Discover the Magic of the Nevada Desert

Where can you experience the desert in Nevada and around Las Vegas? Travel guide to Nevada's best canyons and desert destinations.

The US state of Nevada is located in the eastern part of the North American continent, bordered by California to the west, Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, Utah to the east, and Arizona to the southeast.

The so-called Silver State is sparsely populated (it has just over 3 million inhabitants) and much of its surface is rocky, desert and crater-covered. However, despite the inhospitable nature of its terrain, this state is home to world-famous cities and offers a unique on-the-road travel experience.

landscape photography of rock formation near highway
Nevada desert. Photo by Quintin Gellar on Pexels.com

Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert

Crossing the Mojave Desert, heading south, one encounters a city that at first glance might seem to be for all intents and purposes a mirage. Lights, colors, music and voices mingle ceaselessly, seeming almost to stun, excite the eye, thrill the patron.

This is Las Vegas, the Gambling Capital of the World (also: the Entertainment Capital of the World), the most visited city in Nevada, one of the most iconic cities in the States. Gaming and entertainment are undoubtedly the city’s forte.

Las Vegas is the spiritual cradle of modern casino gaming, the place where some of the most important U.S. casinos have been opened since the early 1930s.

The best known is the Golden Gate, which opened in 1931 as the Sal Sagev Casino (the impresarios had decided to name it after the casino city, reversing its name). Over the years casinos of all kinds have proliferated, known worldwide, such as the Bellagio, the Venetian, the Caesars Palace, the Riviera Hotel & Casino, and many others.

The pulsating artery of the city is Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as “The Strip,” where the most spectacular hotels and casinos are located. The city is constantly bustling with all kinds of events: shows, concerts, sports competitions, rallies and conventions.

Also very famous is Fremont Street, buzzing with stores, hotels and restaurants, equipped with a cable car and a very atmospheric pedestrian street illuminated by lights and laser beams.

If you prefer the quiet of nature to the glitter of the city, you cannot miss a visit to Lake Tahoe. This is located on the border between California and Nevada and is one of the most celebrated wonders of the U.S. nature. This is the deepest lake in the U.S., just behind Crater Lake in Oregon.

It is distinguished by emerald-colored waters and a backdrop of snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. Everything here is dominated by the blue and green of lush, unspoiled nature.

Valley of Fire. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon

If one wants to discover a more rugged and hostile, but no less spectacular, nature, one has only to get into a car and drive into the Valley of Fire, taking the road of the same name. This winds along the slopes of a rocky desert streaked with pink, red and white.

Related Post

The landscape is incredible to the point of being mesmerizing. One can also continue on foot inside the park to discover its more hidden sides. It is always red that dominates these landscapes, even in the case of Red Rock Canyon, which stands majestic with its reddish sandstone rock formations, offering itself even to intrepid climbers and cyclists.

Another of the region’s canyons, Grapevine Canyon is particularly well known for its Spirit Mountain. As we climb the mountain’s 1,720 m (5,000 ft), it is possible to admire ancient petroglyphs etched by the Mohave Indians who once populated the area.

In Nevada you can also find many remains of once inhabited, now deserted locations. One example above all is the ghost village of Rhyolithe. This had sprung up in conjunction with the gold rush that inflamed Nevada in the early 1900s. However, within a decade or so of its founding, all activity was abandoned and the village remained completely deserted. This is not the only mysterious place in this area.

Nevada attracts curious people and mystery enthusiasts from all over. In fact, this state is home to the famous Area 51, the top-secret U.S. base about which stories are told of incredible scientific experiments and UFO sightings, all of which are shrouded in absolute secrecy.

There are many stories of UFO sightings in Nevada, many people claiming to have seen strange figures in the skies or in the desert dunes of the region. However, these may not be mirages.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Black Rock Desert

Between late August and early September in the Black Rock Desert, 150 km north-northeast of Reno, one of the most incredible events ever takes place. We are obviously talking about Burning Man, the iconic festival named after the giant human effigy that is traditionally burned to celebrate the event.

Eight days of freedom, imagination and individual expression are experienced, days in which performances and art exhibitions, fairs, games and workshops follow one another.

You can admire futuristic installations and make the most unpredictable acquaintances in a desert that is transformed into one of the most dreamlike and magical settings ever.



Read also: Sandboarding and Dune Riding in Nevada


Related Post