Whatever you’re looking for in a scenic drive, there’s a good chance Nevada has it. The most mountainous state and the sixth-largest state in the lower 48, the Silver State’s majestic peaks and valleys are spread over a seemingly endless chunk of land. Nevada’s scenic byways wind their way through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.
In between Las Vegas and Lake Mead lies Valley of Fire, an impressive canvas of wind-sculpted red sandstone that transforms with each slight movement of the sun.
Like many historic cities in the Silver State, the grand, bustling city of Belmont has dwindled into one of the state’s more iconic ghost towns. Positioned north of Tonopah, and the additional living ghost town of Manhattan, lies the fascinating remains of Belmont.
Prepare to see Lake Tahoe’s stunning version of “East Side Story,” starring Nevada’s serene wonder in all her glory, on one of three National Scenic Byways in Nevada.
An hour’s drive north on US 95 from energetic Las Vegas, this byway’s elevation takes you from low to high. Thirty-six miles on three state routes – Lee Canyon Road (SR 156), a portion of Kyle Canyon Road (SR 157), and Deer Creek Road (SR 158) – link US 95 with the majestic, 11,918-foot Mt. Charleston in the Spring Mountain Range. On this state byway, sage turns into a mix of Joshua, piñon, ponderosa pine, juniper and white fir trees. You may even spot an ancient bristlecone pine, the oldest living tree on the planet.
Just 15 miles from the bright lights and casinos of Las Vegas lies the magnificent Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA). With its expansive sandstone rock formations, hiking trails, rock climbing and picnic areas. Red Rock provides a dramatic contrast to nearby Las Vegas. Follow the loop off SR 159 to view the 39-mile state byway, which returns to SR 159. The highway winds through the 197,000-acre NCA under the rocky eye of the Spring Mountain Range.