North America

Nevada: a playground for the outdoorsy type

If feeling the wind in your hair and a backpack on your back is where you feel most at home, then we have just the place for you my friend: Nevada. It’s a state that’s often left undiscovered as travellers fly in and out of Vegas nursing their seven day hangovers, but you need to wander further than the strip. After all, what are travellers really about, if not for getting off the beaten path?

1. Nevada is all about the national parks

Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park. October 2016. #photopills #greatbasinnationalpark #ig_shotz_march #gbnp #ig_shotz_feb17 #thespaceout #astrophotography #milkyway #stars#longexposure #nightphotography #wearethewild #jaw_droping_shots #SuperDigital #ig_shotz_le #canon6d #canonfanphoto #americaisrad #astrophotography_ #night_shooterz

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Lake Mead with its canyons and kayaking, Great Basin National Park with its incredible night skies, and Death Valley (thankfully not named for the reason you might think – although it actually has some impressive salt mounds named Devil’s Golf Course, and who wouldn’t want to check that out?). Time to lace up those hiking boots!

2. It literally has a ‘Valley of Fire’

On our road trip we have been repeatedly and pleasantly surprised by the spectacular state parks we have happened upon. Our top 5 favorites so far are: 1. Goblin Valley, UT 2. Valley of Fire, NV 3. Antelope Island, UT 4. Anzo-Borrego Desert, CA 5. Palo Duro Canyon, TX . And there are still so many we haven't even seen! What is your favorite state park? . #valleyoffirestatepark #valleyoffire #firewave #nevada #explorenevada #travelnevada #nevadaphotographer #statepark #igsouthwest #liveauthentic #welltravelled #sheisnotlost #optoutside #nationalparkgeek #keepitwild #modernwanderers #wearetravelgirls #passionpassport #exploremore #wildernessculture #happycamper #vanlife #adventureculture #bucketlisters #findyourpark

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And if the name itself isn’t enough to make you want to go, then the images of the vivid red rocks might just persuade you (and if you’re a Star Trek fan you might just recognise it!). Set up camp for a night or two, and go exploring – plus, how cool will you sound when you tell people you camped in the Valley of Fire?! They don’t need to know it’s a legit and beautiful state park.

3. You can climb Red Rock Canyon

Only go up. #redrockcanyonclimbing #latinasclimbing #bethepoem #bpmag Phot credit: @hanna.santanam

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There are so many climbs to choose from, and we particularly like the names of the routes: Cat in the Hat, Johnny Vegas, Dream of Wild Turkeys, and Sour Mash. We only assume at the top of each will be a cat, Johnny Vegas, some wild turkeys, and mashed potato that’s gone off in the sun?

4. Go for a drive along the ‘Loneliest Road in America’

It turns out Nevada is the most mountainous state in the lower 48. We took a road trip out along the #loneliestroadinamerica with hopes of lacing turns down the Toiyabes, but didn't quite pull it off. There's always next time. @travelnevada #dfmi #travelnevada #travelstoke

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Nevada’s portion of Highway 50 got this name because there’s just miles and miles of mountains, desert and road. Time Magazine dedicated almost an entire issue to the Highway in 1997, so you’d be mad to not check it out.

5. All manner of water sports at Lake Tahoe

My first time KayakSo much funnnn Photo credit : @bensonchien #kayak#kayaking#ontherocks#theshallows#theshallowsmovie#bayarea#vacation#sandharbor#sandharborbeach#laketahoe#laketahoekayaking

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Give water skiing a go, try not to capsize in a kayak, act like a total pro on a wakeboard, or attempt to actually stand up on a paddleboard. The possibilities are endless!

6. Race a dune buggy through the desert

"Red & Blue" at Lake Mead

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Yes, you heard us right – dune buggy racing! Pack your bags right now – go karting just went up a gear.

7. And last, but definitely not least, is ziplining over Bootleg Canyon.

#bouldercitynevada #bootlegcanyon #bootlegcanyonzipline #travel #getoffthestrip

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What better way to see the desert than zooming over it, dangling from a harness? No better way, that’s what!

If the seriously intriguing place names in Nevada aren’t enough to perk up your interest in visiting (there’s also Goblin Knobs, Hanky Panky Street and Fatty Martin Lake) then hopefully these activities have! Head on over to our Nevada page for more information on this surprising state.