Fall is my favorite season in Nevada. The weather is delightful and the pumpkin-spiced lattes are plentiful. Best of all is the fall foliage as greens turn into hues of oranges, yellows, golds and reds. It’s as if the aspens, oaks, maples and cottonwoods are all dressed up for a special occasion – and you’re invited to watch. Here are 11 places where you can see the colorful autumn show without even leaving the state.
1. Lamoille Canyon - Wells
Tucked in the Ruby Mountains, Lamoille Canyon abounds with a wide range of color in the fall. Take a drive along the 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway or venture into the canyon for a closer view.
2. Great Basin National Park
Known for its groves of ancient bristlecone pines and Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park is a treasure trove in the fall. A great way to enjoy the fall foliage is by taking the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.
3. Mount Rose Scenic Byway - Reno
Mt. Rose Highway (State Route 431) rises from the foothills to pass through the colorful Tahoe Meadows then descends through pine forests before it joins the Lake Tahoe National Scenic Byway (Highway 28) at Incline Village.
4. Lake Tahoe National Scenic Byway
Drive around Lake Tahoe, south on Highway 28, for non-stop shades of fall color. If you feel like getting out of the car, take a walk through the trees on a path at Spooner Lake or take a moderate hike up to Marlette Lake (pictured above).
5. Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge - Amargosa Valley
The ash trees at this refuge turn orange and gold in the fall as the birds begin to fly south for the winter. The weather is beautiful and the wildlife is plentiful.
6. Bowers Mansion Regional Park - Washoe Valley
Enjoy the fall-colored tall trees and expansive lawn on a picnic at Bowers Mansion Regional Park, located at 4005 Highway 395, between Reno and Carson City.
7. Ruby Lake Wildlife Refuge - Ruby Valley
An oasis for birds and wildlife, this remote refuge is filled with mustard-yellow, gold, and lemon-yellow aspen and willow leaves, rabbitbrush blooms and wildflowers during the fall.
8. Carson River - Dayton
Named for expedition guide Kit Carson, the Carson River traverses five counties. In the autumn it is surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage.
9. Floyd Lamb State Park - Las Vegas
This is a wonderful park for fishing, walking among the cottonwoods, picnicking or simply relaxing. This lush land is an oasis in the Mojave Desert. It is centered around Tule Springs, which is comprised of four lakes.
10. Spring Mountain National Recreation Area - Las Vegas
The Spring Mountain National Recreation Area includes Mount Charleston (pictured above). Take a hike with the whole family through the multi-colored trees. Your kids will love grabbing a few leaves as a souvenir.
11. Reno Riverwalk District - Reno
Take a leisurely stroll along the Truckee River in the Reno Riverwalk District. Grab a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe (pumpkin-spice, of course) and take in the beautiful hues by the waterfront.
Photos don’t really do justice to the gorgeous fall foliage in Nevada. I hope you will have a chance to check some of these places out in person!