"GEMS BEYOND THE STRIP" Top 5 Page for this destination Nevada by mtncorg

Nevada Travel Guide: 10,559 reviews and 22,926 photos

How about a Nevada page without Las Vegas or Reno? Can it be done? Sure. The State is huge and it doesn't take to much effort to find sites that actually make Nevada worth visiting. I am going to concentrate on a few of these areas that you may have not heard of. Nevada is a high desert - officially, the Great Basin type; there are four warm weather desert types in the US: Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave being the other three. The desert is interrupted every few miles by Great Basin ranges of mountains - typical range being long (running north-south), thin and tilted with a gradual side to the east or west and the opposite side is an abrupt face. The country is owned for the most part by the Federal Government. It is also very isolated. Over 90% of the population of the State lives in Las Vegas or Reno areas. Outside of the metropolitan areas, is a landscape that is both geographically and culturally separate.

For the tourist, one of the best books that I can think of is the Moon Publications effort from Deke Castleman, "Nevada". the book is one of the Moon State Handbooks, a series that I find more consistent and complete than Lonely Planet. I use some of the LP foreign efforts but find their efforts all over the board - some are quite good and others are not. I don't like most of their US series. I think Moon does a much better job here, both with the coverage and the authors selected. Deke Castleman gives a very complete picture of what you can and cannot do in the State and does so in a lightly irreverent manner. And if you are only going to Vegas or Reno, Mr Castleman handles those areas in most excellent fashion as well. Another book for the hiker, like myself, is the Sierra Club's "Hiking the Great Basin" by John Hart. I have used that book as inspiration for ranges within Nevada to seek out and explore and in my journeys have found several others using the same source - the trails are still the same, but the edition might be getting a bit old though now - similar to the old mtncorg.

I have far from covered all of the possibilites in this fine State. The Toiyabes, the Jarbridge, the Grant Range and others still await the tread of my boots. I ahve not seen Pyramid Lake or the Carson Sink or the ichthyosaurus remains at the Ichthyosaurus State Park near Berlin. Many of the places I have been call me back: Great Basin National Park, the Ruby Mountains,...... And the towns on the edge - the Elys, the Elkos, the Wells, the Tonopahs, the Hawthornes, the Winnemuccas, the Battle Mountains. Towns that are a long ways from nowhere - not unlike many of the small towns in the eastern vastness of my own home State - Oregon.

So of we go to the few tips that I can offer up. No Vegas, no Reno, no Tahoe. Others have exhaustively covered those. Come with me to the Rubys, the Snakes and the Whites. Come to Nevada.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Glorious pockets of grandeurous wilderness; peaks, lakes, cirques, the old west in real-life, and the oldest things on earth
  • Cons:Las Vegas and Reno are built for the short term; Schlock comes to its logical conclusion
  • In a nutshell:Natural Beauty versus Manmade Glitter
  • Intro Updated Jul 12, 2007
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Reviews (10)

Comments (2)

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    An excellent page on the vast part of Nevada that lies outside of the Green Felt Jungle. Too bad that 4900 yr old tree was cut down to ascertain its age.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2005 at 11:26 PM

    Nevada really has more to offer than the good old Death Valley ! Thanks for this page, it should encourage anyone to go off- the tracks


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