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Three trip-worthy hiking hotspots every Nevadan should know (sponsored)


From easy ambles to alpine scrambles and plenty in between, Nevada is a hiker’s paradise. If you’re thinking about tackling some new trails this year, start with these three hiking hotspots

As one of the most terrain-diverse states in the entire country, Nevada serves up the stuff hikers’ dreams are made of — and not just here in the Reno-Tahoe region. If you fancy yourself a wilderness wanderer, these three wondrous slices of the Silver State are not just worth the trip, but rites of passage every Nevada hiker should hit up — each with options to suit any level of experience.

Cathedral Gorge State Park (Caliente / Pioche)

Cathedral Gorge dazzles with its vast natural amphitheater of weather-cut fins, spires, and “hoodoos,” which form a perfect playground of winding slot canyons that beg to be explored.

Moon, Canyon & Cathedral Caves – These three areas invite curious explorers to meander among mesmerizing erosional features both inside and out their maze-like paths through slot canyons and tunnels. How far in (or up) you go is your choice.

Miller Point (1 mi) – Follow a wash through a spectacular side canyon, ultimately ascending up a fin to one of the park’s most breathtaking panoramas.

Juniper Draw Loop (3 mi) – The park’s longest trail circles the gorge’s floor, passing a wide range of famous features, with ample opportunities to spot wildlife.

When to go: Cathedral Gorge stuns year-round, but slot canyons can be muddy in wetter months

Lamoille Canyon & The Ruby Mountains – Elko

The glacier-cut crown jewel of northeastern Nevada’s spectacular Ruby Mountains is a wonderland of wildflowers, waterfalls, rushing streams, and views of craggy peaks reaching upwards of 11,000’ — all of which earn this region apt comparisons to the Swiss Alps. 

Island Lake – This short-but-sweet 3-mile round-trip switchbacker climbs 1,000’ to a glacial cirque where the destination’s name becomes beautifully obvious, with massive valley views all the way.

Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail Day Hikes – This choose-your-distance trail takes you to some of the Rubies’ most picturesque alpine lakes:

Dollar Lakes: 2.8 mi r/t, 840’ gain 
Lamoille Lake: 3 mi r/t, 990’ gain
Liberty Lake: 8.7 mi r/t, 2,063’ gain

Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail Thru-Hike – The 43 majestic miles of this 3-day backpacking adventure undulate along wide-open ridgelines, creeks and streams, alpine lakes, and meadows aflame with wildflowers. Elevations range from 7,200’ to 10,983’, promising panoramic views of Ruby Lake, high-desert steppes, and Great Basin National Park’s Wheeler Peak 100 miles away.

When to go: summer through fall, once snow has melted and before it returns

Great Basin National Park – Baker

Nevada’s own national park (one of the USA’s least crowded) is full of wonders many people don’t even know exist within the always-surprising Silver State.

Alpine Lakes Loop – Over the course of 2.7 miles and just 600’ of an elevation variant, wind past Stella and Teresa Lakes — both crystal-clear remnants of glaciation that reflect 13,065’ Wheeler Peak (Nevada’s 2nd-largest). 

Bristlecone and Glacier Trail – The 2.8-mile round-trip option culminates at a grove of the world’s oldest trees: 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines. The full 4.6-mile out-and-backer treats hikers with vistas of Nevada’s last and only active glacier.

Wheeler Peak – At 13,065’ of elevation and 7,562’ above the valley below, Nevada’s second-tallest peak is a literal capstone for Great Basin National Park hikers. But don’t let those numbers spook you; the 8.6-mile round-trip trail begins at 10,160’ (thanks to a helpful boost from stunning Wheeler Peak Scenic Byway), netting a total elevation gain of 2,900’. The reward from up top is a 360° view of eastern Nevada, western Utah, and of everything mentioned above unfolding below.

When to go: summer through fall, once the snow has melted and before it returns

Explore More
For more information on these locales and more Travel Nevada’s favorite trails all over the state, check out the original article here!

Nevada Trail Finder
View and download up-to-date maps for, descriptions of, and directions to thousands of miles of Nevada trails — for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, OHV riders, cross-country skiers, kayakers, and more at the newly launched NVTrailFinder.com.

Recreate Responsibly
Nevada’s huge. Around 85% of it is wide-open, wild, and — most importantly — public land, waiting to bring your wildest get-outside dreams to life. Whether you’re chasing outdoor passions in boots or skis, on two wheels or four, or virtually any other way, get the scoop on how to explore the Silver State safely and responsibly, to ensure Nevada’s sacred spaces remain pristine and special for generations to come.

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