Nevada is known for its many out of the way spaces and remote locations, coupled with the quirky, unique sensibilities of its citizens. If you’re looking for something different and “off the beaten path” distance-wise or just in a state of mind, here’s a list of 10 ideas to broaden your travel plans in Nevada.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Little Finland
Little Finland is located in a remote part of Southern Nevada by the Gold Butte National Monument. You'll need either a vehicle with 4WD to reach it, or you can make a 12 mile hike from a more accessible area in. It's definitely worth the trip! The red rock formations here are very unusual, and account for the area's other nickname, "Hobgoblin's Playground." To get there,drive north on the I-15 towards Mesquite and take exit 112, then drive down New Gold Butte Road (about 40 minutes). As you get closer to the area you will need a high clearance vehicle. The other option is to hike in from Gold Butte Road, 3-1/2 miles south of the junction at Whitney Pocket.
2. Soldier Meadows
Soldier Meadows Hot Springs and the nearby Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge are both located in the Black Rock High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. At one time back in the 1800's, this area was considered one of the most dangerous sections of the pioneer trail through the state. If you're looking for an out of the way spot to enjoy some natural beauty, this is definitely it! You can either camp at some primitive sites or stay at the lodge. To get there from the town of Gerlach, use Country Road 34 going north and then right onto Soldier Meadows Road. Drive another 47 miles until you see the BLM cabin and the hot springs and the ranch.
3. Black Rock Desert
If you're going to take a trip to Solider Meadows, might as well stop at the Black Rock Desert as well. This region appears desolate due to the lava beds and alkali flats. The entire area covers 300,000 acres. Its most well-known as the site of the Burning Man festival, but there's plenty of see here when the festival is not active. It's a popular spot for hiking, primitive camping, photography, and off-road vehicles. To get there, take the I-15 north/US-93 north/NV-375 north to Nye County. Take Hot Creek Road/NF-139 to reach the desert.
4. Las Vegas Downtown Arts
Las Vegas would not seem like an "off the beaten path" destination, but downtown Las Vegas is an area not often visited by tourists (or many locals, for that matter!) One fun aspect of area are the many murals you can find. The murals first began back in 2013 as part of an effort to revitalize the neighborhood. Most of the murals can be found by driving around the Fremont Street district and the "18B Arts District" which is between Hoover Avenue, Wyoming Avenue, Las Vegas Boulevard and Commerce Street. You can also enjoy some quirky shops and restaurants along your journey.
5. Lost City Museum
The Lost City Museum is located out in Overton, NV by the Valley of Fire State Park. The museum covers a unique subject - the artifacts from archaeological digs brought about by the construction of the Hoover Dam. These artifacts were determined to be from an ancient Native American civilization that lived in the southwest more than 2000 years ago. You can also see exhibits on the Southern Paiutes with artifacts and baskets from the 1800's. There's also a shaded picnic area to use after you've enjoyed a visit. The museum is located at 721 South Moapa Valley Boulevard in Overton - take the I-15 north to exit 93/Overton/Logandale and drive 13 miles to South Moapa Valley Boulevard.
The little town of Jarbidge and the nearby Jarbidge Wilderness Area are known as some of the most remote spots in Nevada. In fact you can't even reach the town of Jarbidge on a paved road - there are none to be found within 20 miles of the place. What you will find is a charming historical abode with friendly residents. The Jarbidge Wilderness Area is 65,000 acres of natural beauty and tons of recreational outdoor options. It's also known as a top fishing spot and the only place you can catch Bull Trout in Nevada. The wilderness is particularly stunning in the spring when wildflowers are in full bloom. Jarbidge is located near the northern border of the state. Driving north, take the US-93 north to the NV-318 north/NV-375 north to the US-6 east. From there take the US-93 north/East Aultman Street and 3 Creek Road/Beaver Lane to Main Street/NF-062 in Jarbidge.
7. Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park
This state park is an outdoor recreation area that happens to also preserve ichthyosaur fossils found in the area. The park covers 1,540 acres on the Shoshone mountain range not far from Austin. The reamins of 40 ichthyosaurs were found here in the 1960s and these included the largest ever found, until 2004 when a larger fossil specimen was located. You can view many of these specimens at the park, as well as have fun camping, hiking and enjoying a scenic view of the mountain range. To reach the park, take State Route 844 from the US-50 in Austin, or 361 from US-50 by Fallon.
8. Goldwell Open Air Museum
This unusual spot is the home to several outdoor sculptures. The artwork was created by a group of Belgian artists and each piece is uniquely different from the others, such as the "Last Supper" pictured here. The "museum" is just outside of the Rhyolite ghost town, another out-of-the-way Nevada attraction. You can visit the outdoor museum 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it's completely free. There is also a visitor center open six days a week. To get there, take US Highway 95 south to State Highway 374, about 4 miles west from the town of Beatty.
9. Paradise Ranch Castle
Take one look at this place and you'll think it's a castle but in fact, it's a charming bed and breakfast by the small town of Austin, off US-50, the "Loneliest Road in America." While the castle looks like a replica of a castle from the Middle Ages on the outside, in the inside the decor has a cozy southwestern feel to it. Guests have complete access to the building and you can even board horses here if you bring your equine friend on vacation with you. This is a great place to stay at while visiting the beautiful natural spots and historical areas in this part of the state. You can reach the Paradise Ranch Castle via the US-95 north to the NV-376 north to US-50 going west. Take NV-722 to reach the bed and breakfast.
10. Beaver Dam State Park
Beaver Dam State Park is one of Nevada's parks that may not get as much attention as other larger ones. This park, just off the Utah border near Panaca, is a real hidden gem. Camping, fishing and hiking are typical activities, as well as photography. The park is a "Watchable Wildlife Area' with many opportunities beavers (of course!), foxes, bobcats, mule deer, and even mountain lions. You can reach the park by driving on the US-93 north toward Panaca and to Beaver Dam Road.
Do you have a favorite spot in Nevada that you consider off the beaten path? Share your recommendations in the comments!