Perfect destinations for a road trip in Nevada

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Nevada is more than casinos and residences. Nevada’s state park system, along with some national parks, is rich in history and natural wonders that can make for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway near you.

Kershaw Ryan State Park is just over 2 hours from Las Vegas near Caliente. The Kershaw family moved to Meadow Valley Wash in 1873 and planted an orchard where the park is today. The area is full of natural springs that grow a garden of wild vines, white oaks, fruit trees and willows. The landscape is constantly changing depending on which direction you are looking. The park has mountain biking trails, hiking trails, and camping sites.

Cathedral Gorge State Park is about 30 minutes north of Kershaw Ryan near Panaca, Nevada. You’ll feel like you’re walking on the moon in this state park that derives its beauty from the explosive volcanic activity tens of millions of years ago. With each eruption layers of ash hundreds of feet thick have been deposited here. Erosion has given rise to the cave-like formations and the cathedral-like spire we see today that are perfect for exploration. You can camp here and stay up late to gaze up at the stars with amazing views. Cathedral Gorge became one of Nevada’s first four state parks in 1935.

Cave Lake State Park is a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas and makes the perfect weekend getaway near Ely. Camping, fishing, hiking and more are just a few examples of activities at this state park. The Cave Lake Reservoir was originally built in 1939 by the Isbell Construction Company. Access to the lake is currently closed for the Cave Creek Dam restoration project, but the park offers plenty of activities including snowmobiling, sledding, and snowshoeing during the winter months. The rest of the year the hike is perfect and the trails are dog friendly. Remember to bring a leash.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park is an ideal stopover when visiting Cave Lake and Ely. This state park is rich in history and has six beehive-shaped charcoal ovens that operated from 1876 to 1879 during the silver boom years in the area. Now they are reminiscent of days gone by and the park today includes areas for camping, picnicking, hiking and fishing.

Nevada also has some great recreation areas managed by the national park system.

Grand Bassin National Park makes a perfect spring through fall camping weekend and is a 5 hour drive north of Las Vegas. The park covers over 77,000 acres and is home to almost all types of outdoor activities. The park’s Alpine Lakes Loop Trail showcases Lake Stella in all its beauty. You will walk among ancient bristlecone pines and at night you will admire the darkest night sky. Campsites, RV pitches, and cabins all make for a perfect overnight getaway here.

Whether you are going for a day or a long weekend, be sure to check out the 27 Nevada State Parks and several national parks and monuments in the Silver State.

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