Top 10 Most Famous Nevada Landmarks Travelers Talk About
When most people think about Nevada, they think of Vegas. While this mega strip certainly tops our list of top ten famous Nevada landmarks, there is so much more that the state has to offer. Past guests point to destinations found in many of the state parks here, including stunning geological features and relaxing lake getaways. There may even be a secret military base or two worth trying to find for the adventurous.
1. Las Vegas Strip: Even though the state of Nevada has a rich and important history that is steeped in ancient tradition, there is one place that seems to embody the spirit of the entire state. The area known as the strip is home to a great many casinos and world class hotels, all lit up and complete with palm trees smack in the middle of the desert. Notable Nevada landmarks can be found here, such as the scale model of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and Casino, and the water feature at the front of The Bellagio is a tourist attraction in itself. The entire area is a tourist destination and one of the most popular in the world. Known for a warm climate, laid back atmosphere and world class dining and entertainment options, the little oasis in the desert has come a long way since its rat pack roots.
2. Valley of Fire State Park: Northeast of the glitz and glamour of the strip can be found this, the oldest and largest of all state parks in the State of Nevada, whose red sandstone formations date back to the age of the dinosaurs when red desert sands swept across the region. Guests can not only enjoy the park’s natural beauty and amenities like rock climbing, picnicking and hiking, but also have an opportunity to learn a little about the area’s past at the visitor center. Like many Nevada landmarks, the Valley was an important place for Native Americans, and the petro glyphs telling their stories can be found scattered throughout the park.
3. Red Rock Canyon: Just west of Las Vegas proper can be found surprisingly a lack of modern amenities and a gorgeous and unique natural environment. Named of course for the towering red rocks that dominate the desert landscape here, the canyon draws thousands upon thousands of visitors every year. Although the rocks themselves are what make the park one of the most popular of all Nevada landmarks, an interesting history including past occupation by perhaps more than six Native American tribes on their quest for water is almost equally worth learning about for guests here.
4. Great Basin National Park: On Nevada’s eastern border, can be found this massive state park, named for the area in between two mountain ranges. Here guests can explore unspoiled natural environments amidst nearly a thousand different types of plants and animals life long eared bats and tall conifer trees. The park is also home to one of the most protected of all Nevada landmarks, a site that was declared a national monument in the early 20s. The Lehman Caves are over half a billion years old and were formed from limestone and marble when the area was still covered by a prehistoric ocean.
5. Lake Tahoe: In the Sierra Nevada range lies a lake that is shared with Nevada’s neighbor to the East, California, in an area just west of Carson City. It’s a peaceful and serene place that draws thousands upon thousands of tourists each and every year. The area is most notably popular for skiing, however all year round there are activities to keep the entire family entertained including activities on the lake and exploring the lush tree lined shores. Tahoe is the second deepest freshwater body of water in the country, and one of the oldest Nevada landmarks, likely forming as we know it today around two million years ago.
7. Pyramid Lake: Once home to an ancient, inland sea, the one hundred twenty five thousand acre area found just north of Reno Nevada is home to some of the most stunning natural sights in the state. Amongst these is one of the most unusual of all Nevada landmarks, a pyramid shaped rock that seems to jut out of the water from nowhere. This geometric natural formation is made of a type of limestone that forms when water temperatures and surrounding environmental factors are ideal.
8. Black Rock Desert: A bit north of Reno is home to this conservation area that encompasses more than a quarter of a million square miles. Here, lava rock, geysers, colorful rock formations and even an abundance of fairy shrimp await guests that are willing to make the journey. The area is home to both the Calico Mountains and the Jackson Mountains which seem to slice the desert in half, but while they’re the best known of these natural Nevada landmarks, over twenty different ranges are found in this desert park.
9. Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park: So what is it about this park, found in the central part of state, that draws guests from all over the country each and every year? It’s the vast collection of Ichthyosaur fossils that were found here and are on display for everyone to enjoy. The park is also home to a familiar fixture amongst Nevada landmarks, a once thriving but now abandoned mining town, called Berlin, that is one of the best examples of a ghost town in the western hemisphere.
10. Area 51: Although it can be argued that this military complex is one of the most well known of all Nevada landmarks, it ranks lower on our list because it’s not necessarily a place that people can actually visit as the area is so well guarded and secretive. However, tourists and travelers can get their fix by visiting the nearby town of Rachel, the closest outpost to the famed military site in order to eat, drink and pick up an abundance of alien souvenirs.