The Best Road Trip Stops In Nevada

The Best Road Trip Stops In Nevada
Photo: Pixabay

Nevada, otherwise known as the Silver State, borders California and is the 9th-least most densely populated state. And this should come as no surprise, considering it is desert land.

When most people think about Nevada, one of the first things that come to people's minds is Las Vegas or maybe Area 51.

But they don’t realize that the State of Nevada is much more than that. So, in this article, I’m going to be introducing you to some of the best road trip stops Nevada has to offer:

Where To Stop On Your Road Trip To Nevada

If you’ve been planning your road trip around the US, you probably added Nevada to your list, hoping to see Las Vegas.

But here’s the thing:

The State of Nevada offers so much more than that, and most people tend to overlook them, which is why I want to introduce you to some of the best places this beautiful state offers:

The Hoover Dam

In the Black Canyon on the Colorado River, you’ll find the Hoover Dam. The colossal concrete arch-gravity dam was initially constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the great depression.

And while it’s easy for visitors and locals to take this structure for granted, the sheer engineering marvel should make it stand out.

Take a tour while you pass through to learn about the history of how it was built to get a genuine appreciation for this iconic dam.

Las Vegas Strip

If there’s one place in Nevada that people from all over the world want to visit, it’s the adult playground of Las Vegas, otherwise known as “Sin City.”

And while the area has family-friendly attractions, most people know it for its flashy casinos, bars, nightclubs, and much more.

Your best bet is to walk the strip and pop into casinos along the way to see what’s happening, and be sure to check out the Bellagio Fountain Show.

Valley Of Fire State Park

The Valley of Fire State Park is a nature preserve that covers nearly 46,000 acres and is located 16 miles south of Overton.

As you can imagine, the name came due to the color of the red sandstone formations, which were formed from shifting sand dunes 150 million years ago.

Great Basin National Park

In eastern Nevada on the Utah border, you’ll find the Great Basin National Park, a beautiful place to visit. The National Park is located in the Great Basin Desert and contains most of the South Snake mountains.

While you’re there, you can check out the 13,000+ foot summit of Wheeler Peak, which provides astonishing views over the foothills. Or you can stroll through the ancient bristlecone pines and explore the mysterious underground passages.

Fly Geyser

Although Fly Geyser is located on private land, it still deserves an honorable mention due to the beauty it beholds. The geyser is found in Washoe County, about 20 miles north of Gerlach.

There is a possibility of getting a private tour if you head to Bruno’s Restaurant in Gerlach; they are known for putting people in contact with the owner.

And it’s definitely worth checking out, there’s nothing quite like it on this planet, so it will make for a beautiful trip.

Area 51

Not many people in this world haven’t wondered what might be in Area 51. And although you can’t get inside the military compound, you can get close.

But here’s the thing:

There are only two ways to catch a glimpse of Area 51 that won’t get you arrested. The first way is to visit the black mailbox (which unfortunately is gone), and the second is to hike to Tikaboo Peak, which offers the best view.

Seven Magic Mountains

Located in the desert outside Las Vegas is the Seven Magic Mountains, a public artwork by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone.

It features seven 30-foot-high columns made with locally sourced boulders and painted in various colors.

Valley Of Fire Slot Canyon

The Valley of Fire Slot Canyon was formed by water rushing through the rock, and it makes a pretty spectacular visit.

The canyon itself is much deeper than it is wide, with drops going as high as 30 meters from the canyon's floor.

The Reno Arch

One of the most iconic landmarks in Reno is The Reno Arch which spans Virginia Street at the intersection with Commercial Row.

The arch that stands there today is the third installed in this location. The first arch was built in 1926 to commemorate the completion of the Lincoln and Victory highways.

Fremont Street Experience

At the heart of Downtown Las Vegas, you’ll find the Fremont Street Experience. It features an all-year-round party with magical light shows, live music, and restaurants.

And if you’re after an adventure, why not climb up the 12-story slot machine to take your turn on SlotZilla, the first zipline in Vegas?

Little A’Le’Inn

It’s in the middle of nowhere, but the Little A’Le’Inn has become an iconic place to visit. You’ll have to drive for pretty much a whole day to get there, but it’s definitely worth the experience.

You can find food and little alien trinkets for sale, and if you like speaking about UFOs or Area 51, the waitstaff is more than happy to get involved.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, and it’s known for its geological red sandstone peaks and Native American petroglyphs.

It also provides visitors with panoramic viewpoints, a 13-mile scenic drive, seasonal waterfalls, and much more.

Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Is there any better way to mark your visit to Las Vegas than taking a snap on The Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign?

The landmark was funded in May 1959 and erected soon after by Western Neon. It’s located in the median at 5100 Las Vegas Boulevard South, just north of the historic stone pillars.

International Car Forest Of The Last Church

The International Car Forest Of The Last Church started as a dream with the vision of a place where artists could create beautiful pieces of art.

It’s a graveyard of over 40 graffitied cars, trucks, and buses, making it a spectacular view to admire.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

The last place on our list is the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Considering how close it is to Vegas, it’s incredible how different the landscape feels.

The water from the lake is surrounded by desert-and grassland, which feels exceptionally empty if you come here after the city.

Final Thoughts & Takeaways

Sin City has been a go-to location for people from all over the world to come and have fun. But what many people don’t realize is that Nevada has so much to offer than gambling and partying.

And that’s why I wanted to introduce you to some of the fantastic places the state offers people visiting.

Road Trips > Cross Country Road Trip > Nevada Road Trip Stops

About the Author

Jason Fox
Jason Fox

Jason Fox: Four years ago, I decided to quit my job as a chef to travel the world and see where life took me. The skills I learned while traveling led me to become a freelance writer so I could share my experiences with the world. Since then, I've been traveling the world working as a digital nomad. Find me on Instagram.