Camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, nature study, star gazing. Not your thing? How about mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, water skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating. Choose your favorite outdoor activity and Nevada State Parks will provide a place for it.
There are 24 parks, recreation areas, and historic sites in the Nevada park system, stretched across terrains as diverse as alpine forests and bone-dry deserts. Among them are natural lakes and man-made reservoirs, such as world-famous, 22-mile-long Lake Tahoe or the much smaller Echo Canyon and its 35-acre reservoir.
Other parks provide glimpses into the past. Valley of Fire is one of the state’s oldest, with 3,000-year-old petroglyphs carved in sandstone and breathtaking views of maroon-colored rock formations created during the age of the dinosaurs. Mormon Station in Genoa and the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort feature replicas of 19th-century fortifications and visitor centers explaining regional history.
Many campgrounds and RV facilities are open all year, depending on the weather—you even can stay in a yurt at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park near Ely. Trailheads are well marked, and facilities at many parks include RV dump stations, showers, and day-use facilities for groups.
Several parks offer seasonal programs: You can see Civil War re-enactors fire their rifles or go on a moonlight hike. Live performances in summer include the Shakespeare Festival at Lake Tahoe’s Sand Harbor and Super Summer Theater at Spring Mountain State Park near Las Vegas.
Although you can get into most parks year-round, it’s best to check ahead in winter, as access roads can be blocked by snow. Sledding, ice skating, and ice fishing are popular cold-weather activities. Cave Lake State Parknear Ely hosts the White Pine Fire and Ice Show, which features a snow sculpture contest and fireworks.
Nevada State Parks offer you plenty to do all year long. For fees and other information, visit parks.nv.gov.