"Home in the Great Basin" Top 5 Page for this destination Nevada by DSwede

Nevada Travel Guide: 10,550 reviews and 22,899 photos

Nevada is a huge, desolate, beautiful region. There are deserts, high snow capped mountains, wild animals from bears to cougars to the infamous rattlesnake. If you are lucky, you will even spot the state's official animal, the Desert Bighorn Sheep.

NV is 7th largest state measuring 286,350 sq km, with a population of 2.1M. The vast majority of which live in the greater Las Vegas area. For those Australians reading this, that means it is slightly larger than Victoria. For Europeans, that means that it is about 7x larger than Switzerland or 80% the size of Germany. For others, it is just a hair larger than New Zealand.

The silver, logging and mining industries have created some thriving areas, as well as some remote ghost towns. The Pony Express as well as many stagecoach routes passed through the remote expanses.

In my opinion, there are few places that are as varied as Nevada. (for more pictures, feel free to visit my USA Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)

Nevada was once the bottom of ancient Lake Lahontan. This lake was a huge sea that covered all the lands from the Sierras on the west to the Rockies on the east.

There are a few things that still remind us of the ancient lake in the days of the Ice Age. Icthyosaurus State Park (~23 miles east of Gabbs, NV) is reported to have the largest collection of aquatic fossils in the world.

The great sinks of the Salt Flats, Pyramid Lake, and the Carson sink show where the water that falls in the Great Basin will never reach the oceans.

There are countless Indian areas and parks. The Valley of Fire and Mojave are littered with connections to the prehistoric.

Then there is Area 51 and HW375 which skips from the prehistoric to the futuristic. Alien cafes, hotels and testimonials are abundant in the south!

Cathedral Gorge and the canyon lands seem to go on forever. Then there is the Grand Canyon, which does go on for ever.

There are countless hunting ranges too, like the Ruby Mountains for elk and deer. There are countless 4x4 excursions to be had too.

US-50 is often sited as being the "Loneliest Road in America". But in reality, US-6 is the real "Loneliest Road", crossing Nevada's expanse from Montgomery Pass CA to Baker and Great Basin National Park at the Utah line. In those 297 miles of open spaces there are only three towns of more than 100 people, Baker, Tonopah and Ely. Most days you'll have the road to yourself.

In the vastness that is Nevada, there is a little of everything:
The wonderfully beautiful area of Lake Tahoe.
The mini-Vegas of Reno.
The capital seat of Carson City.
The silver mining boom town of Virginia City.
Living ghost towns like Austin.
Real ghost towns like Aurora (outside of Hawthorne).
Little forgotten towns like Verdi.
The home of Top Gun, Fallon.
The neon oasis of Las Vegas.

Check out my travelogue for some photos of the real rural Nevada, which for those of you who don't know is not the Strip in Las Vegas...
Or for those more interested in off road stuff, check out my 4x4 in NV travelogue.

Unfortunately I do not have many pictures of my visits to the eastern side of the state, but hope to add to my collection soon.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A nature lover's dream, every type of terrain exists in easy reach.
  • Cons:Long desolate roads can be lonely and require precautions.
  • In a nutshell:With so much diversification, a week minimum is required in each corner.
  • Intro Updated Apr 18, 2014
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Reviews (6)

Comments (11)

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I wondered why Betsey wouldn't give milk for a week. It was you!

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2008 at 8:16 AM

    Icthyosaurus Park and the Ghost Town of Berllin really sound like something I would enjoy. Nice page.

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2007 at 12:22 PM

    Nice overview of Nevada!

  • Minashka's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2007 at 11:34 PM

    Well hi there! Long time, no hear ;-) Glad you dropped by again! Will be even happier if you visit one day. I am sure you'll have many stories to tell :) I liked Nevada but learned a lot more from your page! Thanks

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2007 at 7:10 AM

    Hope you have fully recovered :) Used to drive to Nevada from SF whenever bored. Once we were chased away from sensitive site. Fond memories of dusty road to Berlin and leftover marine monster (icthyosarus whatever) on a hill top. SL

  • johngayton's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2007 at 6:22 PM

    Hi there Dave, good to hear that you're mobile again. Where are you off to next? Half-planning another US visit early next year, catch you for a beer somewhere? :)

  • RaeganB's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2007 at 5:08 PM

    Beautiful pics D. Bet you there's a geocache in there somewhere..:)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Driving across country in 3 days, I missed such beautiful sites! Hopefully, we can trailer RedRover out there and you and you can give us a guided tour of "No where"

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2007 at 6:17 AM

    Awesome, simply awesome. 20+ years there and these photos and words bring back all the fun times and memories in the "boonies" of rural Nevada. Thank you & great job Dave! Ann

  • discobunny's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2007 at 10:42 PM

    Nice part of the States...hopefully I'll get there one day in the near future!! d*

DSwede Used To Live Here!


“What I lack in experience, I make up for in curiosity”

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