We’ve compiled a list of some of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring landscapes in Nevada, if not the United States. There’s plenty to admire in this desolate region. We’re confident you’ll fall in love with these Nevada desert landscapes.
- Admire ancient rocks at the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area. Petroglyphs are rock carvings, also called rock paintings, made by picking at or carving into rocks with a stone chisel or hammerstone. These 10,000-year-old masterpieces – some of the oldest in the West – were created by Native Americans long before there was the United States of America, much less a state of Nevada. These stunning designs found in central Nevada’s Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area overlook the Toiyabe Range, the longest mountain range in the state.
- Kick up sand at Sand Mountain. Fly across these drifts just southeast of Fallon, Nev., in a dune buggy, all-terrain vehicle or motorbike, but be prepared to stop in your tracks if the “singing sands” sneak up on you in quieter moments with their peaceful, melodic hums. This natural phenomenon occurs in only a handful of deserts around the world.
- Simulate a moonwalk at Lunar Crater Volcanic Field. This attraction east of Tonapah, Nev., covers 100 square miles and is home to more than 20 extinct volcanoes. The area teems with lava fields, cinder cones, elongated fissures, ash hills and a stunning, 430-foot-deep crater that’s the closest thing on Earth to resembling the moon. One unpaved road, the Lunar Crater Back Country Byway, passes by the crater, and the usual approach is from the north, starting from U.S. Route 6. The junction is marked by a BLM signpost, from which it is an 8-mile drive to the crater’s edge.
- Run with wild mustangs and burros. Nevada is home to about 20,000 wild horses, and you can spot them in Cold Creek, along state Route 375 (Extraterrestrial Highway), U.S. Route 50 (The Loneliest Road in America) or in any one of the nearly 90 herd management areas across the state.
- Ride a mountain bike at Lake Tahoe. Turn those outdoor enthusiasts green with envy by traversing some of the most exhilarating bike trails in the world. These trails are not for the faint of heart. The Tahoe Rim Trail, for example, encircles the lake basin and covers 165 rugged miles. For more information on the Tahoe Rim Trail, visit the Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s website.
- Set your heart afire at Valley of Fire State Park. The state’s largest and oldest park got its name from the red sandstone that developed from shifting sand dunes more than 150 million years ago. When the sun’s rays strike the rock formations, they turn so red they look as though they are on fire.
While anyone of these otherworldly landscapes are certain to take your breath away, you can intensify the experience by viewing them from the sky aboard a luxurious Maverick helicopter. Maverick is Nevada’s premier helicopter tour company, offering visitors unparalleled luxury and customer service, along with one of the most sterling safety records in the industry.