Nevada destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Nevada, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Nevada and tips about visiting them
National parks and monuments in Nevada
- California National Historic Trail,
Various States CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY.
Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.
- Death Valley National Park,
Death Valley, CA,NV.
In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
- Great Basin National Park,
From the 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak, to the sage-covered foothills, Great Basin National Park is a place to sample the stunning diversity of the larger Great Basin region. Come and partake of the solitude of the wilderness, walk among ancient bristlecone pines, bask in the darkest of night skies, and explore mysterious subterranean passages. There's a whole lot more than just desert here!
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area,
the Mojave Desert, AZ,NV.
Swim, boat, hike, cycle, camp and fish at America’s first and largest national recreation area. With striking landscapes and brilliant blue waters, this year-round playground spreads across 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons, valleys and two vast lakes. See the Hoover Dam from the waters of Lake Mead or Lake Mohave, or find solitude in one of the park's nine wilderness areas.
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail,
Follow the routes of mule pack trains across the Southwest on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to exchange for mules and horses.
- Pony Express National Historic Trail,
Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY.
It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
- Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument,
Mammoths, lions and camels once roamed along wetlands just north of what is now known as Las Vegas, Nevada. Their history is preserved at Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument and is ready to be discovered.
Nevada State parks and historic sites
- Beaver Dam - The deep canyons, flowing streams, waterfalls and pinyon, juniper and ponderosa forests have beckoned people for centuries. Today, visitors experience the pristine, natural beauty and rustic character that distinguishes this park from all others. Panaca, Nevada
- Berlin-Ichthyosaur - About 225 million years ago, Ichthyosaurs swam in a warm ocean covering central Nevada. Today, the most abundant concentration and largest known Ichthyosaur fossils in North America are displayed in this preserved, turn-of-the-century mining town. Austin, Nevada
- Big Bend of the Colorado - Situated on the shores of the Colorado River, Big Bend, with its clear, cool waters, offers dramatic views of the river and surrounding mountains. The area offers boating, fishing and swimming, with the amenities of a gaming town just minutes away. Laughlin, Nevada
- Buckland Station - Built in 1870, Buckland Station offers visitors a glimpse of early pioneer life with a self-guided tour of the renovated building. Picnic tables, charcoal grills and a nature trail that follows the Carson River make this a great place to visit. Silver Springs, Nevada
- Cathedral Gorge - The beauty of Cathedral Gorge began with explosive volcanic activity millions of years ago. Nestled in a narrow valley where time and water have carved striking patterns in soft clay, the park offers stunning views of rocks from above, below and within. Panaca, Nevada
- Cave Lake - A year-round park, Cave Lake features a 32-acre reservoir that provides excellent trout fishing, boating, swimming, hiking and camping. Winter activities include sledding, snowmobiling, ice-skating, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and hunting. Ely, Nevada
- Cave Rock - Tucked beneath the rugged, volcanic face of Cave Rock on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe, Cave Rock State Park, with its boat launch and sandy beach, offers visitors swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing and fishing in crystal clear water. Lake Tahoe, Nevada
- Dayton - Overflowing with willows, sagebrush and cottonwoods, the park is a picturesque site for camping, picnicking and hiking. Its riches also include the remains of a 1860s silver mill, one of the first to process ore from the Comstock Lode. Dayton, Nevada
- Echo Canyon - Boating, fishing and swimming are easily enjoyed at Echo Canyon, which features a 65-acre reservoir. With abundant wildlife, a wide variety of native plants and unique rock formations, the park also provides a perfect place to camp, hike and explore. Pioche, Nevada
- Elgin Schoolhouse - Visit the Elgin Schoolhouse and step back in time. Grades one through eight were taught in this historic one-room schoolhouse from 1922 through 1967. The site features many of the school’s original items, as well as the teacher’s small living quarters. Caliente, Nevada
- Fort Churchill - An Army post built in 1861, Fort Churchill helped guard the Pony Express route and acted as a base for hundreds of soldiers. Visitors today can walk designated trails to study the ruins and can camp, picnic and enjoy fishing and swimming in the Carson River. Silver Springs, Nevada
- Ice Age Fossils - Nevada’s newest state park will provide educational programming at a location rich in paleontological resources. Visitors will immerse themselves in a prehistoric world with fossils of animals such as mammoths, camels, bison, horses, sloth, and even the dire wolf. North Las Vegas, Nevada
- Kershaw-Ryan - In a lush canyon where natural springs feed wild grapevines, white oaks and roses, Kershaw-Ryan is an oasis in the desert. The park features a greenbelt with fruit trees and a children’s wading pool and hikers can enjoy trails through the canyon and valley.
- Kershaw-Ryan - Caliente, Nevada
- Lahontan - With 69 miles of shoreline, Lahontan Reservoir is a popular place to boat, fish, water-ski, horseback ride, camp, hike and enjoy the outdoors year-round. Canoeing from Fort Churchill to the lake makes for a great day trip when conditions allow. Fallon, Nevada
- Mormon Station - Mormon Station is the site of Nevada’s first permanent, non-native settlement. A replica of the original trading post, built in 1851, houses a museum with pioneer-era artifacts. Large, lush lawns and mature trees make the park a lovely location to picnic. Genoa, Nevada
- Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort - More than 150 years ago, a spring-fed creek flowed through the Las Vegas Valley, creating an oasis in the desert where Mormon missionaries built an adobe fort. Today the park includes a remnant of the original fort that is used to display historic artifacts. Las Vegas, Nevada
- Rye Patch - Rye Patch visitors enjoy camping, picnicking, fishing and water-skiing on a 22-mile long reservoir created by a dam on the Humboldt River. The park also serves as a popular base camp for off-road vehicles, ghost town exploration and gold prospecting. Lovelock, Nevada
- Sand Harbor - With crystal-clear waters, long sandy beaches, rocky coves, shady forested areas and panoramic lake views, Sand Harbor offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to enjoy and explore Lake Tahoe and also hosts the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival every summer. Incline Village, Nevada
- South Fork - Surrounded by lovely meadows and rolling hills, South Fork offers both primitive and developed camping. Popular for hunting, boating and wildlife viewing, the park is also known for the reservoir’s trophy-class trout and abundant bass and catfish. Spring Creek, Nevada
- Spooner Lake and Backcountry - The Spooner Backcountry is a widespread recreational oasis. Its lake is a popular place to picnic and catch-and-release fish, and there are more than 12,000 acres of forested open space with 50 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails.
- Spooner Lake and Backcountry - Incline Village, Nevada
- Spring Mountain Ranch - The first working ranch in the Las Vegas Valley, and once a luxurious retreat for millionaire Howard Hughes, Spring Mountain Ranch attracts visitors who enjoy exploring historic buildings, hiking and large, lush lawns on which to picnic and play. Blue Diamond, Nevada
- Spring Valley - Spring Valley is named for the abundance of springs that irrigate lush pastures in a historic ranching area dotted by turn-of-the-century stone buildings. Eagle Valley reservoir is stocked with trout and is a stone’s throw from a shady campground. Pioche, Nevada
- Valley of Fire - A geologic wonderland, world-renowned Valley of Fire has 2,000 year old petroglyphs carved into massive red sandstone formations in the Mohave Desert. These stunning and unique sandstone formations were formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago. Overton, Nevada
- Van Sickle - Just a short walk from South Lake Tahoe’s stateline casinos, Van Sickle Bi-State Park is one of the most accessible parks in the Tahoe Basin. A short climb from the trailhead transports visitors to the serenity of the forest and offers stunning views of the lake. Incline Village, Nevada
- Walker River - Rugged and vast, the Walker River State Recreation Area spans more than 12,000 acres of rustic rangeland along 28 miles of the picturesque East Walker River, offering a bounty of year-round activities, such as camping, hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, floating and trophy fishing. Yerington, Nevada
- Ward Charcoal Ovens - Built in the 1870s, the park’s ovens are some of the best preserved kilns in the United States. Created to support mining, they later sheltered travelers and had a reputation as a hideout for stagecoach bandits. Visitors to the ovens can also enjoy camping and fishing. Ely, Nevada
- Washoe Lake - With breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada and Virginia mountain ranges, Washoe Lake is a popular area for hiking, camping, water sports, picnicking and equestrian activities. Bird watchers delight in the diversity of migratory birds and waterfowl. Carson City, Nevada
- Wild Horse - Where wild horses once roamed, extraordinary beauty and recreational opportunities await this park’s visitors. Ideal for ice fishing in the winter and boasting magnificent wildflowers in the spring, the park offers summertime water sports on its huge reservoir. Elko, Nevada
Nevada Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Unless you slept through middle school geography class, you know that the climate in Nevada is semi-arid with abundant sunshine, light rainfall and snow. It's a lot of desert! Average temperatures vary from about 19°C (66°F) in Carson City in the south to 8°C (47°F) in Elko in the north.
Nevada Camping tips
Nevada State Parks does not have a reservation system at this time. Campsites are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. Park staff will make every reasonable effort to accommodate campers during periods when campgrounds are at capacity.