According to abbreviationfinder, Nevada is located in the southwestern United States, between Oregon and Idaho (north), Arizona (south), California (west and south), and Utah (east). The state is divided into six regions, which are Reno-Tahoe Territory, Cowboy Country, Indian Territory, Pony Express Territory, Pioneer Territory, and Las Vegas Territory.
The Silver State has a desert climate, with large differences in day and night temperatures. The summer is mainly characterized by a very dry heat, which can reach 45°C in some places. In winter the mercury drops to around freezing point. In the mountains, these differences can occur on a daily basis. Located in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada, Nevada is the driest state in America, with an annual precipitation average of 7 inches (19 cm).
Best travel time
Avoid the months of July and August, when the heat is at its driest. Spring and fall are the best times to visit Nevada.
Flora and fauna
Nevada is really nothing more than a desert, with large concentrations of people here and there. The forests mainly consist of all kinds of pine trees. Sagebrush is common throughout the state, in addition to creosote bushes in the South. Surprisingly, the desert can conjure up a true splendor of colors under certain conditions. In the lower areas, the (wild) flowers bloom from February, after which the flowering limit gradually moves upwards, until the beginning of June that most flowers can no longer withstand the heat.
It is also home to the mammals found in most desert and mountain regions, including black bears, mule deer, jackrabbits, Rocky Mountain moose, gray foxes, and bighorn sheep. It will come as no surprise that birds of prey also regularly float through the azure blue sky, alongside the common partridge, pheasant and quail. Snakes are also relatively rare. Nevada waters include fish such as trout, salmon and Arctic char.
According to countryaah, Tiny Carson City is the capital of Nevada. Of course, the gambling paradises of Las Vegas and Reno are the most mentioned cities, but Paradise, Henderson and Sunrise Manor are also busy places.
Nevada has no fewer than two National Parks. The most famous, Death Valley National Park, is an area of extremes. In addition to having the hottest shadow temperature ever recorded, it also includes the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and is the largest National Park in America after Alaska. Yet, despite its scorching image, there is plenty of natural beauty to be seen here. More than 1,000 species of plants and flowers bloom here annually, depending on conditions. Great Basin National Park goes one step further. With glaciers, limestone caves Lehman Caves and the 4,000 meter high Wheelers Peak, this is a must-see, especially after the hot depths of Death Valley.
Glitter Gulch has a motto: “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Perhaps for the best, because many reputations have been made and broken here. Besides an infinite number of games of chance in each of the many hotel casinos, The Strip – the ‘new Las Vegas’ – is the biggest attraction. The old downtown also has its charm, although this is more a place for family fun than for the high-stakes gambler.
Reno is an alternative to that other gambling city of Las Vegas, if only because of the excellent recreational opportunities nearby. Nearby Lake Tahoe, one of America’s largest freshwater lakes, is especially popular in the winter when the slopes open.
Mojave Desert – land of gunslingers and aliens
Hot air swirls over the desolate landscape and there is no wind, so if a tree grew here, not a leaf would move. Instead of trees, however, only cacti and tree-like succulents can be seen. A rider on a horse approaches from a distance a small village with wooden houses…
So this is how we imagine the environment of movie westerns from the Wild West. A similar image can be found in some places in the USA today, except that the horses are replaced by large “esuvéčki”. An example is the Mojave Desert, which stretches over 57,000 km² in southeastern California and southwestern Nevada. In addition to the mentioned westerns, Star Wars and a number of other films were also filmed here. Incidentally, many UFO sightings are also reported from the Mojave Desert.
The Californian part of the desert with a size of about 6,200 km², located between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40, has been a protected area since 1994 called the Mojave National Preserve. Various rare plants and animals live here, many of them critically endangered, tourists also go here for photogenic scenery with an amazing desert atmosphere. Perhaps the most famous example is the Kelso Dune Field near the town of Baker in the San Bernardino area. The dunes, up to 200 meters high, cover an area of 115 km² and have different forms – from classic mountains of sand, through dunes overgrown with vegetation to sand formations of unusual shapes. On a relatively small area of dunes, we can find several endemics, mainly from the insect kingdom.
Photographers often take pictures of the granite rock formation Cima Dome and other volcanic formations. Another point of interest is the small, barely 6 kilometer long Marl Mountains, located northeast of another small Kelso mountain range. Yes, the name is the same as the dune field mentioned above, as both places are located near the town of the same name. This in itself is remarkable and somewhat creepy, because it belongs to the so-called “ghost towns”, of which we can find quite a few in the USA. It was created in the 1920s around the railway station, but it was closed in 1986 and most of the inhabitants left the town. Only wind, dust and sand blew through the empty streets as the houses fell into disrepair. Today, life is returning here to a lesser extent after it was decided to restore some buildings and open them for tourists.
On the contrary, there are places where visitors seem to stop showing up. For example, the Providence Mountain Recreation Area, part of the Mojave National Preserve, was proposed to be closed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of cost savings. However, it is not yet certain how everything will turn out. Therefore, it is not even possible to say what fate awaits the three Pleistocene limestone caves Mitchells Caverns, located at an altitude of 1,311 m above sea level in the mentioned recreation area. For now, it is possible to visit the caves, which were once a sacred place for the Chemehuevi Indians, for $4.
The highest point of the Mojave Desert is Mount Clark, reaching a height of 2,417 m above sea level and located in the mountain range of the same name. Its peak, towering above the surrounding landscape, sometimes receives a layer of snow in winter.
A relatively large portion of the Mojave National Preserve is covered with short-leaf yucca agave, known as the joshua tree. Many of these “trees” reach impressive dimensions and great age.
Just a few years ago, you might have come across a very unusual sight in the desert – a lonely telephone booth. It was 15 miles from the road and very far from the nearest building. It got to the place sometime in 1960, but the reason is unknown. The strange curiosity gained many fans who called here blindly in the hope that someone would pick up the phone, or, on the contrary, arrived at the place and waited for a call. However, in May 2000, the telephone company removed the booth, much to the chagrin of many supporters. A few years later, in 2006, the booth became the central theme of the independent film Mojave Phone Booth.
Probably the best way to see the beauty of the entire Mojave National Preserve is to use an all-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle and drive the so-called Mojave Road, a historic road that served adventurers and new settlers in the 19th century. The entire route measures 222 kilometers and leads – roughly speaking – from the Colorado River Canyon near the town of Needles to Afton Canyon. It takes two to three days to overcome it. On the way you can visit, or at least see, a large number of interesting places, both from a natural and cultural-historical point of view. However, it is not an ordinary trip, it is necessary to have a vehicle in good technical condition as well as water and food supplies in case of emergency.
During the trip, you will probably also meet local representatives of the animal kingdom. The smaller ones can be frightened by the menacing-looking tarantula, which, however, is essentially harmless to humans. But even if she wasn’t, there’s no reason to kill her. After all, we are in a protected area and any damage to local life is inadmissible. We should also leave the nice-looking Agassizi’s desert tortoise alone. This endangered creature hides water in special bladders and can therefore last a whole year without drinking. However, if we frighten the turtle – for example by lifting it off the ground – it will lose water and may subsequently die.
In short, let’s enjoy what nature has to offer without destroying it irretrievably. However, this should apply in general, not only in reserves and national parks…