While summer vacation season is winding down, Cerca country remains packed with adventure, both scenic and man-made.
Monday through Sept. 3, Black Rock City: Burning Man. This annual event is partly an art festival and partly an experiment in temporary community, all dedicated to radical self-expression and self-reliance. www.burningman.com.
Friday through Sept. 3, Flagstaff, Ariz.: 63rd annual Coconino County Fair. The fair features traditional events, cultural presentations, entertainment, demolition derby, carnival and petting zoo. Fort Tuthill County Park. (928) 679-8000. www.coconino.az.gov/parks.aspx.
Friday through Sept. 3, Parowan, Utah: Iron County Fair. Called Utah's "Biggest Little Fair," events include 5k Fun Run and Walk, Miss Iron County Pageant, eating contests, rodeo, horse races, carnival, car show and parade. (435) 477-8380. www.ironcountyfair.net.
Friday through Sept. 3, Pioche: Annual Labor Day Celebration. The town's largest event of the year features mining events, 10k Fun Run, fishing derby, chili cook-off, electric light parade and children's events. (775) 962-5848. www.piochenevada.com.
Saturday and Sept. 2, Mesquite: Smokin' in Mesquite BBQ. The barbecue competition features the Mesquite BBQ Championship and the Backyard BBQ Cook-off. Teams from across the nation will compete for $40,000 in cash and prizes. CasaBlanca Resort and Casino. (888) 711-4653. www.mesquitebbq championship.com.
Sept. 7-9, Reno: Great Reno Balloon Race. Watch some of the nation's top balloonists compete in events such as the Bed Head competition, Glow Shows and Dawn Patrol. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. (775) 826-1181. www.renoballoon.com.
Sept. 7-9, Virginia City: Virginia City International Camel Races. The camel races are just one part of this extraordinary event. Ostrich and emu races, specialty acts and a daily parade are also among the activities. Silverland Camel Arena. (888) 695-0888. www.virginiacity-nv.org.
Sept. 8, Zion National Park, Utah: Zion Narrows Service Project. Join a naturalist to discover the world famous Zion Narrows. This seven-mile hike will include discussing the geology, plants and wildlife of the area and a short service project while in the canyon. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
Sept. 9, Lake Tahoe: Tour De Tahoe-Bike Big Blue. This annual bike ride comprises an 800-foot climb to an overlook of Emerald Bay and a 1,000-foot climb to Spooner Junction. Other events include a boat cruise, 35-mile fun ride and a 72-mile ride around the lake. (800) 565-2704. www.bikethewest.com.
Sept. 14-16, Panaca: Las Vegas Astronomical Society Fall Star Party. Join the members of the Las Vegas Astronomical Society for astronomy presentations and viewing of the night sky. Cathedral Gorge State Park. (702) 728-4460. www.parks.nv.gov.
Sept. 19-23, Reno, Sparks and Virginia City: Street Vibrations Fall Rally. This motorcycle event takes place in various venues and features tours, concerts, ride-in shows, parade, poker run and plenty of entertainment. (775) 329-7469. www.road-shows.com.
Sept. 23-29, U.S. Highway 50: One Awesome Tour Bike Ride Across Nevada. This fully supported tour travels 420 miles over five days, from Lake Tahoe to Great Basin National Park along America's Loneliest Road. (800) 565-2704. www.bikethewest.com.
Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, Zion National Park, Utah: Wednesday Naturalist Walk. These workshops will be led by zoologist and ecologist Dr. Allen Brown and will include low-to-moderate walking while learning about the park's fauna, geology and botany. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
Sept. 27-30, Laughlin: Roddin' on the River. This annual event is sponsored by the River Cruizers' Car Club and features street rods, muscle cars, trucks, classic and specialty vehicles. Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort. (800) 227-3849. www.visitlaughlin.com.
Sept. 28-29, Escalante, Utah: Escalante Canyons Working Art Festival. This annual event includes a plein-air painting competition, fine arts and craft exhibition, lectures, exhibits, walking tours and cowboy poetry. www.everettruessdays.org.
Sept. 29, Kingman, Ariz.: 28th annual Andy Devine Days and PRCA Rodeo. Celebrate Kingman's hometown hero with a parade and rodeo at the Mohave County Fairgrounds. (928) 757-7919. www.kingmantourism.org.
Sept. 29, various locations: Annual National Public Lands Day. The nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort needs your help to improve and enhance America's public lands. Jobs range from building trails and bridges, planting trees to general cleanup. www.publiclandsday.org.
Sept. 29-30, Genoa: Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire. Now in its 92nd year, this festival brings in tens of thousands of visitors to this small town of less than 300 people. Shop the more than 300 arts and craft vendors, enjoy live entertainment and plenty of food. (775) 782-8696. www.genoanv.com.