-guided tour through glacier-carved walls, wildflower meadows and waterfall streams. It winds around the foot of 11,250-foot Ruby Dome and ends at 8,800 feet where hikers find the very popular Ruby Crest Trailhead.
Northeastern Nevada Museum www.nenv-museum.org
Exhibits depict area mining, railroad, American Indian and ranching heritage. There are displays on wildlife, an antique gun collection, photograph library, western art and saddle exhibits, baskets and beadwork, and fossils of a 2-million-year-old Mastodon unearthed in nearby Spring Creek.
South Fork Recreation Area This 1,650-acre reservoir surrounded by 2,200 acres of wildlife habitat is a favorite among fishermen, picnickers and water sports enthusiasts.
Founded as a sliver mining camp in 1868, this is a hub for exploring area recreation and historic areas including several nearby ghost towns. Fishing and hunting are popular in the surrounding mountain ranges, the garnet-studded peak of Garnet Hill draws rock hounds, water sports are available at the Illipah Reservoir and the spectacular limestone Lehman Caves lie at the foot of nearby Wheeler Peak. The largest herd of elk in the state can be seen feeding in spring and fall, and other area wildlife includes golden eagles and jackrabbits.
Nevada Northern Railway Museum www.nevadanorthernrailway.net
Exhibits include a restored depot housing a small museum, a roundhouse, locomotives and cars. A 1.5-hour Ghost Train trip in early 1900's locomotives travels 14 miles into a narrow mountain canyon.
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park The six 30-foot-high beehive-shaped ovens here provided charcoal for mining operations in nearby Ward in the late 19th century. Features include spring-fed Willow Creek fish, lush riparian areas and spectacular vistas of the Steptoe Valley.
White Pine County Museum Exhibits include gems and minerals, American Indian artifacts, Pony Express memorabilia and pioneer articles. A collection of 700 dolls is featured in a rotating display.
Eureka Many of the original buildings of this well-preserved 1864 mining town still stand. Some have been carefully restored; notably the Eureka Courthouse and Eureka Opera House, both built in 1880. The Eureka Sentinel Museum, which housed the newspaper from 1870 to 1960, offers exhibits including press equipment and items relating to local history.
Fallon The 1914 completion of the Lahontan Dam provided irrigation that transformed this area from barren desert into a prosperous livestock and farming district, It is also the site of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, commonly known as "Top Gun". East of town are the Sand Springs Pony Express Station and the "singing" Sand Mountains, which create a low moan when the sands shift. Highway 50, the route of the Pony Express, runs through town.
Churchill County Museum This extensive collection of Western Americana focuses on area history with artifacts pertaining to Native Americans, pioneers and the Pony Express. A collection of 40,000 photographs is available for viewing and most are available for sale.
Grimes Point/Hidden Cave Archaeological Site
First inhabited by Native Americans over 8,000 years ago, petrogylphs and a storage cave holding ancient tools and artifacts can be viewed on a self-guided interpretive trail.
Fallon National Wildlife Refuge At the terminus of the Carson River, over 15,000 acres of wetland and playa provide breeding grounds and refuge for wild animals, waterfowl and migratory birds.
Lahontan State Recreation Area Built on the Carson River in 1915, this reservoir feeds the Stillwater Wildlife Management area and other riparian habitats, popular with bird watchers. Other activities include boating, picnicking, fishing and water sports. Ancient volcanic rock and native cottonwoods and willows provide a refuge to wild horses, deer, bobcat and fox.
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge This wetland complex in the dry, high desert provides a critical respite for over 250,000 migrating waterfowl. The diverse habitat also provides a year-round refuge for pelicans, egrets, hawks, herons and the state's only known nesting bald eagles.
Gabbs Guided tours of this turn-of-the-century mining camp and it's historic buildings, preserved in a condition of "arrested decay", are available in the summer.
Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park At 7,000 feet on the slope of the Shoshone mountain range, the most abundant concentration of Ichthyosaur fossils is preserved here. The giant, carnivorous marine reptiles, some over 60 feet long, flourished 225 million years ago when central Nevada was covered by a warm ocean. Fossils are displayed in the Fossil House, which draws worldwide visitors who can view the actual excavation. The 19th-century silver-mining ghost town of Berlin and the Diana Mine, on the National Register of Historic Places, is also preserved. An interpretive trail and mine tours highlight area history. Activities include picnicking, a nature trail and hiking.
Genoa Founded by a follower of Brigham Young in 1849, this rural town lies in the picturesque Carson Valley along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Area activities include golf, outstanding fishing, skiing, hiking and rock climbing, river rafting and hot air ballooning.
Mormon Station State Historic Park An 1851 trading post and log stockade have been restored and a museum offers state history exhibits and pioneer artifacts. Picnic areas are available.
Hawthorne An ideal stopping point between Reno and Las Vegas, this town is home to one of the state's most picturesque golf courses and near to Mono Lake and several historic ghost towns.
Mineral County Museum Special collections include early 1800's mission bells found buried in the ground southeast of town, a turn-of-the-century pharmacy, railroad and mining equipment, Victorian furniture and clothing, fire-fighting equipment, and mineral, fossil and wildlife displays.
Walker Lake State Recreation Area At the base of Mt. Grant, this 38,000-acre natural lake is a remnant of an ancient inland sea. With a shoreline that varies from sandy beaches to steep rocky slopes, it offers habitat to migratory birds and endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout. Visitors enjoy boating, swimming, picnicking and fishing.
In the southern tip of the state, this desert city was established with the opening of a magnesium plant used to supply minerals to the U.S. War Department for use in munitions and airplane parts. It is seven miles from the glitter of the famed Las Vegas strip and just a mile from water sports at beautiful Lake Mead. It is also known for its outstanding cultural arts such as symphony and theater, and recreation facilities including gaming casinos, championship golf courses, major shopping malls and numerous walking and biking trails.
Clark County Heritage Museum The highlight exhibit is a 12,000-year timeline of the area spanning from prehistoric times to the end of the 20th century. Other exhibits feature gaming and mining photographs and artifacts. The outdoor Heritage Street living history area has a unique collection of restored historic houses, a 19th-centruy print shop and the 1931 train depot, complete with vintage cars.
Ethel M. Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden
Visitors get a behind-the-scenes view of candy making on a free, self-guided tour of the factory, which ends in the chocolate shop with a free sample. The beautiful 2.5-acre botanical garden features over 350 species of cactus and desert plants.
Gambling, entertainment, golf, horseback riding and Old West-style adventure await visitors at this high desert resort town on the Idaho border, whose streets are named for casinos. For rock hounds, it is a short drive to sites offering such stones as obsidian, opal, jasper and petrified wood. It is surrounded by Federal land, with opportunities for hiking, fishing, biking and breathtaking views.
Jarbidge Wilderness Area This 113,100-acre unspoiled mountain region with over 125 miles of trails is an ideal place to backpack, hike and mountain bike. Fishing and wildlife viewing are plentiful, and Jarbidge Lake and Emerald Lake are tucked away in 2 small basins.
Las Vegas www.vegas.com
Spanish for "The Meadows", a fort was built in this valley in 1855 by a Brigham Young missionary charged with teaching farming techniques to the Paiute Indians. The teachings were rejected and the fort abandoned, but later the discovery of minerals began the evolution of what is now a world-class metropolis. From the glitz and glamour of the famous "Strip" with gaming casinos, world-class entertainment and fine dining to limitless outdoor recreation at nearby Lake Mead and Red Rock National Conservation Area, Las Vegas has something for everyone. Visitors find great sport fishing and sailing, museums and art galleries, the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort, world-renowned resorts and Nellis Air Force Base, home of the mighty Thunderbirds precision flying team. Beyond the neon lights there are championship golf courses, white water rafting on the Colorado River, and hiking on Mount Charleston. Day trips include the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Hoover Dam, the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
This 5-acre indoor theme park encased in a glass dome features the Canyon Blaster, a double-corkscrew, double loop roller coaster that whips throughout the park. Attractions include virtual-reality games, laser tag and the Rim Runner white-water raft ride.
Guinness World of Records Museum www.lasvegas.com/lv/guinness
Exhibits, interactive computers and videotape presentations highlight world records and astonishing facts from the "Guinness Book of Records". Displays showcase the most tattooed lady, a collection of 2,112 air sickness bags (including one from a NASA space shuttle), a video of a Netherlands 2.3-million piece domino exhibit, and a 26,500-piece refrigerator magnet collection.
Imperial Palace Antique and Classic Auto Collection This collection of 350 rare and historic vehicles includes celebrated autos of American history and cars once owned by celebrities. From a 1933 Pierce Arrow to Elvis Presley's 1976 Cadillac, all are for sale from $20,000 to $1.5 million.
Las Vegas Art Museum Permanent and changing exhibits in this Smithsonian affiliate offer works representing ceramic and bronze sculpture, international and regional art, contemporary paintings and a growing collection of older famous artists.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway www.lvms.com
The growing sport of automobile racing draws fans to this 1,500-acre $200-million facility with 24 race tracks for events organized by NASCAR, Indy Racing League, and the American Motorcycle Association.
Las Vegas Natural History Museum www.lvnhm.org
Hands-on exhibits include walk-through dioramas, a prehistoric room with animated dinosaurs, and over 3 rooms of mounted wildlife. There is a marine room with a 3,000-gallon shark tank, and a Wild Nevada room focusing on area plant and animal life. Many children's activities are available.
Liberace Museum www.liberace.com
Highlights include 13 elaborate full-sized pianos, costume jewelry gallery, flashy costumes used by "Mr. Showmanship" and a mirrored Rolls Royce. Exhibits also include family photos and an Austrian rhinestone weighing 115,000 carats.
Lied Discovery Children's Museum www.ldcm.org
This collection of 100 hands-on exhibits teaches children about science, humanities and arts as they "work" at a radio station and a simulated mine, make homemade movies and experience gravity different from Earth's.
Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Encounter
This wax museum features such notables as Frank Sinatra and Oprah Winfrey. A behind-the-scenes exhibit shows the painstaking process by which the figures are created.
Nevada State Museum and Historical Society Nevada's colorful history is presented by permanent and changing exhibits on wildlife, geography and cultures from the Ice Age to present. A photography exhibit includes work by John Mowbray, a Nevada astronomer who captured the alignment of Jupiter and Venus above Red Rock Canyon, solar and lunar eclipses, and the Hale-Bopp comet on film.
Southern Nevada Zoological-Botanical Park www.lasvegaszoo.org
This quaint 4-acre zoo features desert plants and Western American, Asian and African animals, many endangered, including rare bamboos, scarlet-chested parrots, a Belize eyelash viper and a family of Barbary Apes. Also available are the children's petting zoo and tours to a ghost town, Area 51 and gem-collecting areas.
Star Trek: The Experience www.startrekexp.com
In the Hilton Hotel, this interactive space adventure aboard the 24th-century USS Enterprise features a memorabilia museum and simulated shuttle craft voyage complete with a battle with Klingon warships.
Stratosphere Tower www.stratospherehotel.com/las_vegas_attractions/index.html
America's tallest freestanding observation tower has a 360-degree view. The 1,149-foot tower has an indoor deck at 857 feet and an outdoor deck at 869 feet reached by elevators traveling 1,800 feet per minute, a trip lasting 30 seconds.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas www.unlv.edu
The 335-acre campus offers fine museums and galleries, concerts and sporting events. The campus has been designated an arboretum, a place set aside for the study and display of plants, including 80 acres of landscaping with 2 acres of Xeric Garden featuring arid-region plants from around the world. A self-guiding tour
and seminars are available. Marjorie Barrack Museum of Natural History
On the UNLV campus, with focus on natural history in the Mojave Desert and the Southwest, exhibits explore desert life and Western culture with live reptiles and desert tortoises, paintings and artifacts such as Navajo weaving and Mexican dance masks. The Xeric Garden is at the museum entrance.
Wet 'N Wild www.wetnwildlv.com/
This 26-acre water park features a water roller coaster, high-speed water slide, Kid's Park, wave pool and water flumes.
This gambling mecca isolated in the Mojave desert lies along the Colorado River. Founded in 1966 by Don Laughlin with the opening of the Riverside Casino, the small town has surged into a bustling resort town attracting millions of visitors each year. The casinos offer exciting gaming, top name entertainment and a variety of dining. The rugged terrain slopes to the banks of the river, where an abundance of recreation are available. Other activities include golf, hiking, the Big Bend Colorado State Recreation Area a mile away and Lake Mohave 20 miles away.
Davis Dam and Power Plant Constructed several miles upstream in Pyramid Canyon, this earth and rock structure was completed in 1953 to regulate releases from the giant Hoover Dam 67 miles further upstream. It created Lake Mohave, which provides a fish and wildlife habitat plus recreation such as a boat launch ramp, picnicking and fishing.
Grapevine Canyon Named for grape plants found in the area, the canyon was inhabited 1,500 years ago by Indians who gathered for water and meetings and who created petroglyphs, most of which remain untranslated. Reached by a gravel road, a short walk leads to the ancient rock art.
Lovelock Settled in 1871, relics of migratory prehistoric Indian tribes have been discovered in caves surrounding this mining and ranching area. A rest stop on the Overland Trail to California, notable visitors included Kit Carson and Mark Twain, and numerous ghost towns and old mining camps offer glimpses of history. The rural Old West atmosphere and wide-open spaces draw outdoor enthusiasts for rodeos, hunting, fishing and Sierra skiing. The encompassing mountains are rich with gem and mineral deposits and very popular with rock-hounders and fossil hunters.
Rye Patch Reservoir Constructed on the Humbolt River in 1936, this 11,000-acre reservoir offers a swim beach, picnicking, canoeing and kayaking, boating, water skiing and fishing.
This growing resort town in the rugged, picturesque Virgin River Valley combines small-town atmosphere with big-city attractions such as gaming casinos, golf, top-name entertainment and fine dining. A gateway to Zion, Bryce, and Arches National Parks, area attractions include horseback riding, drag racing, heated mineral pools and the Desert Valley Museum. Hiking and picnicking are available at nearby Gold Butte Back Country Byway, Cedar Pockets and Snow Canyon State Park.
Overton Founded by Mormon pioneers in the Moapa Valley, this community rich in tradition sits at the northern end of a scenic byway following the shore of Lake Mead. The Muddy and Virgin Rivers join in the Overton arm of the lake, where visitors find a marina, boat rentals and excellent fishing.
Lost City Museum of Archeology www.comnett.net/~kolson
Pueblo Grande de Nevada is an Anasazi Indian pueblo occupied from about 200 through 1150 A.D. consisting of dwellings and irrigation ditches extending 30 miles along both sides of the Muddy River. Each museum wing houses different exhibits; Anasazi artifacts, exhibits on Paiute culture, early man, and geology, temporary exhibits and an archeological site, the foundation of a Pueblo excavated around 1935.
Valley of Fire State Park his park is named for the stark beauty and red sandstone formations of the Mojave Desert, some more than 150 million years old. The petrified wood of ancient trees and 3,000-year-old petroglyphs can be found at several sites in the park, including a half-mile self-guiding trail. Several cactus species are common, resident birds include Raven, Roadrunner and Sparrow, and other desert animals are common although mostly nocturnal. Scenic Loop Road leads around interesting rock formations, and another scenic drives passes 30 miles through the park to Overton. Activities include hiking, picnicking and photography.
Pahrump Settled around 1875 by farmers, area growth began with the construction of Highway 160 to Las Vegas in 1954. With low humidity and over 200 sunny days a year, it is popular with golfers and outdoor enthusiasts. It his home to Nevada's only operating winery, five gaming casinos and hiking on nearby Mt. Charleston.
Pahrump Valley Wilderness The Pahrump, Mesquite and California Valleys join to form this wilderness area of slopes rising gradually into the Kingston Range. The rugged canyons, mountain summits and scrubby valleys offer habitat to desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and golden eagles.
Panaca Mormon settlers drawn by abundant water settled this town in 1864 as an agricultural area. Five years later, silver was discovered nearby and the town of Bullionville was born. Deserted in the 1880's, it is now a ghost town located on private property, visible from the entrance to Cathedral Gorge State Park. The Bullionville Cemetery is off the highway just outside the park.
Cathedral Gorge State Park This 1,600-acre high desert park lies at 4,800 feet in a long, narrow valley with spectacular geological formations dramatically carved in soft clay by a retreating ancient lake. Remote areas can be reached by a 4-mile loop trail and the visitor center offers interpretive displays. Miller Point Overlook has terrific views of buff-colored spires and canyons. Abundant bird life includes roadrunner, hawks, hummingbirds and migratory songbirds. Activities include hiking, photography, picnicking and ranger programs.
Pioche Considered one of the West's roughest mining camps in the 1870's, a small army of hired gunmen, imported to fight mining claim encroachments, contributed to the fact that the Boot Hill Cemetery held 75 men before the town's first death by natural causes. Farming, ranching, fishing, hunting and tourism now support the town. Although many buildings predate the turn of the century, of special interest is the notorious Million-Dollar Courthouse; a $30,000 building completed in the late 1800's at a total cost of almost a million dollars due to political corruption.
Echo Canyon State Park Many of the area's rock formations were formed by volcanic activity 45-125 million years ago. Although scenery is the primary attraction, the 65-acre reservoir attracts a variety of waterfowl, heron, eagles and hummingbirds. Common wildlife includes jackrabbits, coyotes, deer and squirrels. Fishing and boating are popular, and a 2.5-mile hiking trail descends from the valley rim into Ash Canyon. Shoshone and Paiute petroglyphs can be found around the park.
Lincoln County Historical Museum Exhibits feature mining tools, photographs, 20th-century clothing, guns and Native American displays.
Spring Valley State Park Settled by Mormon pioneers in 1864, this valley is the site of several late-19th-century ranch houses. The 65-acre Eagle Valley Reservoir offers picnicking, boating and a riparian habitat for waterfowl, songbirds, ravens, eagles and herons. Attractions include hiking, tours of the historic Ranch House museum, and a walking trail around the reservoir.
Home of the first Hotel Casino in the country, this diverse city is now host to 60 gambling establishments, arts and culture, and entertainment venues offering top name entertainers, spectacular dance performances and professional comedy. In the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, the dry climate draws winter and summer outdoor enthusiasts. Minutes from Lake Tahoe, the area has 18 world-class ski resorts, over 40 golf courses, plus hiking, fishing and biking.
National Automobile Museum www.automuseum.org
Over 220 classic, antique, vintage and special interest cars comprise the most comprehensive public exhibit of automobiles in the Western Hemisphere. Four authentic street scenes feature the cars, memorabilia and 20th century architecture. Adjoining galleries house the remaining cars, including John Wayne's 1953 Corvette, Elvis Presley's 1973 Cadillac and James Dean's 1949 Mercury.
National Wild Horse & Burro Adoption Center
www.wild-horse.org North of town, the Bureau of Land Management offers horses and burros for adoption as they manage population to maintain high quality public rangelands for the remaining herds.
Nevada Historical Society Museum Established in 1904, the museum highlights state history from the earliest inhabitants through the pioneer years to the present. The collection consists of more than 15,000 artifacts including artwork, mining and ranching articles, Native American pottery and baskets, early gaming industry showgirl costumes and machines. A research library and special temporary exhibits are also available.
Sierra Safari Zoo At the base of Peavine Mountain, visitors enjoy a unique opportunity to see over 200 exotic animals from around the world in natural settings. Most are hand-raised and very tolerant of humans, and the petting zoo is a favorite with children.
University of Nevada Reno www.unr.edu
This energetic campus rich in history was established at its current location in 1887. Walking tours and a wide variety of performing arts are available.
Church Fine Arts Building Host to theatrical productions and home of the Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, offering changing contemporary art exhibits. Fleischmann Planetarium
Features a public observatory, collection of meteorites, and spectacular changing film performances in the large-format domed screen. Wilbur D. May
Center Featuring items collected during the his world travels, the center includes a museum, 12-garden Sierra Nevada arboretum, and Great Basin Adventure, a children's theme park and petting zoo. The eclectic museum collection contains rare Tang Dynasty horse sculptures, Egyptian scarabs, primitive African artwork, and a game trophy room.
W.M. Keck Museum Opened in 1908, this outstanding collection focuses on Nevada mining history with minerals, photographs, fossils and mining artifacts from districts such as Goldfield and the Comstock Lode. Created by Tiffany & Co., the Mackay Silver Collection is also on display.
Sparks This lively little Victorian city was established as a railway center in 1904 in the beautiful Truckee Meadows between the Virginia and Carson Mountain Ranges. The heart of town is the old-fashioned square, host to year-round events in its 400-seat amphitheater. From the square, it is a two-minute walk to 5 casinos. With a mild climate, summer and winter outdoor recreation is plentiful.
Sparks Heritage Museum In Victorian Square, exhibits feature historic railroad artifacts including a collection of train lanterns, railroad photographs, early toys and quilts. Train tours are offered.
Sparks Marina Lake Park The 80-acre lake is surrounded by extensive landscaping and facilities for swimming, picnicking, boating (electric motors only) and scuba diving. At an average depth of 60 feet, it is stocked with trout for fishermen, and there is a 2-mile walking trail around the marina.
Wild Island This family amusement complex offers 10 outdoor water rides, a wave pool, miniature golf, bumper cars, a giant game arcade and miniature Indy race tracks.
Pyramid Lake Recreation Area Within the boundaries of the Paiute Indian Reservation, the shores of this remnant of an ancient inland sea has been home to the tribe for
centuries. It is considered one of the state's best recreation areas, with terrific water sports and fishing. Pyramid Lake National Scenic Byway borders the starkly beautiful lake.
The Lake is open all year round for fishing, boating, jet skis, day use
and also camping.
The "Queen of the Silver Camps", this boomtown was born in the San Antonio Mountain hills in 1900 with the accidental discovery of a rich silver deposit. Halfway between Reno and Las Vegas, it is an ideal stopover for travelers who enjoy many original turn-of-the-century buildings in old downtown.
Belmont Ghost Town http://members.tripod.com/~catmandoo2/belmont.html
This town produced $15 million in ore during the 20 years following 1865. Remains include the well-maintained cemetery, the massive mill smokestack, partially restored 1867 courthouse, and building ruins.
Central Nevada Museum Historical exhibits feature artifacts relating to Native American culture, mining and pioneer life, the WWII Tonapah Army Airfield, regional flora and geology. There are a collection of historic photos and extensive outdoor displays including miners cabins.
Tonopah Historical Mining Park This collection of restored mining artifacts is displayed in original buildings covering over 100 acres at the site of the first mining claim in the area. A self-guided tour includes an extensive mineral display and equipment such as hoist-houses and various steam shovels. There are 2 exhibit halls, a turn-of-the-century mining office, and an underground tour.
Railroad Valley Wildlife Management Area A birder watcher's paradise, this reedy wetland provides shelter for 147 species of nesting and migratory birds, plus other wildlife. Hiking trails are available.
Tuscarora A mining boomtown in 1878, this near-ghost town lies in a high desert basin amid rugged 10,000-foot mountains. With an average population of fifteen, town highlights include a small museum, the cemetery and historic buildings such as the 1859 building housing a pottery school and gallery, which hosts students from around the world. It is nearby to streams and a reservoir for trout fishermen, and alpine wilderness areas of Jarbidge and the Ruby Mountains, ideal for hikers, bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Virginia City www.virginiacity-nv.org
Thriving during the Comstock Lode rush in the 1870's, this was the West's mining metropolis, with a multitude of saloons, churches, theaters and a thriving red-light district. Mark Twain began his writing career here as a newspaper reporter. Many mansions illustrate the opulence of the times, and the main street is lined with specialty shops in 1860's and 1870's buildings, the country's largest federally designated Historical District. Today, much of the town has been restored to its boomtown appearance, from boardwalks to stately brick buildings to western saloons. There are many small museums and underground tours are offered at the Ponderosa Mine.
Comstock Firemen's Museum www.comstockfiremuseum.com
This 1860's building served as a saloon, brewery and other business before it housed the Storey County Volunteer Fire Department. Designated a museum in 1986, the collection dates from 1859 with antique fire wagons, uniforms, hand engines, photographs, leather helmets and other artifacts.
Fourth Ward School Cultural Center Originally an 1876 four-story Victorian school house, the museum features permanent and changing exhibits highlighting Comstock history and culture.
Mackay Mansion This 10-room 1860 building served as the headquarters of Gould and Curry Mine Co., and later as residence to John Mackay, owner of Consolidated Virginia Mine. Displayed are original furnishings, the family's Tiffany silver collection and woodshed with original implements.
Marshall Mint & Museum Housed in the 1871 Assay Office, exhibits explore gold pressing and Virginia City silver and gold mining history, including a collection of gems and minerals, collector coins, jewelry, and mineral specimens.
Piper's Opera House www.pipersoperahouse.org
This 1880's opera house attracted famous American and European entertainers who performed for the silver barons of the Comstock Lode. Artifacts include playbills, photographs, posters and other theater memorabilia.
Storey County Courthouse Destroyed in the great fire of 1875, the town spared no expense during it's rebuilding the next year. It is the state's oldest continuously operating courthouse, and rare bronze Justice figure; it is not blindfolded and the scales are not tipped.
The Castle www.thecastlemansion.com
Area prosperity if reflected by this 1868 structure with original antique furnishings, silver doorknobs, Italian Carrara marble fireplaces and 200-year-old Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers. Built by the superintendent of the Empire Mine, elaborate furnishings were imported from Europe to perfect the grand home.
Virginia and Truckee Railroad Visitors enjoy a narrated 35-minute steam train ride along this partially restored standard gauge railroad through the center of the historic Comstock mining area.
Western Historic Radio Museum www.radioblvd.com
Housed in an 1876 Parish House, this collection of antique, classic and vintage radios highlights the evolution of radio. Displays include radio personality photographs, early radio accessories, and ham gear from the earliest spark-gap period to the "golden age" of amateur use in the 1940's and 1950's.
Wells At the gateway to the majestic East Humboldt Range Wagon, wheel ruts are still visible in rocks near this 19th-century pioneer stop along the Humboldt Trail, a portion of the California Immigrant Trail. Situated at the Humboldt River Headwaters, numerous 1800's buildings on the main street reflect the town's frontier past. Outside of town, the Ruby Marshes offer outstanding fishing during wet years, and serve as a sanctuary to a large number of migratory waterfowl.
Angel Lake The Angel Lake Scenic Byway, rising several thousand feet to Angel Lake, winds through pine, aspen and mahogany past hiking trail heads and access to the East Humboldt Wilderness Area. The picturesque lake surrounded by spectacular 9,000- and 10,000-foot glacial peaks offers many hiking trails, one leading to the famous 11,300-foot "Hole in the Mountain Peak". Found at the lake is a state-designated wildlife viewing area and a favorite local fishing spot. The lake is stocked with trout and wildlife viewing includes bighorn sheep, birds of prey and mountain goats.
West Wendover www.westwendovercity.com
In addition to top-ranked casinos and entertainment, visitors find a great variety of outdoor attractions including a championship golf course, horseback riding and an equestrian center, big game hunting, mountain repelling, pro-rated rodeos, fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Bird watchers enjoy the Raptor Migrating Range, and areas of historic and geological interest include Ancient Lake Bonneville, and Danger Cave where signs of earliest man have been discovered.
Named for a well-known 19th-century Paiute chief, legend has it that in September 1900, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed the First National Bank of Winnemucca. Settled in the 1830's at the edge of the Santa Rosa Mountains, small-town Western charm and history blends with big-city amenities. The towns first two buildings, circa 1850 and 1863, which serve fine Basque meals highlighting the strong Basque influence on the area, and an annual Basque Festival is held. Activities include golf, fishing at nearby Rye Patch Reservoir, and exploring well-preserved ruins at numerous near-abandoned mining camps nearby.
Bloody Shins Trails A part of the Winnemucca Mountain Bike Trail System in the Sonoma Mountain foothills, the trails are open for non-motorized uses and offer panoramic valley and mountain views.
Buckaroo Hall of Fame Cowboy memorabilia includes artwork and traditional working gear.
Humboldt County Historical Society Museum Located in a former church, exhibits feature regional history with antiques, vintage cars, ranching and mining items, and area minerals such as gold, silver, turquoise and opals.
Water Canyon This secluded canyon offers a beautiful and rich riparian area. Visitors enjoy bird watching, hiking and cross-country skiing.
Yerington This rural town in the heart of the picturesque Mason Valley offers small town ambiance, friendly local casinos, bird watching at Mason Valley Wildlife Refuge, golf, and the Lyon County Museum depicting regional history of the last 130 years.
Fort Churchill State Historic Park Built in 1861 to protect settlers, this U.S. Army fort was once a Pony Express station. The ruins are preserved on a flat above the Carson River, and a visitor center displays fort history and artifacts. The park offers fishing, bird watching, trails, photography, picnicking and tours of the historic site.
Fun and Attractions:
Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Within the northern Great Basin desert, this area includes a large alkaline playa, the 44-mile-long dry remains of prehistoric Lake Lahontan. The playa offers spectacular scenery and interesting geologic features. Crossing the playa is a segment of the California National Historic Trail, a part of the 120 miles of historic trails preserved here. Historic inscriptions and wagon ruts left by westward travelers in the 1800s can be viewed. There are wooly mammoth and Native American archeological sites, and wildlife includes wild horses and burros, golden eagles and birds of prey, bighorn sheep and threatened fish. Permitted activities include hiking, hunting, camping and rock hounding.
California National Historic Trail More than 200,000 gold-seekers and pioneers crossed the trail during the mid-1800's headed for the mines and rich farmlands of California. Evidence of the largest mass-migration in America's history is found in over 1,000 miles of trail ruts and more than 240 historic sites through the undeveloped lands between the West Coast and Casper, Wyoming.
Blue Mass Scenic Area At 7,000 feet in the Kern Mountains north of Ely, this wonderland of bluish-gray granite pinnacles and cliffs glittering with mica is scattered with small streams, springs, and old abandoned cabins. The spires and outcroppings line the banks of Blue Mass Creek, which has carved the stone into a canyon. Abundant animal and plant life includes cherry trees and aspen, white fir and pine, mule deer, fox and mountain lions. There is excellent hiking, photography and picnicking.
Cave Lake State Park At 7,300 feet in the Schell Creek Range this 1,200-acre park offers outstanding scenic views of the 32-acre reservoir. Activities include photography, hiking, picnic areas and a boat launch (with a 5-mph limit). Popular winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing,
snow-mobiling, outdoor ice skating and sledding. Programs are offered on stargazing, wildflowers and natural history topics.
Desert National Wildlife Range Covering over 1.5 million acres of southern Nevada, this vast wildlife refuge contains six major mountain ranges as well as valley floors, creating an amazingly diverse habitat for over 400 species of animals and birds, and more than 500 plant species. Of note is one of the Southwest's largest intact blocks of desert bighorn sheep and vast Joshua tree woodlands.
Floyd Lamb State Park This early watering hole for Native Americans, named for the private owner of the working/guest ranch located here, encompasses the Tule Springs Ranch Historic Area and four small fishing lakes. Activities include picnicking, hiking, fishing and a walking/bicycle path winding through the park and historic site.
Goshute Canyon Natural Area At 6,300 feet, visitors enjoy exploring the underground wonders of Goshute Cave and hiking through limestone crags and bristlecone pine forests, which provide shelter for such wildlife as deer, golden eagles and great horned owls.
Great Basin National Park www.great.basin.national-park.com
This 200,000-square-mile mountain park encompasses ancient groves of bristlecone pines, Lexington Arch and the only glacier in the Great Basin desert. The park includes much of the South Snake Range, a desert mountain with sagebrush at its base, lakes and streams, abundant wildlife, numerous limestone caverns and an array of forest types reaching to the 13,060 summit of Wheeler Peak. The 5.3-mile Baker Ridge Loop is popular with mountain bikers, and hikers find backcountry solitude. Fish are found in two of the three creeks and five lakes in the park. Numerous rock art sites offer evidence of the area's various prehistoric inhabitants.
Lehman Cave This beautiful limestone cave is profusely decorated with flowstones, stalagmites, stalactites and other unusual formations, which adorn almost every surface in the cave. The cave, which began its formation about 5 million years ago, continues to evolve today. A .75-mile guided walking tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours.
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest At almost 6.5 million acres, this is the largest national forest in the Lower 48 States. Stretching from central Nevada into eastern California, ecosystems vary greatly from the Mojave Desert to sub-alpine mountaintops. Within the forest are 15 separate wilderness areas, 3 national hiking trails, the Carson and Walker Rivers and the mining ghost town of Masonic. Visitors enjoy 1,100 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, white water rafting, fishing, rock climbing, 1,600 miles of roadways for scenic driving, mountain climbing and downhill and cross-country skiing. Granite canyons, Joshua tree foothills and scattered prairies provide a home for vast quantities of wildlife including mule deer, elk herds, black bears, beavers, bighorn sheep, wild horses and bats.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area Created by the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in the 1930s, one of the world's largest man-made lakes rests at the junction of the Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. The deep freshwater lake and steep desert canyons host a surprising variety of animals and plants, some found nowhere else in the world. Catering to boaters, fishermen, hikers and wildlife photographers, the recreation area contains Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, the remote Shivwits Plateau and the encircling desert. Hiking trails offer bird watching, stunning views and fascinating geology. Popular lake activities include water skiing, house boating, windsurfing, sailing and top-notch fishing.
Hoover Dam This National Historic Landmark is one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders; at 726 feet the nation's tallest concrete dam. Each year, millions of visitors drive across the dam. Tour groups descend 520 feet into the power plant with several hydroelectric generators, then outside along the Colorado River where the dam towers more than 500 feet above. The visitor center offers an exhibit gallery, theater and rooftop observation landing.
Lake Mohave A 67-mile stretch of the Colorado River between Hoover Dam and Davis Dam, most of this narrow lake is confined by the steep canyon walls. A habitat for multitudes of fish and wildlife, recreational opportunities include boating and water skiing, hiking and picnicking, scenic drives and photography. There are hundreds of beaches accessible by boat only, and fishermen find plentiful trout and bass.
Lake Tahoe State Park This remarkably clear and deep blue water of this immense lake could cover the state of California to a depth of 14 inches. The 14,000-acre park lies on the undeveloped northeastern shore of the lake and contains the developed recreation areas of Sand Harbor, Cave Rock, Spooner Lake and beaches on Highway 28 as well as 12,000 acres of back country. A premier winter sports area and the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is available for year-round recreation. Visitors enjoy a wide variety of activities; sandy beaches, scuba diving, scenic drives with breathtaking views, outstanding hiking trails, cross-country and downhill skiing, photography, boating and paddle-wheel cruises, fishing, and back-country equestrian and mountain biking trails. A visitor center offers exhibits featuring pioneer and Indian history.
Incline Village This town at the north end of the lake hosts the "Ponderosa Ranch", a western style theme park. Highlights include the Cartwright ranch house from the "Bonanza" television show, museum, saloon, "kiddyland", mystery mine and petting farm.
Lunar Crater Volcanic Field This National Natural Landmark is characterized by over 100 square miles of bold features such as lava flows, craters and cinder cones. The Lunar Crater Back Country Byway traverses an unpaved road past such points of interest as Easy Chair Craters, Lunar Lake and the Black Rock Lava Flow. Area wildlife includes bighorn sheep, antelope, squirrels, coyotes and ground squirrels. Foot paths and wilderness study areas are available.
Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge Located on the Central and Pacific flyways in the southern portion of the Ruby Valley, this basin runs along the flank of the rugged Ruby Mountains. Primarily marshland, it is bordered by meadows, shrub covered steppes and seasonal wetlands. One of the most important nesting areas for waterfowl in the Great Basin, and spring migration finds over 200 species of birds stopping here. The wetlands and uplands also provide breeding grounds for sandhill cranes and trumpeter swans.
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge Maintaining high desert plant and wildlife habitats, the refuge encompasses several mountain ranges and large tablelands separated by valleys, gorges and streams. With elevations ranging from 4,000 to 7,000 feet, wildlife in the sagebrush steppes includes bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn and sage grouse.
Wild Horse State Recreation Area Surrounded by mountains on the shore of Wild Horse Reservoir 70 miles north of Elko, this beautiful 120-acre park often boasts the lowest winter temperatures in the state, making it a favorite ice-fishing destination. Mild summer temperatures make it a family favorite, with boating, hiking trails, fishing, picnicking, and a swimming area.
Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir Recreation Management Area A popular starting point for exploration of the Ruby Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the Humbolt National Forest, this reservoir immediately east of the majestic Ruby Mountains lies along the Hastings Cutoff of the California National Historic Trail. Opportunities are endless for hiking and photography, and visitors enjoy picnicking, hunting, wildlife viewing, boating, and water sports including winter ice fishing.