Must See - Silver Trails
Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park (Berlin via Gabbs)
Did you know that much of Nevada was once covered by a prehistoric sea? Come see the fossils of ichthyosaurs that once swam in the sea. Berlin is a high-altitude ghost town located 23 miles east of Gabbs, and the park is open year-round, although cold winter conditions can make access limited.
Walker Lake (Hawthorne)
An excellent example of a high-desert lake, Walker Lake is a quiet basin surrounded by sagebrush and mountains. It is home to abundant fishing, bird-watching and boating. Only 135 miles southeast of Reno, it is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway in northern Nevada.
Nevada has many ghost towns, but few are as well-preserved with as many intact buildings as Belmont. Visitors can stay at the Historic Belmont Inn Bed & Breakfast and explore the many mining ruins and deserted buildings or head off into the Arc Dome and Table Mountain Wilderness areas for days of adventure.
Silver State OHV Trail (Pioche and Caliente)
Rev up your engine and set out on the 260-mile scenic Silver State OHV Trail system that winds through the southeastern part of the state. The trail is open to hiking, equestrian, mountain biking, 4x4 and motorcycle use, but ATV riding seems to be its true calling.
Tonopah Mining Park (Tonopah)
More than 100 acres from four major mining companies comprise this fascinating outdoor museum. Check out the mining equipment and gaze down the 500-foot-deep “stope,” or vertical tunnel used to extract ore.
Tonopah lays claim to the “darkest night sky in the nation,” as named by USA Today, making it the best place to stargaze. Countless stars and celestial beings can be seen from this quiet mining town 209 miles from Las Vegas and 236 miles from Reno.
Due to the area’s rich gold mines in the early 1900s, Goldfield sprang up in western Nevada, full of vigor and action. The opulent Goldfield Hotel boasted one of the first Otis elevators west of the Mississippi, and rich gold barons called this Nevada city home. But the gold eventually ran out and now the town is in a state of “arrested decay,” not quite a ghost town… yet. Visitors can still wander the streets and see the buildings and homes much as they were when they were built.
Extraterrestrial Highway (Rachel)
Aliens, UFO sightings, a secret government testing facility, moonlike terrain. Is it any wonder State Route 375 gained notoriety as the “Extraterrestrial Highway”? Aliens or not, the Extraterrestrial Highway is eerie, and it is wise to stay on the road and not venture too close to the border of Area 51. Armed guards will quickly tell you to turn around, even though Area 51 doesn’t “officially” exist. But Rachel, the only town along the lonely road, is a much more welcoming place, and the Little A’Le’Inn is the perfect place to get some food, wet your whistle, shop for souvenirs and share tales of extraterrestrial sightings.
Cathedral Gorge State Park (Panaca)
Towering clay-like spires and deep narrow gullies make up this strangely beautiful state park in eastern Nevada. Millions of years of erosion have carved away the ancient lakebed that covered the area and left behind breathtaking pillars and caves, a natural cathedral in the Nevada wilderness.
Death Valley (Beatty)
One of the hottest, harshest and most stunningly beautiful places in the United States, Death Valley must not be missed when traveling in the West. There are many places to camp, hike and explore. For a look at one man’s fortress against the elements, visit Scotty’s Castle, built in the 1920s by “Death Valley Scotty.” The castle saw many a Hollywood guest and party, and the shade-filled castle grounds are a welcome respite from the intense heat of Death Valley.