In Nevada, we’re lucky to have natural beauty completely surround us. Stunning lakes, majestic mountains, beautiful parks and towering forests are just a few examples of beautiful scenery that’s scattered throughout the Silver State.
There are many incredible places in Nevada to explore, and listed below are 12 natural wonders that are definitely worth checking out.
1. Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is the principal U.S. National Forest in Nevada. With an area of 6,289,821 acres, it's the largest National Forest of the U.S. - outside of Alaska. This gorgeous forest lies within 13 counties in Nevada and six counties in California.
2. Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake, located 40 miles northeast of Reno, is one of the most unique lakes in the United States. The rock formations are incredible! Pyramid Lake is fed by the Truckee River, and it's the largest remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan. This particular area (Lake Lahontan) of the lake was once home to the 19th-century Paiute.
3. Mount Charleston
Mount Charleston, located nearly 35 miles northeast of Las Vegas, is the highest mountain in both the Spring Mountains and Clark County, Nevada. It's the eighth highest mountain in the state. Mount Charleston is snow-capped more than half the year, which makes for a modest ski area. There are also several hiking trails on this popular mountain, which keeps hikers coming back again and again. Mount Charleston really is an incredible mountain and it offers many spectacular views.
4. Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park, located in the Mojave Desert approximately 50 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, is Nevada's oldest state park. It covers an area of nearly 42,000 acres and was dedicated in 1935. This park's name is derived from red sandstone formations that were formed from shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs more than 150 million years ago. These sandstone formations are the centerpiece of the park's attractions and usually appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. Locals and visitors love picnicking, camping and hiking at Valley of Fire State Park.
5. Fly Geyser
Fly Geyser, also known as Fly Ranch Geyser, is a man-made geothermal geyser located in Washoe County, Nevada. It's located approximately 20 miles north of Gerlach, on the private Fly Ranch in Hualapai Flat. Fly Geyser actually sits on private property, but it's large enough to be seen from the road. An interesting fact regarding Fly Geyser is that it was accidentally created by well drilling in 1964.
6. Jarbidge Wilderness
The Jarbidge Wilderness, established in 1964 and located in the Jarbidge Mountains of northern Elko County, Nevada, is made up of more than 113,000 acres. There are also nearly 10 mountain peaks that are greater than 10,000 feet located within the area. Surprisingly, this wilderness area receives an average of 7-8 inches of snow each year. If you visit the Jarbidge Wilderness, be sure to keep your eyes wide open for wildlife. Elk, deer and mountain lions are known to prowl this area. Outdoor enthusiasts are huge fans of the Jarbidge Wilderness, especially hunters.
7. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe, located in both Nevada and California, isn't only one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States, it's also the country's largest alpine lake. Lake Tahoe was formed nearly 2 million years ago and is well known for the clarity of its water. If you've never been to Lake Tahoe, it's a destination that's definitely worth checking out.
8. Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park, established in 1986, is located in White Pine County, Nevada. This beautiful park is best known for its groves of ancient bristlecone pines and the Lehman Caves. It's also home to more than 800 species of plants and 61 species of mammals. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you'll love visiting the Great Basin National Park.
9. Black Rock Desert Wilderness
The Black Rock Desert Wilderness is located within the Black Rock Desert. With a land area of 314,829 acres, it's the largest U.S. designated wilderness area that is managed solely by the Bureau of Land Management. Vegetation in this wilderness area consists of saltbush and greasewood, and large portions of the area are unvegetated. Just a few examples of wildlife found within this wilderness area include mule deer, pronghorn antelope, sagegrouse, mountain lions and coyotes. Numerous mammoths have also been excavated from the area.
10. Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
The Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, located within the Amargosa Valley of southern Nye County, Nevada, is a beautiful 23,000 acre protected wildlife refuge that's part of the larger Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes the following: the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and the Amargosa Pupfish Station. An interesting fact regarding Ash Meadows National Wildlfe Refuge is that virtually all of its water is fossil water, meaning it entered the ground water system tens of thousands of years ago.
11. Lehman Caves
Lehman Caves, discovered during the late 1880s, is located within Great Basin National Park and attracts thousands of visitors each year. This popular tourist attraction is a beautiful marble cave containing numerous stalactites, stalagmites, helictites and more than 300 rare shield formations. Lehman Caves was declared a national monument on January 24, 1922. The next time you visit Great Basin National Park, be sure to check out Lehman Caves. If you're a fan of caves, you'll love this place!
12. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located approximately 15 miles west of Las Vegas, features large red rock formations, with some of the walls towering more than 3,000 feet. The height of these rock formations make this area a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area receives over 1 million visitors each year.
Have you ever visited any of these natural wonders? What other natural wonders in Nevada are worth checking out? Please let us know in the comments below!