As the most mountainous state in the contiguous United States, Nevada is a great place for hiking. Magnificent hikes abound in the north, south, east and west. Some lead you through arid desert landscapes while others lead you under shady alpine greenery.
Ultimately, the most difficult part about taking a hike in Nevada is deciding which of our magnificent hikes to take. Here are 12 hiking trails in Nevada that we believe aren’t to be missed.
1. Lamoille Lake Trail – Elko
Tucked in the Ruby Mountains, Lamoille Canyon is a glacier-sculpted canyon that’s sometimes called the Yosemite of Nevada. Hike among trees and ponds to Dollar Lakes and finally Lamoille Lake in Lamoille Canyon on this 4.3-mile hike (round trip). The trail continues on from here along the Ruby Crest Trail if you’re so inclined. Parking is near the trailhead at the end of the Lamoille Canyon scenic byway.
2. Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail – Boulder City
The Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail offers a leisurely 3.7-mile walk through five tunnels from Lake Mead to the Hoover Dam. Once a railroad connecting Boulder City with the services it needed to build the dam, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The trail begins near the Alan Bible Visitor Center at Lake Mead and ends on the top floor of the Hoover Dam parking garage.
3. Wilson Canyon Interpretive Trail – near Yerington
Located at the south end of Wilson Canyon on the east side of the West Walker River, this trail was a community effort built with the support of the state and Lyon County. Hikers will encounter wildlife, fossils of ancient mammals and petrified trees as well as signs placed along the trail to help identify all that they see. The clearly-marked trailhead is accessible along Nevada State Route 208.
4. Mouse’s Tank – Valley of Fire, Overton
Less than a mile long, this easy hike is supposedly named for a Southern Paiute Indian renegade who committed many crimes in the area during the 1890s. It’s also known as Petroglyph Canyon Trail. Parking is a mile past the Visitor’s Center.
5. Arc Dome Trail – Tonopah
Arc Dome is the highest peak in the Toiyabe Range. The 12.8-mile trail will take you there. The trail stays to the south of Stewart Creek and climbs steadily through groves of aspen. Ignore the sign at the junction pointing to the left and head to the right along Stewart Creek. The trail is horse and dog-friendly.
6. Calico Tanks – Red Rock Canyon – Las Vegas
This moderately difficult hike starts from Sandstone Quarry Trailhead, located along the 13-mile Red Rock Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The dog-friendly trail leads you to a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip and valley. Parking and restrooms are available at the trailhead.
7. Wheeler Peak Summit Trail
Located in eastern Nevada, this is a challenging 4.3-mile trail that rewards you with panoramic views. Park in the last parking area on Wheeler Peak Scenic Dr. There are trailheads for other magnificent hikes here, or you can hike half a mile to the Wheeler Peak trailhead.
8. Hunter Creek Trail – Carson City
You will feel refreshed on Hunter Creek Trail, a 7-mile hike that leads to a beautiful waterfall. While this is an easy trail, sections are a little rocky, so be careful. Dogs on leashes are allowed on Hunter Creek Trail. The parking lot has a water fountain for hikers as well as a water fountain for dogs.
9. Cathedral Gorge Trail - Panaca
Cathedral Gorge Trail (Cathedral Gorge State Park) has about 6 miles of easy trails. You'll experience beautiful views of the soft siltstone and clay shale formations and spires of Cathedral Gorge while hiking here.
10. Grimes Point Archaeological Area Trail – Fallon
This easy, though moderately steep, 1-mile hike leads you past wildflowers and 6,000-year-old Paiute petroglyphs. You may also stumble upon Hidden Cave, an ongoing archaeological dig site. The archaeological site belonged to nomadic hunter-gatherers around 3,500 years ago. Guided cave tours are offered twice a month.
11. Mount Rose Trail – Incline Village
Mt. Rose Trail is a 9.8 mile, moderate dog and horse-friendly trail that passes a waterfall. Also accessible for children, it offers amazing views of Lake Tahoe from the top. A large parking lot is located on the left hand side of Mount Rose Summit.
12. Grapevine Canyon Trail - Laughlin
From refreshing waterfalls to 1,000-year-old petroglyphs, the 3.4-mile Grapevine Canyon Trail is full of unexpected sights. Part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the hike is accessible March through October. It has a moderate rating and is mostly used for hiking, walking and bird watching.