Nevada is about more than the Las Vegas Strip. If you are looking for a weekend getaway or a new road trip destination, here are eight beautiful places to visit in the Silver State that are worth the drive.
Drive along Route 28 at Lake Tahoe and between Sand Harbor Overlook and Hidden Beach, you'll find Bonsai Rock, a large boulder with four trees peeking out of the top. The spot is a favorite for photographers and other visitors who want to capture the majesty of northern Nevada.
Make time to take in as much of Lake Tahoe — the deepest alpine lake in the country after Crater Lake in Oregon — as you can. It is, as Mark Twain referred to it in 1871's "Roughing It," "surely the fairest picture the whole world affords."
Explore nearly 46,000 acres of red Aztec sandstone at Valley of Fire State Park. The park itself was dedicated in 1935, but Anasazi farmers made use of the land thousands of years prior.
At nearly 12,000 feet, Mount Charleston is one of the most prominent peaks in the United States and the highest mountain in the Spring Mountains. Hit the slopes, grab a hot cocoa at the lodge or set out on one of the many trails that snake their way around the mountain.
Cathedral Gorge, a geological preserve with a dramatic landscape shaped from soft bentonite clay, was one of the four original Nevada state parks, formed in 1935 (along with Valley of Fire). Explore the park's network of slot canyons to escape the heat in summer, but go prepared in winter, as nights can get quite cold.
Tonopah, about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, has one of the darkest night skies in the country, making it perfect for stargazing. You can see around 7,000 stars (including the Milky Way) on a clear night, compared to 25-50 if you live near an urban area. Even inexperienced stargazers will notice the difference in the town that USA Today named the best place to stargaze in America.
Head to Great Basin National Park, near Baker (Nevada, not California), to take a tour of the Lehman Caves. The elements wore down limestone for millions of years to create the formations you can see today in the caves. The stalactites, columns, draperies, flowstone, helicities and rare shield formations continue to change today.
The Hoover Dam, near Boulder City (southeast of Las Vegas), was built during the Great Depression and provides power to millions of people in Nevada, California and Arizona. The dam's construction resulted in the creation of Lake Mead, the largest lake in Nevada.
Fly Geyser sits on private land near Gerlach, Nevada, that was purchased by the Burning Man Project in 2016. The Project plans to open the land to the public starting with nature walks in the spring, and access to the cold pools, geysers, wetlands and playa will be well worth the wait. Keep up with the project here.