Nevada: Go beyond the bright lights
Think Nevada is all bright neon lights and a long, glitzy strip? Step outside of Las Vegas and you’ll discover that Nevada is a world within a state, offering stories and experiences not found anywhere else in North America. Here are a few of our favourites.
Visit Valley of Fire at sunset
Valley of Fire State Park, about 84 kilometres northeast of Las Vegas, is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. It gets its name from its stunning red sandstone formations, which seem to blaze when the sun sets. Explore trails through canyons and past rock formations. Petroglyphs – ancient rock art – can be found throughout the park, but they’re most easily viewed at the Atlatl Rock area near the western end of the park.
Paddle board on Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe – one of the largest alpine lakes in North America, situated on the Nevada-California border and surrounded by the forested mountains of the Sierra Nevada and Carson Ranger – offers recreational opportunities in all seasons, from skiing in winter to kayaking in summer. Known for the clarity of its water (you can see down more than 20 metres) and cold temperatures, Lake Tahoe is an especially popular recreation area for water sports, with paddle boarding the most recent addition.
Hike to the bristlecone pine trees at Great Basin National Park
Bristlecone pine trees, which can live up to 5000 years, are one of many natural wonders that you can see at Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada. The park turns 30 this year, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the USA’s national park system. To check out the bristlecone pines, take the park’s 20-kilometre scenic drive to the Wheeler Peak campground and then set off on the Bristlecone Trail, which takes you to a grove of the trees growing on a glacial moraine.
Try a Picon punch at a Basque restaurant in Elko
Picon punch - popular in Basque restaurants in the American West – is rather heady. Grenadine, club soda, brandy and Amer Picon, an orange, nutty-flavoured liquer, combine to make a high-octane cocktail. When travelling through Elko and other northern Nevada communities, it’s a must when eating at a Basque restaurant. And yes, we said Basque – as in the Basque Country, a region between France and Spain. A wave of immigration during the mid-19th century landed many Basque people in the American West, where they often worked as sheep herders, driving their flocks through Nevada’s mountain regions.
Hike at Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock National Conservation Area is just 27 kilometres west of the Las Vegas Strip, but a world away in terms of environment and ambience. Red Rock Canyon offers almost 80,000 hectares of unique geological features to explore on hiking paths, by mountain bike, on horseback or through one of the many tours offered in the area. Red Rock Canyon can also be enjoyed by car: there’s a 20-kilometre scenic loop drive with multiple trailheads and lookout points along the way.
Experience all of the above and more on Adventure World’s 11-day Nevada’s Backroads journey, priced from AU$1,475/NZ$1,555 per person including transport, accommodation, sightseeing and many meals. For more information, visit adventureworld.com, call (AU) 1300 295 049 or (NZ) 0800 238 368 or see your travel agent.
Mele Foliaki | with 0 comments