Nevada: More Than Just a Desert

Why visit Nevada for outdoor adventures? Isn't Nevada just Las Vegas and one big desert? It's actually so much more! Come see for yourself!

When I mention the State of Nevada, what comes to mind? 

Most people naturally think of Las Vegas almost immediately as the only thing our nation's 36th state offers.  Perhaps images of the Bellagio's fountains come to mind, as water shoots out of its pool in an iconic display set against the backdrop of the neon lights of the casinos lining Las Vegas Boulevard. Maybe you think of the allure of slot machines with handles to be pulled, card tables with bets to be placed, or other indulgences providing fun to be had and riches to be won. While Las Vegas is a big part of Ne-va-da, not Ne-va-duh, it is not the whole story of this state. Have you ever wondered what lies beyond the neon lights of Las Vegas Boulevard? What if I told you Nevada is an outdoor mecca of enormous proportions?


Lake Tahoe - South Lake Tahoe, NV

Nevada is more than just a big barren desert. After all it has over 300 named mountain ranges, making Nevada one of the most mountainous of all 50 states. It's also the 7th largest state, the 9th least densely populated, and is made up of over 80% public lands, which leaves a lot of room for outdoor adventures for people like you and me. To the North lies the scenic high country of Lake Tahoe and the Eastern Sierras. The historic Great Basin region- including a National Park bearing the same name- dominates the East. While America's most diverse National Recreation Area, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, dominates the South with 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons valley and two vast lakes. Lastly, to the West, in addition to the Sierra Nevada range, are the edges of Death Valley National Park.


Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area

While these destinations and geographic features of Nevada offer phenomenal outdoor adventures, everything in between these compass points adds so much more to what Nevada has to offer for nature lovers. The state's outdoor treasures also include the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, Red Rock National Conservation Area and 24 State Parks. Plus if people really aren't your thing Nevada is home to Highway 50, known as "The Looniest Road in America." This extensive geographical diversity offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts of all activities. Whether you are a hiker, biker, climber, kayaker, snow boarders, skier, parachutist, or an outdoorsman of any discipline Nevada has a destination for you. Put simply, you do it, Nevada offers it. 


Valley of Fire State Park - Las Vegas, NV

It's because of this comprehensive diversity that Nevada is simply so much more than the fun and fame of Las Vegas or the stigma of a barren desert with little to nothing to offer. In actuality, Nevada offers so much more for those who love nature and seek outdoor adventure than many give it credit for. This gem of the Southwest offers landscapes seen in few other places on earth and protected space on a scale rivaled virtually nowhere else. After all, Nevada is a place where over 80% of the state's land is set aside for public use to be enjoyed by all and owned by none.  


Red Rock National Conservation Area - Las Vegas, NV

So next time you are looking to explore somewhere new, venture to a new state, or are visiting Las Vegas, consider exploring what Nevada has to offer beyond its neon lights, casinos, and few and far between cities. Explore outdoor Nevada, its raw public lands and its outdoor beauty. See why so many people just like me are proud to call this place home. Why we truly love the State of Nevada and all that it is and offers. 

Grab your gear, its adventure time!


Great Basin NP - Baker, NV

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Mayson AlgeyerExplorer

I am an avid outdoorsman and photographer with an enormous passion for the outdoors and sharing moments worth capturing from my adventures. These are the stories behind my adventures to share with you.