7 Great Reasons to Explore Outside Vegas

My love affair for Nevada began in the spring of 2007. I was young to the road and Nevada made all my dreams of surviving off of $15 a day a reality. Nevada holds a very special place in its heart for the adventure-driven, solace seeking traveller – the kind of traveller that finds Las Vegas a mere refuelling point on the way to the grander, lesser-travelled locales. Plain and simple, Nevada loves tourists and not just the gambler kind.
What follows are reasons to give rural Nevada a chance – consider spending some time rather than just blowing through this apparently barren landscape on the way to Las Vegas. The Nevada tourism board wants you to visit its state so badly that it offers numerous free camp spots. Nevada recreation areas have many free camp spots with facilities. For example, Hickison Petroglyph Area offers toilets, garbage facilities, and fire pits with absolutely no fee.
Did you know that Nevada has more BLM land than any other state? This means that more land is available for ‘boondocking’ – rustic, dispersed camping where leave no trace ethics are a must. Also, campsites with facilities at Great Basin National Park currently run $12 a night – one of the cheapest national park sites in the country. Check out Camping Guide Nevada for all sorts of sweet camping info.
Nevada has a huge array of natural hot springs and strange geothermal formations.  There are commercial springs around the Reno area but the rest of the state is dotted with wild springs.  These remote natural springs are usually off of dirt roads in the middle of nowhere and the real adventure is in trying to find the spring.  The Touring California and Nevada Hot Springs book is a great guide to both commercial springs and remote hot pots in Nevada.
Nevada is home to most of the country’s wild horses and burros and there is something incredible about seeing a herd of wild horses galloping wildly through the rangelands next to your tent.  And well burros – they are just so darned cute!  Sadly wild horses and burros quickly overpopulate and there is just not enough food and water to go around so each year the BLM rounds some of them up and adopts them out. For some reason Nevada breeds art about as well as it does wild horses.
From ancient rock art and massive earthwork pieces to open-air art museums and fencepost art – Nevada is a breeding ground for artistic expression.  I wanted to do an entire post on the Goldwell Open Air Museum but all their sculptures are copyrighted and I can’t post photos so you will just need to check it out for yourself. In an age of increasing recreation fees, Great Basin National Park still manages to be FREE.
Great Basin is home to 5000 year-old bristlecone pine trees, the towering 13,000 plus foot Wheeler Peak, and the spectacular limestone Lehman caves. Great Basin in one of the most remote national parks in the country and one of the darkest places in the entire US.  The park’s remoteness, clear skies, and high altitude make it absolutely phenomenal for stargazing.
Centered on the state of Nevada, the basin and range geologic province stretches from the Sierra Nevadas to the Colorado Plateau and makes up nearly all of Nevada. Basically there are hundreds of mountain ranges in Nevada – 313 named mountain ranges to be specific.
Due to the stretching of the Earth’s crust, Nevada is nothing but alternating mountain ranges and valleys followed by more mountain ranges and valleys. Climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking potentials are just beginning to be explored. America’s Loneliest Road, Hwy 50, stretches the state of Nevada from the Utah border to Carson City, NV. From hidden hot springs and ghost town exploring to wild horse viewing and backpacking deserted peaks – the lonely road has a ton to offer the solitude seeker.  Funny though, I saw more traffic on America’s Loneliest Road than other roads in Nevada like US 6 between Tonopah and Ely.
Trips to Vegas are always a great holiday and if you are looking for a deal or offer on one check this out. You can find some good deals and coupon codes for a whole load of places so if you are going on holiday soon you will probably find a few bargains for clothes, skin care products and anything else you might need.

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