By Alexa Solis
They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. They also say that the road from Reno to Las Vegas is the most boring journey that one can endure. What “they” don’t know is that Nevada is filled with gems of exploration hidden in plain sight. It isn’t hard to find ways to entertain oneself during the trek. With summer approaching, it’s a great time to grab some friends, pack up the car and head out for an adventure.
PLACES TO STOP
Amargosa Dunes, also known as Big Dune, is located about 100 miles North of Las Vegas. The dunes are a great place for off-roading, as well as a convenient campsite if you have the time for it. While Big Dune is frequented most by locals, it is a key destination for off-roaders of all kinds, especially during the weekends.
Though Beatty may seem like a small town in the middle of the Nevada (and it is a small town in the middle of Nevada), it is a charming place that boasts two of the biggest bests in the state. Namely, the Stagecoach Hotel & Casino is the best bathroom stop on the 300 mile drive, and the town is also the home of the Best Beef Jerky. Be sure to stop and refresh yourselves here as you make the final leg of the road to Las Vegas.
Now a semi-abandoned ghost town, Goldfield was once a bustling mining town in the early 20th century. Goldfield is filled with Nevada history and a multitude of buildings that illustrate Nevada’s humble beginnings. It’s a great place to stop and learn about the state’s history in a unique location. It is also host to the Goldfield Days Festival every August.
In addition to being the halfway point between Las Vegas and Reno, Tonopah also touts itself as a stargazing destination. Due to it’s particularly dark nighttime sky, Tonopah makes for a great place to stop and take in the beauty of an unencumbered star-filled landscape, a luxury that will be completely obscured by the bright city lights of Las Vegas.
A beautiful gem in the Nevada desert, Walker Lake is a wonderful place to stop and stretch. Not only is it a picturesque place to stop, but it is also the last natural body of water that will be encountered on the long road to Sin City.
Area 51 Alien Center
While it’s definitely somewhat of a tourist trap, the Area 51 Alien Center is a great place to stop and take a picture. The novelty doesn’t wear off, and it’s a fun souvenir that doesn’t cost a dime.
SOMETHING TO LOOK OUT FOR
The Clown Motel: Highway 95 is filled with half-abandoned ghost towns, but one of the most eye-catching and terrifying sights is Tonopah’s Clown Motel. The bright blue building was cited as one of the scariest hotels in America according to an article on roadtrippers. com.
DESTINATIONS OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Great Basin National Park
While the national park is close to Baker, Nevada, it’s worth the extra day to explore if time is not of the essence. There is plentiful hiking and stargazing in the bristlecone pine-filled park. Lodging is located in Baker, Nevada.
Death Valley National Park
As one of the most renowned national parks in the west, Death Valley is a great place to stop and explore. The park is filled with varying landscapes and, after a rainstorm, multitudes of flowers. Though it gets extremely hot in the summer months, spring is the perfect time to visit this national treasure.
Alexa Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on