Among the pleasures of living in Nevada are the huge expanses of open space surrounding our scattered cities and towns. Nevadans seeking downtime in the outdoors do not have to go far from home. Even in an urban area such as Las Vegas, dozens of recreational destinations wait to be explored, accessible within minutes.
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After more than 60 years in operation, Bonnie Springs Ranch still draws crowds year-round. The privately owned dude ranch is minutes from Las Vegas, surrounded by the arresting scenery of the Red Rock National Conservation Area.
Retracing historic Route 66 is an iconic road trip, variously scenic, nostalgic and quirky.
A beautiful destination for a cool-season excursion, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge offers hiking, picnicking and wildlife watching. It encompasses 23,000 acres of desert uplands and streams, ponds, reservoirs and wetlands created by more than 50 springs, mostly warm water.
A resilient survivor of one of the last great gold-mining booms in the West, Beatty persists as a commercial center and transportation hub in sparsely populated Nye County.
With stunning scenery, a colorful past and plenty of adventurous outdoor activities, rugged Eldorado Canyon invites visitors to step back in time.
The Clark County Museum offers absorbing excursions into Southern Nevada’s past. It includes indoor exhibit space, a neighborhood of vintage houses, a railroad depot and more.
Death Valley National Park attracts visitors year-round, but springtime brings the greatest number of people.
Proud of its pioneer past, Kingman, Ariz., preserves and promotes its history as a crossroads community to appeal to today’s travelers.
Longtime Las Vegans probably recall predawn trips to park along the Tonopah Highway north of town for a really big free show — an atomic bomb going off in the desert on the Nevada Test Site.
Beautiful views of rugged mountains across the Colorado River welcome visitors to Willow Beach in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The popular destination on the Arizona side of the river attracts boaters, rafters, anglers, campers and sightseers. Its proximity to Boulder City and Las Vegas makes Willow Beach ideal for short outings and quick access to the river.
Southern Utah’s striking rock formations create vivid scenic desert landscapes that attract tourists, photographers and movie makers. Lately, they have also been attracting the attention of paleontologists.
One of those hidden beauty spots that delight desert lovers, scenic Afton Canyon lies off Interstate 15 between Baker and Barstow in Southern California.
Centered in an area known as the “Arizona Riviera,” Lake Havasu City makes a great destination for a cool-season getway, with opportunities for adventurous outdoor activities as well as laid-back relaxation.
Snow-capped Charleston Peak and neighboring crags west of Las Vegas remind us that winter is here, despite balmy days on the desert floor. Every storm front moving through the area promises snow, luring crowds to the mountains.
Beautiful Dumont Dunes near Death Valley National Park attract more than 120,000 visitors annually. One of the great dune systems of the Mojave Desert, Dumont Dunes provide opportunities for a variety of outdoor adventures.
The eroded, fossil-laden landscape of the Rainbow Basin Natural Area north of Barstow, Calif., invites exploration of its multicolored formations, winding desert canyons and washes with areas of dense vegetation.
A treasury of artifacts from ancient Native American cultures awaits visitors to the Lost City Museum in Overton.
The three Colorado River raft tours offered by Black Canyon River Adventures annually provide thousands of river runners with splendid scenery, glimpses of the past, views of wildlife and access to hot springs, waterfalls and other features.
Northern Arizona’s Grand Canyon Caverns, the largest dry caverns in the United States, are popular with visitors, and the surrounding area offers year-round recreational opportunities.
Yesteryear is alive and well in old Calico, the restored ghost town in the Mojave Desert that was resurrected as a popular regional park.
Hundreds of tourists daily arrive by bus, car and aircraft at Grand Canyon West, a portion of the famous chasm cut more than a mile through northern Arizona by the Colorado River.
Located along a major avian flyway, Southern Nevada plays host to more than 350 species of birds during the fall and spring migratory seasons. Many are simply passing through, but quite a few make the desert their home.
Zion National Park in Southern Utah offers year-round opportunities for visitors to admire its gorgeous cliffs and canyons and to experience varied outdoor activities.
The Pomegranate Arts and Crafts Festival, a popular autumn event in Southern Nevada for the past 18 years, will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2 at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Logandale.