Nevada National Parks include the beautiful Great Basin National Park along with National Historic Trails and Monuments. There are six national parks in Nevada. Three of them are national trails that traverse multiple states. Two of them are shared with neighboring states. One park, the Great Basin National Park, is a gem that Nevada has to share with no one.
Nevada National Parks
With 3 million acres of wildlands, this park is touted as the “Hottest, Driest, and Lowest” of the deserts. With stunning beauty, mountain peaks covered in snow, and a beautiful array of life, this park is accessible year-round, with Winter being the preferred time of year for most.
In Northern Death Valley “Scotty’s Castle” is the home that “Scotty” claimed to have built with the proceeds from his “secret” mine. It was all a scam. He was the guest of millionaires who let him stay there. There are the famous canyons with the beautiful layers of stone in Death Valley.
Great Basin National Park
This place of strangeness and myth was discovered by travelers over 150 years ago. There is not one basin, but an area of many basins, as this is one of the few places in the country that generates plenty of water at Wheeler Peak, which tops out at over 13,000 feet. But that water stays in the great basins and never reaches the sea.
The diversity of the land ranges from alpine snowfields to marshes, to mountains to limestone caves, from brush fields to desert. The vast magnitude of this 200,000 square mile preserve is evident when the borders are found: the Sierra Nevada mountains to the West, the Wasatch mountains to the East, Idaho to the North, and Southern Nevada to the South.
The most stunning surprise is the view of the Great Basin region as opposed to the reality: It appears to be barren, covered with scrub, and lifeless. But the area is filled with life and biodiversity beyond imagination. People, from Prehistoric dwellers to the Shoshone and Paiute peoples have resided there.
One of the best places to see Bristlecone Pines in the country.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is a vast layout of lakes, set in a barren desert, that culminates in the world-famous river canyons that reach to the sky in layers of ocher and red. Lake Mead offers camping, water sports, and bike trails. But the climate is hot, and rarely gets any rain. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is shared with Northern Arizona.
Tule Springs Fossil Beds NM is located on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The park was established as the 405th unit of the National Park Service Dec. 19, 2014. It is still a park in progress.
Visitors can walk a few trails and see the land that has been protected. There is currently no visitor center or services.
This 2000 mile trail traverses 8 states and passes through the southern tip of Nevada. This trail was instrumental in the greatest migration in American History as farmers and miners headed to California in the 1840s and 1850s.
The California National Historic Trail crosses the northern part of Nevada and passes through Reno, with branches that go to past Lake Tahoe and farther into California at the Donner Summit and the Beckworth Pass over the High Sierra Nevadas. Auto tours are available, with spots along the trail where the traveler’s stories are available.
The Old Spanish Historical Trail
It begins in Santa Fe, NM, and ends in Los Angeles, Ca. This beautiful trail traverses the very southern tip of Nevada. Originally it was an Indian trading route. It had its height of traffic from the 1830s to the late 1840s, when woolen goods came from the East by mule train, and California mules and horses went back, as Mexican and American traders worked.
Pony Express Historical Trail
The Pony Express Historical Trail was the famous route used by fast riding horsemen to get the mail from Missouri to California at Sacramento, CA. This trail traversed the northern tier states and was responsible for the unprecedented 10-day trips of the Pony Express riders, as well as Californias alignment with the Union in the Civil War.
List of National Parks in Nevada
- Death Valley National Park (CA, NV)
- Great Basin National Park
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area (also Arizona)
- Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
- California National Historic Trail (CA, CO, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY)
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail
- Pony Express National Historic Trail ( CA, CO, KS, MO, NE, NV, UT, WY)
The 4 Nevada State National Parks receive over 5.4 million visitors a year producing over $242 million in economic benefits.
The National Parks in Nevada include 1 National Heritage Area, 3 National Trails managed by the park service, 337 National Register of Historic Places Listings and 8 National Historic Landmarks.
Nevada National Parks also include 6 National Natural Landmarks, 428 places recorded by the Heritage Documentation Program and over 1.3 million objects in the Nevada National Park Museum Collection.
There are also 902 Archeological Sites in Nevada National Parks.
For an entire list of US National Parks head over to our list of US National Parks in Alphabetical Order. We also have a printable checklist of all 417 National Park properties in the United States available.
If you have dreamed of working in the National Parks make sure and check out our article on How to Become a Park Ranger. Working in the parks is one of the most amazing jobs you can find. There is just something special about waking up and knowing you are going to work in a beautiful park.
Check out the National Parks in neighboring states