USA Travel

When people think of Nevada, their minds immediately wander to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and the Hoover Dam. That’s understandable as those are some pretty key destinations. But there are also some outstanding State Parks in Nevada to experience.

Getting out and about in the desert doesn’t seem like a good idea but it can be done safely and enjoyably. Plus, this state has other biomes outside of the desert to experience. If you’re heading to Nevada, maybe plan to check one or two out.

Cathedral Gorge State Park

Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada

CATHEDRAL GORGE STATE PARK, NV – AUGUST 12: Perseid meteors streak across the sky on August 12, 2013 in Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada. The annual display, known as the Perseid shower because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky, is a result of Earth’s orbit passing through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Located almost at Nevada’s eastern border, Cathedral Gorge State Park is a stunning spot, to say the least. Millennia after millennia of erosion have created stunning gorges in the colorful clay found in the region. The park’s natural beauty is, without question, the main draw.

Hiking and camping are both popular activities here. But Cathedral Gorge draws in legions of photographers every year. The images that can be captured at dawn and dusk are dramatic and striking, making them highly sought after.

Fort Churchill State Historic Park

Completely on the other side of Nevada from Cathedral Gorge is Fort Churchill State Historic Park. While nature is definitely a big draw, that’s not the primary attraction. The name of the game at Fort Churchill is history.

This park was created to preserve the remains of Fort Churchill, a United States Army fort completed in 1861. There is a campground, an interpretive center, and plenty of hiking trails with information about the buildings at this historic spot.

Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park

Welcome to what is most likely the state park with the most interesting name in Nevada, if not the entire United States. But it’s not just the name that’s interesting. It’s what visitors to Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park will find there.

It was established for two main reasons. First, the park is home to an impressive number of undisturbed ichthyosaur fossils. Second, it’s home to the ghost town of Berlin. There are two very different parts of history to explore here, both of which need to be protected and experienced.

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, NV – AUGUST 25: People play at Lester Beach, located at D L Bliss State Park, on August 25, 2018, at South Lake Tahoe, California. Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of California and Nevada, is the largest Alpine freshwater lake in the Western United States and is a top tourism destination for winter skiers and many outdoor activities during the summer months. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

When it comes to iconic vacation spots in Nevada that aren’t Las Vegas or Reno, Lake Tahoe has to be pretty high up that list. It offers numerous recreational opportunities, including the various recreation areas managed as part of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park.

Right on the western border of the state, there are several sections to experience. Each one has its own variety of activities and experiences to choose from. If you’re in the area, try to take in as many of them as time allows.

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

When it comes to interesting pieces of history worth preserving, Nevada has some pretty unique spots. Ward Charcoal Oven State Historic Park preserves what’s left of the ghost town of Ward, much of which has been destroyed by flash flooding over the years.

The main feature of this 19th-century silver mining community is its series of massive charcoal ovens which are shaped like huge beehives. They created charcoal used in the process of smelting silver. Despite their age, these ovens are incredibly well preserved.

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