Maybe it’s Item #1 on your Bucket List. Or maybe it’s just the best wrong turn you ever took. No matter how you grab onto Nevada’s world of outdoor activities and recreation, extraordinary natural resources in Nevada abound. Get to know 24 Nevada state parks and two national parks, crowdless national monuments, and millions of acres of public lands. Hike easy ambles or alpine scrambles in the Lower 48’s most mountainous state. Explore pristine alpine lakes and trout-packed streams. Climb the world’s tallest outdoor climbing wall, turn the Strip into an après-ski wonderland, and dive into some of the purest, clearest water on Earth. Tackle fresh mountain bike singletrack or thousands of miles of off-road action, then slink into the most natural hot springs in the United States. Basically, whatever you’re after, the wide range of Nevada recreational activities has you covered.
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State of Nevada
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Nevada’s huge. And more than 85% of it is pretty much unfenced, totally wild, and—most importantly—public. With the highest percentage in the Continental U.S. of pure, open, unspoiled canvas for all your recreational desires, when it comes to adventure, Nevada is unbeatable. If that’s not enough to send you out into thousands of miles of trails, hundreds of hot springs, and more ghost towns than “living” towns, all beneath the darkest skies in the Lower 48, we’re not sure what is. How about exploring uncrowded backcountry lakes and streams, where it’s just you and the native trout? Familiarize yourself with all state rules and regs, but when it comes to being outside in Nevada, fly that freedom flag by camping, hot springing, hiking, and offroading pretty much wherever you want.
Although Nevada is a haven for off-grid, backcountry recreational bliss, many of the Silver State’s world-class destinations are just up the interstate from our biggest metro area, the entertainment capital of the world. Hit up visitors centers for maps and intriguing exhibits before exploring Nevada’s national recreation areas and national monuments, including easily accessible Lake Mead and Tule Springs—home to one of the world’s largest concentration of ice age fossils—as well as remote and rugged Gold Butte or the wide-open solace of Basin and Range.
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Radical Outdoor Recreation: WEEKEND WARRIORS ROLL CALL
However many days (or weeks) you’ve got for your adventure, rest assured that Nevada can fill ‘em. That said, it doesn’t take long to get to some of our favorite places to make memories. Up north, make Reno your basecamp for day trips and overnighters to world-famous destinations like North and South Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, the Black Rock Desert, and beyond. If you’re in Vegas for the weekend, take your pic for your nature fix and blast out to nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, Red Rock National Conservation Area, the Joshua Tree Highway, Mt. Charleston, and even Valley of Fire or Death Valley—and still get back in time for your dinner reservation.
But if you roll into Nevada and time is on your side, Nevada’s wide-open roads (and trails and tracks and backcountry everything) are calling, with the promise of truly limitless opportunities for extended outdoor recreation adventures. Pack your adventure-mobile, point it toward a dirt-road horizon and tackle a route like High Rock Canyon or the Silver State OHV Trail. Lace up those boots and hit up a thru-hike, like the Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail or the Toiyabe Crest Trail. Grab your camping gear, drop a gear, and disappear into some of the country’s most remote wilderness, like Gold Butte National Monument or the Jarbidge Wilderness. Because if your fave kind of recreation means seeing what’s beyond “what else lies around that next bend” your mind is in the exact right state.
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