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11 finest locations to go to in Nevada – carry-on solely

Nevada is a pretty deserted state to explore … and by that I mean, it’s full of desert landscapes! Don’t let the extreme surroundings fool you, but there are tons of incredible and best places in Nevada to visit across the state.

You see, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the iconic parks, it’s a state that’s so much more than just slot machines and the glitz of the Strip. While this is likely your Nevada draw, you should take a little time to explore some of the wider areas of the state.

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However, like many states in the United States, it’s pretty sprawling and it can take a full day (or more) to drive from the northernmost to the southernmost tip. All of this means that you should plan your trip early, especially since there can be wide open desert roads.

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To help you on your way, we’ve selected some of our favorite and best spots in Nevada for your next trip. Have the best time.

1.) Las Vegas

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Love it or hate it, Las Vegas is known around the world as an over-the-top, dazzling, outrageous, and everything in between city in the US to visit. However, don’t be fooled by the fact that this is all about gambling. Las Vegas can be so much more!

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Yes, you will see slot machines and roulette tables at every turn, but over the past few decades Las Vegas has grown into an entertainment capital with concerts, shows, events and every kind of experience you can dream of.

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Of course, spend some time on the Strip, exploring the huge resorts, and booking some world-class shows. Oh, and if you fancy a few hours of vacation, hop on a helicopter to the Grand Canyon too!

Read More: Best Things to Do in Las Vegas

2.) Black Rock City (Burning Man)

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Okay, for me, Black Rock City is one of the best places in Nevada if you want a completely different type of adventure.

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Established every year as the home of Burning Man, it is a place where tens of thousands of people spend a week creating the incredibly respectful, diverse, and incredible temporary city. It’s anything and everything you want!

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Yes, you do need to purchase tickets months before you can attend (which is a process in itself) but we’ve created a guide for Burning Man to help you navigate your first trip to Black Rock City and everything you need to know , helps.

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Trust me it’s an incredible experience but you have to plan months in advance. It’s not the kind of place where you can just rock and hope to “get in”.

Read More: Your Essential Guide To Burning Man

3.) Death Valley National Park

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Mostly located in neighboring California, there is part of Death Valley in Nevada. To be honest, what’s stopping you from driving over the border into California to enjoy this part of the national park too?

On the Nevada side, you can see places like Grapevine Peak and Leadfield Ghost Town which are a few miles across the border. If you are exploring a lot of Death Valley (again mostly in California) be sure to check out Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes which are so breathtaking.

Also, be aware and fully plan your trip before heading to Death Valley. On my first trip we were (and rightly so) sent away by the rangers. You see, we didn’t bring enough water and it was dangerous to continue. Plan your trip, supplies, etc as this is not the type of area you want to split up and realize that you have nothing with you.

Read more: Best National Parks in the US

4.) Lake Mead (Hoover Dam)

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Easy drive from Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam is one of the best things to do in Nevada if you want to spend a little time away from the slots.

Upon arrival, take a stroll over the Hoover Dam or take a guided tour of the dam and power plant. Which is pretty nifty to think you’re going into a dam!

Alternatively, rent a boat to explore Lake Mead, which can actually be pretty reasonable. You can even book smaller boats for around $ 95 an hour (for eight people). Just don’t bump into it, you will forfeit your deposit.

5.) Reno

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It’s hard not to compare Reno to Las Vegas. To be honest, Las Vegas will always win if you do this. it’s just on a different scale!

Yes, it’s smaller, the casinos aren’t quite as famous or sprawling, but it’s worth peeking for a few days while exploring the best spots in Nevada, in the northwestern part of the state.

For some time away from the gambling halls, check out the Nevada Museum of Art, the Wilbur D. May Center (and Botanical Gardens), or the National Automobile Museum.

Just like in Las Vegas, there are tons of different things to do that don’t just put money into these hungry slots!

6.) Great Basin National Park

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About 300 miles north of Las Vegas, the Great Basin National Park is one of the best places in Nevada if you are heading east towards Utah. As you can see, there are tons of hiking trails, stops and huge caves to explore.

For the view, go to Mather Overlook, which is right next to Lehman Creek. If you’re looking for a hike, head over to the Bristlecone and Alpine Lakes Trailhead to Teresa Lake.

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If you’re going underground, you’ll also visit the Lehman Caves, where you can take a ranger to explore the geology and makeup of these stunning locations.

Wear a good pair of shoes and allow around 1.5 hours to enjoy the tour to the fullest.

Read more: Best National Parks in the US

7.) Red Rock Canyon

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The Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area is located in the Mojave Desert, which is absolutely breathtaking.

In fact, it’s a great place to go to explore a beautiful area on one of the marked trails. The Old Creek Canyon Trail is simply breathtaking. Plus, with a certain level of fitness, it’s not too difficult (if you follow this route).

If you’re not in the mood for a hike, follow the 13-mile Scenic Drive, which overlooks the High Point Overlook, Petroglyph Wall Trailhead, and the Red Rock Wash Overlook. It’s so nice.

8.) Pyramid Lake

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North of Reno (and south of Burning Man), Pyramid Lake is one of the best places in Nevada to visit when exploring the northwestern outskirts of Nevada.

Well there isn’t a lot in terms of restaurants, facilities etc but that makes this place great! It’s absolutely spotless and worth a peek for a quick dip, relaxing time, or even camp (with permission).

9.) Sloan Canyon

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Sloan Canyon is literally just outside of Las Vegas and is a great morning getaway from the city. You see, this is where you can find Native American petroglyphs etched into the stone that are really easy to spot.

If you fancy a hike, hit some of the trails (again, plenty of water and goodies) but avoid midday when the sun is at its strongest. This desert heat can be overwhelming.

10.) Valley of Fire State Park

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The Valley of Fire is just outside Moapa Valley and Lake Mead Park and is easy to get to from Las Vegas. It can easily be combined with a trip to Lake Mead itself.

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Along the park, you will see many different geological formations such as the Windstone Arch and Tunnel Arch which are absolutely gorgeous.

If you follow the White Domes Trail or the Fire Wave Trail, you’ll see tons of diversity in this relatively small state park.

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Also, visit this lookout for a peek across the Fire Canyon itself.

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It really is one of the best locations in Nevada that is easy to get to from the city.

11.) Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe is completely different depending on what time of year you visit. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Nevada no matter what time of year you choose to explore the state.

Now driving across from Carson City, make sure to stop at Sand Harbor Beach, Zephyr Cove, and Herlan Peak for a stroll.

If you’re heading into Califonia across the state line, head to Emerald Bay State Park or Alpine Meadows (in winter) for skiing!

Read more: Best National Parks in the US

10 best national parks to visit in the US

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