There is plenty more exercise available throughout Nevada than simply pulling the arm of a slot machine. This barren desert landscape hides many treasures, from red rock hiking to vast sand dunes, alpine peaks and massive lakes. The infrequency of rain and relatively mild winter conditions makes outdoor recreation a dream. Right outside of Las Vegas there is great hiking and climbing in Red Rock State Park should you dare venture off the Strip.
Wander further north and the magic of Lake Tahoe provides superb winter skiing and water sports in summer. Next to Reno, the Truckee River is one of West’s top spots for kayaking and tubing, while Great Basin National Park is a vast wilderness of caves, alpine peaks and lakes. Nevada is also home to over 100 golf courses, giving duffers a haven to play even in the dead of winter.
Believe it or not there is some great hiking in Nevada. On the edge of Las Vegas is Mount Charleston, whose slopes and snowy peak is criss-crossed with trails. Down in the valley, Red Rock State Park is a quick and easy hike after a night in Vegas. But the real adventure is in the northeastern corner where Great Basin National Park offers a virtually empty alpine landscape ideal for backpacking and camping. In the remote Ruby Mountains, Hidden Lake Outfitters can organize a multiday adventure.
Many visitors come to Nevada to escape the cold winter weather and keep their golf swing steady. Despite the desert terrain, Nevada offers more than 100 excellent courses. Most of them are concentrated around the main tourism hubs like Vegas and Reno, and many are open to the public. Let a company like Mesquite Golf Courses arrange the perfect golf tour for you at top courses like Wolf Creek or Edgewood.
There are 300 mountain ranges in Nevada which tranlates to many opportunities for great rock climbing around every corner. Reno’s River Rock, Carson City’s Dinosaur Rock and the East Shore Crags of Lake Tahoe are just a few of the top spots. You can go climbing right next to Las Vegas at Red Rock Canyon State Park or up on Mount Charleston’s Spring Mountains for a quick day outing. Check with Sierra Adventures or Desert Rock Sports for equipment, training and guides.
The name Nevada actually means “snow covered” in Spanish, and when winter hits the northern ski resorts, the white stuff piles up. Lake Tahoe is the center of the action, with 18 different ski areas making a ring around the alpine lake that offer 24,000 skiable acres to work with. More adventurous action is found in the Ruby Mountains, where heli-skiing is some of the best in the country. Book a trip through Ruby Mountain Helicopter Skiing for the sweetest powder you’ll likely ever experience.
A great way to cool off in the summer is on one of northern Nevada’s many rivers. The kayaking and tubing on Truckee River outside Reno is fantastic, and easy enough for anyone to enjoy. The Whitewater Park is a designed playground for kayaking right in the heart of town. Down south, Lake Mead offers a warm place to boat nearly all year long. Between Desert River Outfitters and Truckee River Kayaking Tours you’ll have plenty of guides to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.