With the Silver State’s nearly 70 recreation areas, from state park and historic sites to campgrounds, backcountry byways and more, outdoor enthusiasts will find no end of explorable terrain. But up the ante with two spectacular national parks and it’s easy to see why Nevada’s possibilities for adventure are as wide open as the landscape.
It may not sound inviting, but don’t let the name fool you. Death Valley National Park is filled with rich sand dunes, colorful rocks, brilliantly hued canyons and more. The colossal park measures 3.4 million acres of largely unpopulated terrain, but explorers brave enough to venture in will find a fascinating collection of relics from its amazing past. From charcoal kilns and ghost towns to petroglyphs and ancient Shoshone foot trails, the park is anything but barren. And while it hasn’t also been such an amazing tourist destination – early pioneers gave certain features in the valley names indicative of their extreme struggles here, including Hell’s Gate, Starvation Canyon, Coffin Peak and the Funeral Mountains, among others – today’s visitors will find Death Valley far more inviting.
Great Basin National Park, the only national park located entirely within Nevada, is a wonderland of outdoor beauty, home to groves of ancient bristlecone pines, one of the planet’s oldest living things, beautiful towering peaks and amazing features like the Lehman Caves. These incredible limestone caverns were originally protected as a national monument before being incorporated into the larger national park. The expansive park features an assortment of excellent campsites, perfect launching pads for hikers, climbers, explorers and more.