Enjoy A Scenic Drive Along Nevada’s Four Most Beautiful Backroads
Nevada offers some of the most stunning natural backdrops not only in the country but in the world! To better explore the tranquility and scenic Nevada landscape, consider traveling to four fantastic backcountry roads. Steer into remote and wild places as your vehicle transports you to other worlds.
1. Gold Butte Backcountry Byway
For some hardcore offroad exploring, head 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas to experience the "very first backcountry byway." From this remote path, take in incredible Nevada sights. The 62-mile Gold Butte Backcountry Byway will you take past a historic mining town (also named Gold Butte) that includes old building foundations and gravesites. Explore the dazzling sandstone formations of Whitney Pockets, ancient petroglyphs, and a 110-foot sinkhole known as The Devil’s Throat. Other sights include wonderous desert wildlife, mountains, views of Lake Mead, and much more! Travel smart – this backcountry byway allows vehicles on designated trails only and, as always, prepare for the outdoor elements.
2. Mount Wilson Backcountry Byway
Follow 81 miles of scenic backcountry loop road to truly appreciate Nevada’s mesmerizing landscape. Head towards U.S. Highway 93 and the town of Pioche, where the trail both begins and ends. Though a small portion is paved and contains the state highway, prepare yourself for mainly an off-road expedition with much of the way made accessible by gravel roads. Gear up your vehicle and get ready to traverse through the Wilson Creek Range and get stunning views of Lake Valley. All are in for a treat as the Byway cuts through Spring Valley State Park in Pioche. This is a very remote location, so please keep this in mind as you get ready to go on this adventure!
3. California Trail Backcountry Byway
Tucked away in Elko County, Nevada, is the California-Trail Interpretive Center, a cultural and educational site opened in 2012 aimed at providing Nevadans and visitors with information about the area. It’s a great place to start your trip along this gorgeous backcountry byway. Once you’ve gotten your bearings, head out to Highway 93 to find gravel roads generally open May through October. The California Trail Backcountry Byway runs parallel to the historic California National Historic Trail that nearly 250,000 emigrants used to travel to California. Today, lucky visitors can still see the wagon wheel ruts made along the way so long ago!
4. Red Rock Canyon Backcountry Byway
The shortest byway of the group, the Red Rock Canyon Backcountry Byway is a 13-mile loop and perfect for an hour-long sightseeing trip. The paved byway runs off of State Highway 159 and features many pullout areas to stop and relax in the majesty of Red Rock Canyon. There’s a visitor’s center and plenty to do if you choose to stop for a bit, including a picnic area, hiking trails, wildlife spotting, and of course, amazing views of fiery red rock formations. This is one of the more popular scenic byways with good reason. This road may require an entrance fee and has limited viewing hours. Please see their website for more information.
It’s amazing what you can find when you know where to look! All you have to do sometimes is take the roads less traveled. Due to the remote nature of some of these locations, please be prepared for Nevada’s climate and desert landscape. Many of these byways have little to no service, so maps are recommended.
There’s plenty more to see in Nevada!
Don’t miss out on The Ultimate Nevada Natural Wonders Road Trip!
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Valley of Fire Highway, Valley of Fire Hwy, Nevada, USA
1 Interpretive Center Way, Elko, NV 89801, USA
1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161, USA