Nevada National Parks

Nevada National Parks

Nevada is a hidden gem when it comes to national historic trails, parks, and more. The natural beauty of Las Vegas, and Nevada at large is often overlooked but, the desert is home to unique beauty from hiking trails to the towering peaks of mountains. Though the strip often steals the spotlight not many realize that Nevada is home to some stunning national parks and recreation areas.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is a land of extremes, a three million acre desert where the intensity of nature is distilled into its most potent forms. Famous as the hottest place on EARTH with temperatures climbing to unimaginable heights and the driest place in North America. This iconic landscape is a testament to the raw power of nature. Stunning flora and fauna have adapted to the harsh landscape and thrive in the desolated landscape for explorers to see. Keep an eye out for Desert Kit Foxes, golden flower fields, cacti, and more.

So what is there to do in the hottest place on the planet? Here are a few ideas:

Hiking Trails, Backpacking, and Biking: This hot natural wonder is the largest national park on our list. Which means there are trails fit for any hiking enthusiast. Some trails are as small as a half mile on flat terrain while others 14 miles with high elevation changes. No matter which trail you pick, the views are a photographer's dream.

Easy: Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: 2 mi (3.2km)

Medium: Fall Canyon: 6 mi (9.6km)

Hard: Wildrose Peak: 8.4 mi (13.5km)

Scenic Drives: If you prefer to drive rather than walk, they have that too. One of the popular drives is the 370 mile "Death Drive," named by Travel + Leisure as one of the best drives in Nevada. This drive includes ghost towns, unique rock formations, and sand.

Camping: Not all sites are open during the summer, as temperatures become way too hot for humans! Because not all sites are always open, it can get a little bit busy and it's first-come-first-served. There are developed grounds, primitive grounds, and private campgrounds based on your camping preferences. Eureka Dunes, for example, are great for primitive campers that came with four-wheeling gear.

Night Exploration: The stary night is hard to see in the city lights, but out in the desert they shine bright making it perfect for star-gazing!

(Always check the weather! Sometimes it's too hot to visit, if you are backpacking bring enough supplies, as rescue in the event of an emergency is likely to be delayed).

Great Basin National Park

From caves to the cosmos, this 13,063-foot summit of Wheeler Peak is home to just a sample of the diversity of the Great Basin national park region. Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot more than desert sand in this beautiful park.

Star Gazing: Wheeler Peak offers a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience, with trails leading adventurers through alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers in the summer and offering panoramic vistas of the surrounding desert valleys.

Caves: In addition to its majestic peaks, Great Basin National Park is renowned for its remarkable subterranean landscapes. AKA: Caves! Lehman Caves, a system of limestone caverns adorned with intricate stalactites, stalagmites, and other geological formations, provide visitors with a fascinating glimpse into the underground world. Guided tours of Lehman Caves offers an immersive experience, highlighting the park's geological history and the delicate ecosystem that thrives within its depths.

Valley of Fire State Park

Vibrant oranges are the theme of this state park. Located within the rugged beauty of Nevada's Mojave Desert, Valley of Fire National Park is a playground for nature lovers. Named for its vibrant red sandstone formations that seem to dance in the desert sun, this park spans over 40,000 acres.

The landscape is like something out of a dream, with its colorful cliffs, arches, and domes creating a mesmerizing backdrop for exploration and adventure. But what exactly does this Nevada national park on our list have to offer?

Hiking: There are a number of options for hikes in this park. All of which provide scenery that is second to none. Fire Wave Trail is a picture worthy hike that you'll want to capture. The waves of oranges, pinks and more create unique formations. But, the iconic trail that you've probably seen on photos for Nevada is Mouse Tank Road. A thin road flanked by orange rock, even if you just take a scenic drive it's worth the views.

Camping: Total of two grounds and 72 spots for campers! If you have an RV they are set up for those as well. Stay over night in these orange rock wonders!

National Park Service: If you have any questions then the recreation center can help you! They answer questions via phone or in person.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead, nestled in the heart of the Mojave Desert, stands as a shimmering oasis amid arid landscapes. As one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, it shows human ingenuity in the hot desert to collect water. Carved by the mighty Colorado River and held in place by the iconic Hoover Dam, Lake Mead's waters stretch across the border of Arizona and Nevada. It's a favorite amongst locals to cool off in the summer heat. Whether it's fishing for bass, cruising on a houseboat, or just enjoying a day out on the lake, Lake Mead is a popular summer spot.

Boating + Fishing: Hit the water and take your boat out on the lake! They have docking spots for boats long-term as well as spots for larger house type boats.

Hiking: Though this may not be the first thing when you think of when it comes to going to the lake, there are a number of beautiful hikes at Lake Mead national recreation area. For beginners and for pros. For experienced hikers White Rock Canyon Trail is a good option and for beginners the well-known Historic Railroad Tunnel trail.

Hoover Dam

Ah, the Hoover Dam! Even if you're not familiar with Nevada you've probably heard of this iconic landmark. A huge feat of engineering in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, the sheer size is enough to boggle the mind. Don't believe us? Check out our Reel!

Completed in 1936 during the Great Depression, this colossal structure not only tamed the mighty Colorado River but also provided a vital source of hydroelectric power and water to the arid lands of the American Southwest. Its sheer scale is awe-inspiring, stretching 726 feet in height and spanning 1,244 feet across the canyon. The dam's construction was a monumental effort, employing thousands of workers who toiled under harsh conditions to bring it to fruition. Today, the Hoover Dam remains a symbol of resilience, innovation, and the transformative power of infrastructure on both a regional, state parks, and national scale.

Tours: The Hoover Dam offers both self-guided tours and professional tours that take you behind the scenes of the engineering of this monolithic structure. Note that sometimes they need to preform routine maintenance! Check the schedule with the visitor center to make sure that they're open before visiting.

Red Rock

Red Rock Canyon, situated just a stone's throw away from the bustling Las Vegas Strip, is a breathtaking natural marvel that stands in stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the city. Its red sandstone formations, sculpted by millions of years of geological activity, create a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Take a look at our reel on Instagram to learn more

The canyon offers a ton of recreational activities, from hiking and rock climbing to scenic drives along its winding roads. Visitors can explore its numerous trails, each offering unique perspectives of the rugged terrain and panoramic views of the Mojave Desert. Red Rock Canyon is not only a fun trip for adventure seekers but also a sanctuary for wildlife, with sightings of desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, and various species of birds being common occurrences.

Beyond its natural beauty, Red Rock Canyon holds cultural and historical significance as well. For centuries, indigenous peoples have revered this land, leaving behind petroglyphs and other artifacts that offer glimpses into their rich heritage. Today, the canyon serves as a living testament to the enduring power of nature and the importance of preserving our planet's natural wonders. Whether you're seeking solitude amidst the desert landscape or craving an adrenaline-fueled escapade, Red Rock Canyon promises an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of the American Southwest.

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