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Road Tripping

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.

 

Spectacular Cities

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.

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Burning Man's temple
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Burning Man is the world’s largest temporary city.

Star-studded night skies in Great Basin National Park
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Find some of the darkest skies in the world here, so dark that scientists are referring to it as an “endangered resource.”

Iconic neon signs of Vegas
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Nevada is known as the Neon Capital of the World.

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View of Nevada's Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Built 80 years ago, this massive construction marvel situated in Black Canyon is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere. Cross it via the walking bridge or take one of two excellent tours to learn about how the dam came to be and see its many parts in action.

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The iconic rocky terrain of Cathedral Gorge State Park

Cathedral Gorge State Park

This series of spiky-looking ravines, grooves, caves and passageways can be explored through a variety of trails, from short to long, easy to challenging. Hike to Miller’s Point on the main trail for a sweeping view of the gorge as well as the vivid lands beyond.

Aerial view of the famed Las Vegas Strip

The Las Vegas Strip

The city’s dazzling strip is known for many things, but an architecture or pop culture tour bring the glitzy strip’s iconic buildings into full relief. Learn about the design of famous resorts as well as the stories behind them on a guided bus or walking tour that fully explores the city’s architectural history.

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Lamoille Canyon stretches between the Ruby Mountains

Lamoille Canyon

Take the byway up the canyon for sweeping views of this remarkable landscape’s peaks and valleys, which includes staggering Ruby Dome (the highest of the peaks here). Hike, mountain bike, ski or simply picnic among wildflowers in this natural playground.

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Massive Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park

Many visitors to Great Basin National Park are as thrilled by the lack of crowds as they are by the majestic mountain terrain, cascading streams and pristine lakes. The park is home to a number of 3,000-year-old bristlecone pine trees, which are among the oldest living organisms on the planet. Also see Lehman Caves, which can only be viewed on a guided tour; Wheeler Peak, the site of Nevada’s only glacier; and Lexington Arch, a massive rock formation.

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Kayaking on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains, this alpine lake is the largest in North America and sets the stage for water recreation. Canoe, waterski or just jet across the deep blue expanse. Hike the Cascade Falls Trail or bike Flume Trail and spend all day exploring the wilderness around the lake.

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Virginia City’s faded Old West charm

Virginia City

This historic Boomtown city sprung up after discovery of the Comstock Lode in the mid-19th century and became a bustling silver mining town. See it as it was today, visiting museums, saloons and a historic walking trail and by embarking on a mine tour.

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Art installation near the Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Near Death Valley, this Gold Rush ghost town set in the Bullfrog Hills takes its name from a native rock. Picture this desolate community as it once was as you learn about its history (which includes being featured in several films) and tour the open air museum at its entrance.

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U.S Route 50’s beautifully barren landscape

U.S. Route 50

Fuel up the car and take a jaunt down this highway dubbed the USA’s Loneliest Road, which runs coast-to-coast and passes through 11 states for a total of 5,100 kilometers. See mountains, deserts, forests and many more majestic landscapes as you navigate Nevada’s portion.

A drive through the Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park

Nevada’s oldest state park is in the middle of the Mojave Desert and is known for its vivid red sandstone formations and sparse cactus-studded landscape. Hike to the White Domes, Arch Rock or to the Beehives, all excellent representations of this natural wonder.

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The rocky beauty of the Great Basin mountain range in Nevada
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