Every state has its share of amazing natural wonders, but Nevada—with its plentiful mountains, lakes, and other geographical features—has some pretty incredible ones. The best part is that they are easily observable: no rough hikes or rocky terrain to traverse to reach them. Behold, the beauty of Nevada with these 12 epic, natural wonders.
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. Valley of Fire
Located near Overton in Clark County, Valley of Fire State Park is named for its Aztec red sandstone formations that appear to be on fire when hit by the sun's rays. The 10.5-mile Valley of Fire Road takes visitors through this amazing park.
2. Fly Geyser
Located just 20 miles north of Gerlach, this small man-made geothermal geyser is one of the most amazing natural wonders in the state. Created in 1964 by a drilling accident, Fly Geyser is among the most visited natural wonders. While there is no hiking involved to see the geyser itself, it is fenced off by the property owner, but visitors can still get a great roadside view.
3. Bonsai Rock
Located south of Sand Harbor on the east side of Lake Tahoe, this boulder sports four tiny trees atop it which resemble finely pruned Bonsai trees. In reality, the rock limits the trees' development, giving them their Bonsai appearance
4. Pyramid Lake
The unique pyramid jutting out of the water, as well as the smaller structures, are limestone tufa formations that were exposed when the ancient Lake Lahontan receded. As this lake has no outlet, its water level is controlled only by evaporation. In addition to providing sanctuary to a particular breed of pelican, the lake is full of very large Lahontan Cutthroat trout.
5. Jarbidge Wilderness
This 113,000-acre park is located in northern Elko County. Established by the Wilderness Act of 1964, this wilderness area contains the Marys and Jarbidge Rivers, Salmon Falls Creek, Emerald and Jarbidge Lakes, and ten mountain peaks of over 10,000 feet apiece. Visitors should be on the lookout for a variety of wildlife including deer, mountain lions, and elk, which are plentiful.
6. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Located just 15 miles west of Las Vegas (and visible from the Las Vegas Strip), Red Rock Canyon offers spectacular views of its large sandstone rock formations, many of its walls measuring 3,000 feet high. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Red Rock Canyon is a favorite among hikers, rock climbers, cyclists, photographers, and other nature lovers. Visitors can take the 13-mile scenic loop through the park.
7. Lunar Crater National Landmark
70 miles north of Tonopah in the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field lies this spectacular 400-acre crater. Designated one of Nevada's six Natural National Landmarks in 1973, the crater is believed to have been formed by ground-level, subterranean water explosive eruptions.
8. Floyd Lamb Park
This 2,040-acre park is situated on Tule Springs in Las Vegas. Opened in 1964, it was renamed in 1977 after then-Senator Floyd Lamb. The park contains four lakes that are stocked for fishing: Tule Springs Lake, Mulberry Lake, Cottonwood Lake, and Desert Willow Lake. The lush greenery is a nice change from the desert and concrete plentiful in Las Vegas.
9. Cathedral Gorge
Situated in Panaca in central eastern Nevada, Cathedral Gorge's stunning rock walls were created by nearly one million years of erosion of the soft bentonite clay. The resulting formations are stunning.
10. Lake Tahoe
Straddling California and Nevada and located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest behind Oregon's Crater Lake. Millions of visitors flock to Lake Tahoe annually year round for its amazing outdoor recreational activities and stunning beauty.
11. Sand Mountain
Located near Fallon, this giant sand dune is two miles long and 600 feet high and was created as winds blew across the remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan that once covered much of this area. Of particular interest is that Sand Mountain is musical. When the wind blows across the top of the dune, it emits a whispering, eerie hum (but only when atmospheric conditions are just right.)
12. Lake Mead
Located about an hour south of Las Vegas in Boulder City, Lake Mead is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world and the largest reservoir in the U.S. It measures 112 miles long when the lake is full, with 759 miles of shoreline, and is 532 feet at its greatest depth. Lake Mead extends into Arizona as well, and provides water to California, Nevada, and Arizona. Construction of the Hoover Dam between 1931 and 1936 created this lake, and it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S.
Nevada is a beautiful state with amazing natural wonders that are easy to reach without hiking. How many of these gorgeous attractions have you visited? Please share your comments and experiences below.