Camping Gems - Nevada
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Held at the Western Folklife Center, the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering makes a January splash. You can catch one of the regular performances, listen in on the public radio segments that are taped here, or tour through the center, viewing displays about the American West. You might catch a book reading, hear a concert, or take part in a workshop.
Valley of Fire State Park
Located only six miles from Lake Mead, Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest and largest state park. The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyph. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking, and photography.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Not far west of Las Vegas lies the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a 13-mile stretch of hiking and biking trails, red rocks, and climbing areas. The NCA is home to a herd of wild burros as well as bobcats and bighorn sheep. Take a scenic drive through the NCA, tour the interpretive trail at the ranger's station, or head off into the backcountry for a more serious hike.
Pyramid Lake, north of Reno
With a rocky "pyramid" set right in the middle, this desert lake is a terrific place to photograph or to enjoy outdoor activities like road biking on the Pyramid Lake Tour, bird watching, or driving the 30 mile scenic byway. The lake is also a resting place for a variety of migrating waterfowl.
Tahoe Rim Trail
With pocket views of Lake Tahoe and the gorgeous Sierra Nevada mountains, this is a superb place to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail forms a loop around Lake Tahoe, so you never have to cover the same stretch of trail twice.
Bloody Shins Trail, Winnemucca
If you're looking for phenomenal mountain biking, head to Winnemucca's Bloody Shins Trail. You'll have a choice of loops -- the 7-mile beginner loop or the 12-mile intermediate loop. The trail is also open to hiking and horseback riding.
Mount Rose Wilderness Area, near Reno
Blue lakes, colorful wildflowers, and a variety of wildlife are just a few attractions this wilderness has to offer. Nestled between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Great Basin is the 30,000-acre Mount Rose wilderness, named after the highest peak in the Carson Range. The strenuous 12 mile round trip hike to the summit of Mount Rose (10,776 feet) is popular among those seeking a wilderness challenge.
East Fork Carson River
Looking for incredible whitewater rafting in northern Nevada? Head to the East Fork of the Carson River for a perfect day of rafting, whitewater kayaking, or trout fishing. In the upper reaches, this secluded river can only be accessed by 4WD or on foot.
Truckee River Whitewater Park, Wingfield Park in Reno
If you're ready to work on your whitewater kayak and canoeing skills, head to Reno's Wingfield Park for a day on the water. The Whitewater park offers a number of drop pools and streams to try, including a kayak slalom racing course. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced paddler, you'll find something challenging on the course.
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge
The Stillwater wetlands are well-known to birders, as this area has been designated a site of international importance by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network because of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, such as Long-billed dowitcher, Black-necked stilt, and American avocet passing through during migration.
Camping Gems - Places to Eat in Nevada
Worth the Price
miX in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay
Joël Robuchon at the Mansion
Easier on a Budget
The Cafe in the Paris Casino
Tamba Indian Cuisine
Hash House a Go Go
Bajio Mexican Grill
Camping Gems - Places to Go in Nevada
This gorgeous lake has views to spare and a backyard that's made for playing in. Whether you want to go mountain biking and horseback riding in the Sierras, golfing with mountain scenery, or fishing and boating, you'll find it at Lake Tahoe. In the winter and early spring, you'll find great skiing and snowboarding at Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak, Homewood, Mt. Rose, Northstar, Squaw Valley, and Sugar Bowl.
During the mining boom of the 1800s, Virginia City became the most important settlement between Denver and San Francisco. Today at Virginia City you'll step into a living history museum, where grubby miners still walk the streets. Tour the historic buildings, learn about the famous Comstock Lode, and explore the fascinating museums.
Great Basin National Park
The high, dry country of the Intermountain West is a special place -- a place filled with dramatic scenery, wildlife, and rugged beauty. Set near Nevada's border with Utah, Great Basin contains the swatch of land surrounding Wheeler Peak (a 13,063-foot landmark). You'll enjoy hiking the Bristlecone Pine Trail to Nevada's only glacier.
Whether you're looking to stroll the casino floor, catch a show at the Venetian, or see the wild burros at the Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas can fit the bill. Vegas is most famous for its casinos, nightlife, and shows, but it also has a lot to offer the outdoor lover. You can make day trips to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
This huge lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while its desert rewards hikers, wildlife photographers, and roadside sightseers. It is also home to thousands of desert plants and animals, adapted to survive in an extreme place where rain is scarce and temperatures soar. Don't miss largemouth bass fishing on Lake Mead and Lake Mojave.
Named after the red garnet stones that are found here, the Ruby Mountains are 100 miles long and often less than 10 miles wide. You can take a hike to one of the seven miles of lake basins near Lamoille Canyon or head to Furlong Lake, Overland Lake, or Ruby Dome, a 11,387-foot wonder. As you go, be sure to watch for mule deer, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep, as well as Himalayan snow cocks and Hungarian partridges.
Take a tour of a great American monument. The graceful, art deco-style dam was built in 1935, and a tour is a fun family activity. By holding back the Colorado River, the dam creates Lake Mead, a boating and fishing hot spot that's a great place for a picnic lunch.
Historic Carson City gives you a true taste of the Old West. Visit the Carson City Mint building where coins were minted from 1870 to 1893, see a Columbian mammoth, study Native American culture, and explore Nevada's geologic history. Don't miss a visit to the Nevada State Museum, the Governor's Mansion, or the Nevada State Railroad Museum.
For a romantic getaway, head to Laughlin, set on the Colorado River in the scenic desert of southern Nevada. The river and Lake Mojave offer terrific fishing and water sports, and you'll find excellent golfing, hiking, and boating nearby. A fun day trip includes a visit to the Old West ghost towns Chloride and Oatman.
Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge
Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge is located near the eastern shoreline of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County. The refuge was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913 as a sanctuary for colonial nesting birds, primarily American white pelicans. Today it's a bird-watching hotspot.
Camping Gems - Things to Do in Nevada
Discover the Old West in Virginia City.
Go water skiing on Lake Tahoe.
See the bright lights and casinos of Las Vegas.
Take a tour of Hoover Dam.
Hike the Bristlecone Pine Trail at Great Basin National Park.
Read (or write) a poet at Elko's National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Watch for wild burros at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Go mountain biking on Winnemucca’s Bloody Shins Trail.
Watch for American avocets at the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge wetlands in the Lahontan Valley.
White-water raft down the Truckee River.