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.
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.
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.
“Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor,” as it says above the entrance, has an intriguing mix of quirky artifacts, including Raquel Welch’s black leopard print bra and signed photo, donated during a movie shoot nearby.