As one of the largest states in the US, there is so much more to the Silver State than just the dazzling bright lights of Las Vegas.
You certainly wont run out of things to do be it hiking up a cobalt-blue mountain lake in Great Basin National Park; the ranch-style hospitality of some of Americas last cowboys; quad biking in the dunes of Sand Mountain; discovering ancient rock art in the Valley of Fire State Park; skiing in Lake Tahoe; playing world-class golf courses or driving down Highway 50, Americas loneliest road.
With a landscape that stretches from the Mojave Desert to the Great Basin, including 67 protected wilderness areas, not to mention a history ranging from extinct volcanoes to pioneering prospectors, theres a great deal to do in Nevada.
Nevada, which means snow-covered in Spanish, has more than 24,000 acres of skiing spread over 15 resorts. The season starts in late November and can stretch through to early May. With more than 33 feet of snow annually across all the resorts, Lake Tahoe is one of the premier ski destinations in the world.
When you think about golfing in Nevada, lush green grass, tall pine and palm trees, beautiful streams and waterfalls may not be what you picture; but one visit is all it will take to change your mind. Nevada has some of the best golf courses in the country.
For more information on rural Nevada visit www.travelnevada.co.uk
The city, which was built on mining, logging and the railroad, is named after frontiersman
Christopher Kit Carson, who scouted the area for John C. Fremont in the mid-1840s.
Hollywood stars such as Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart used to stop off in Ely – also on Americas Loneliest Road – on their way to skiing vacations in the mountains. Reminders of the past – huge old charcoal ovens, a steam train, an old gambling hall and a historical village – are still dotted around the Ely area.
You wont get any reception on your mobile phone in Great Basin National Park, and there isnt much internet access either, but theres plenty of protected high-altitude wilderness: 328 square kilometres of it, to be exact.
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States, 22 by 12 miles of crystal clear water and 72 miles of pristine shoreline. It is a water-sports mecca in the summer and snow heaven in the winter.
Known affectionately as the Biggest Little City in the World, Reno was established beside the first bridge to be built over the Truckee River in the late 1800s. By the mid-1900s, Reno had built up a reputation for its casinos and nightlife, but in recent years, it has seen something of a cultural resurgence and a riverside stroll offers something for all the family.
Get your cameras at the ready because Rhyolite is one of the USAs most photogenic old mining towns. Sitting at the eastern entrance to Death Valley – the countrys hottest and driest national park – Rhyolite was formed in 1904 when thousands of people flooded into the area to prospect for gold.
The darkest skies in the United States look down on Tonopah, the former mining town situated halfway between Reno and Las Vegas, making it the best stargazing location in the country, according to USA Today. On a clear night you can see the Milky Way and thousands of stars.
Gold and silver lured large numbers of prospectors into Nevada during the 19th century, and one of the most famous boom towns was Virginia City. The settlement sprang up almost overnight when a huge silver lode was discovered in 1859. Today, Virginia City continues to delight visitors with its old wooden and brick buildings, including the Bucket of Blood Saloon and Pipers Opera House.
Valley of Fire State Park is to Nevada what Monument Valley is to Arizona and Utah, protecting an array of astounding formations eroded from the Mojave Deserts sandstone bedrock over millions of years. Designated in 1935, its Nevadas oldest and largest state park, its name derived from the rocks rich red hues, which light up in the desert sun.
Nevada has been cowboy country since the pioneers pushed through the state on their way to the
wild Californian frontier. And now you can join todays cowboys on family-owned ranches such as Cottonwood
in the states remote northeast as they drive wild horses or cattle on to their summer pastures. Days are generally spent in the saddle, riding through mountain valleys and crossing cascading streams, while evenings are wiled away around the campfire, before blankets are unrolled for a night out under the stars.
Its totally empty, said a representative from the American Automobile Association in 1985 of Highway 50. There are no points of interest and we dont recommend it. What do they know? This 462-kilometre stretch of tarmac is a quintessential American road-trip experience served up with a large slice of wide-open sky. It was the route followed by the original Pony Express riders who carried mail on horseback. Today, visitors can still pass through some of the best-preserved 19th-century mining towns in the state. Just don’t forget to fill up in Fallon as its 179 kilometres to the next petrol station!
Just 32 kilometres from the Las Vegas strip, Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area offers up its own form of entertainment: a rocky red version of the great outdoors. Visitors can hike and bike through this stunning section of the Mojave Desert but, for most, the big draw is climbing. Considered one of the best climbing areas in the world, it has more than 1,200 named routes up, from enormous boulders to towering sandstone ridges.
Nevada, which means snow-covered in Spanish, has more than 9,700 hectares of skiing
spread over 15 resorts. The season starts in late November and can stretch through to early May.
Straddling the California–Nevada border, Heavenly Mountain Resort in the Lake Tahoe region is the area’s largest resort, offering up an exhilarating mix of lake views and nearly 100 hillside trails accessed from 30 lifts. To top it all off, the area receives almost ten metres of snow each year and 300 days of sunshine. Pure heaven.
With a skiing tradition that stretches back to the 1930s and around 60 per cent of the slopes designated for beginners or intermediates, Mount Rose – the Lake Tahoe regions highest resort - is a superb place to learn to ski or snowboard. But that doesnt mean there isnt anything for the experts to dig their edges into. Black diamond runs on the extreme terrain of Slide Mountain and two terrain parks – Badlands and Double Down – ensure everyone heads home with a rosy glow.
They do things a little differently in Soda Springs. Although there are a couple of terrain parks, this is, in essence, an old-fashioned winter sports resort. Its largely visited by families, who come to ski, board, snowshoe, sled and tube on the beginner-friendly slopes. Located less than 80 kilometres from Reno, it sits on the pretty Donner Summit in the northern Sierra Nevada and has just two lifts and two tube-tows taking riders up to the (mostly) gentle runs. For something a bit faster, six- to 12-year-olds can take a ride on a pint-sized snowmobile.
Just a 45-minute drive from central Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort is a lively mixed-sport destination in Lee Canyon at Mount Charleston and is the only resort in southern Nevada. Around US$50 will get you access to all four lifts and, alongside the 11 trails (80 per cent of which are aimed at intermediates and above), theres the Darkside Terrain Park, where boarders can launch themselves from a series of rails, table-top jumps and a 150-metre half pipe.