Nevada

Heading into Titus Canyon, Death Valley from Rhyolite, Nevada.
Heading into Titus Canyon, Death Valley from Rhyolite, Nevada.

Nevada 4×4 trails offer some the great 4×4 destinations you can find. The state has a long history and features many ghost towns and old mining camps. The state has a long, full history and features many ghost towns and old mining camps.  Combined with a lower state population, this translates into vast tracks of land which are yours to explore, and the odds of running into a ton of others is remote.  

The narrows near the Anniversary Mine are a fun place to hike and keep cool. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada
The narrows near the Anniversary Mine are a fun place to hike and keep cool. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Just outside of Las Vegas, the Lake Mojave and Lake Mead National recreation areas offer some great trails, and cool water to cool off in the harsh desert landscape.

However, you must be prepared for the climate and rough terrain.

Nevada History

Goodsprings, Nevada - 1924
Goodsprings, Nevada – 1924

The history of Nevada is the history of natural resources and mining. The territory experienced a boom with the discovery of the Comstock Load in 1859. The first major discovery of silver in the United States, the Comstock Load is noteworthy not only due to the fortunes is made, but for the growth of the state and its neighbor to the west.

The Nevada State Flag
The Nevada State Flag

The wide areas of empty, low populated areas allowed the United State Military to test a variety of top secret planes without the prying eyes of the public. The U2, SR-71 Backbird and F-117 stealth fighter were all tested and deployed from Nevada. The SEAL time which operated the attack on Osama bin laden also trained in Nevada.

Nevada Dark Skys

On March 18, 2019, Massacre Rim was designated the 7th Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world! The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this Wilderness Study Area. This is no surprise for those of us who live in Nevada and appreciated a low light pollution environment.

An IDA Dark Sky Sanctuary is public or private land that has an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, or educational value, its cultural heritage and/or public enjoyment.


A sanctuary differs from a Dark Sky Park or Reserve in that it is typically situated in a very remote location with few (if any) nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies and it does not otherwise meet the requirements for designation as a park or reserve. The typical geographic isolation of Dark Sky Sanctuaries significantly limits opportunities for public outreach, so a sanctuary designation is specifically designed to increase awareness of these fragile sites and promote their long-term conservation.

https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/sanctuaries/
The Great Seal of the State of Nevada
The Great Seal of the State of Nevada

Nevada Destinations and 4×4 Trails

Nevada 4×4 Trails

Alamo Road and parts beyond

Alamo Road

Alamo Road and parts beyond. Photo by James L Rathbun The Alamo Road is the central route north through the Desert National Wildlife Refuge north…
The narrows near the Anniversary Mine are a fun place to hike and keep cool. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

Anniversary Mine and Narrows

The narrows near the Anniversary Mine are a fun place to hike and keep cool. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada The Anniversary Mine and…
Aurora, NV Photograph by James L Rathbun

Aurora Nevada

Aurora, Nevada is a ghost town in Mineral County near the California border. Aurora is often mentioned as a footnote to larger better preserved town…

Bitter Springs

Bitter Springs is a 28 miles back country road which connects I-15 to the North shore Road highway 167 located inside Lake Mead National Recreation…
Located in Blair, Nevada the Pittsburg-Silver Peak Gold Mining Mill

Blair Nevada

Blair Nevada is a ghost town and mine site located in Esmerelda County.   The town site is located a few miles north of Silver…
Long Team in front of the Bonnie Claire Mine, Nevada

Bonnie Claire Nevada

Located off highway 267 East of Death Valley National Park Gold, Bonnie Clarie Nevada is a mine site and ghost town that is easy to…
George Graham Rice

Broken Hills Nevada

Broken Hills Nevada, c 1915. Ore sacks being loaded for shipment to the railroad at Fallon. Broken Hills, Nevada is more a descriptive term than…
There is one steep section.

Burro Wash

My one week old, Black Jeep on our first 4x4 trail to Burro Wash This scenic backcountry adventure takes you down Burro Wash into the…
Candelaria, Nevada 1876

Candelaria Nevada

Candelaria was a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada located about 120 miles south of Falen. The location may be closed due to another local…
A narrow valley on the Empire Wash Trail near Lake Mojave

Empire Wash

Empire wash is a short cut from Cal Nev Ari to the Lake Mead Davis Powerline road through a narrow canyon. This offers great access…
The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy

Goodsprings Nevada

Goodsprings, Nevada is locate about seven miles west of the I-15 near Jean, Nevada.  Mining activity in the area started in 1868 when a group…
Lucy Grey Gold Mine Stock Certificate.

Lucy Grey Goldmine

The Lucy Grey Goldmine trail is a short 4x4 trip out of Primm, Nevada up to an old mine site.  The route is fairly accessible…
Francis “Borax” Marion Smith

Marietta Nevada

Located at 4947 feet above sea level, Marietta was formally established in 1877 near Teel's Marsh and is now a ghost town in Mineral County,…

Mormon Wells Road

Entering Peek-a-boo Canyon on the Mormon Wells Road. The Mormon Well Road is a long, rough, dirt road that runs across the Desert National Wildlife…

Nellis Cove

Nellis Cove Road short east trail from Lake Mead Powerline Road to Nellis Cove on the shore of Lake Mohave, Nevada. The route is fairly…

Pine Nut Road

The turn off to Pine Nut Road off the Mormon Wells Road near Las Vegas, Nevada Pine Nut Road is a 6-mile long, bumpy dirt…
Potosi mine, south center of sec. 12, T. 23 S., R. 57 E., the mine workings explore a zone at the base of the Yellowpine limestone. Clark County, Nevada. Circa 1921. Plate 33-B in U.S. Geological Survey. Professional paper 162. 1931.

Potosi Nevada

Potosi Nevada is the oldest lode mine in Nevada and the town site is located just off highway 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada.…
Rawhide, Nevada - 1915

Rawhide Nevada

Rawhide, Nevada. 1908. Rawhide Nevada was a mining town in Mineral County. The town site is located approximately 55 miles south of Fallon, and 22…
Sandy Wash offered a nice remote beach to enjoy on Lake Mojave

Sandy Wash

Sandy Wash is a short trail which leads from the Mead Davis Power Line road down to the shore of Lake Mojave, Nevada. We opted…
The tallest building remains of St. Thomas, Nevada

St Thomas Nevada

Founded in 1865 when Brigham Young sent settles to the confluence of the Virgin River and Muddy Rivers.  St Thomas Nevada remained a Mormon settlement until…
Titus Canyon, a narrow canyon drive in Death Valley National Park, CA

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon has it all, rugged mountains, colorful rock formations, a small ghost town, mines, petroglyphs, wildlife, rare plants and spectacular canyon narrows as a…

Nevada Ghosttowns

Aurora, NV Photograph by James L Rathbun

Aurora Nevada

Aurora, Nevada is a ghost town in Mineral County near the California border. Aurora is often mentioned as a footnote to larger better preserved town…
Belmont in 1871

Belmont Nevada

Following a silver strike and quartz vein by a Native American in the area, Belmont Nevada was founded in Nye County, Nevada. The silver boom…
Berlin Nevada - 1910

Berlin Nevada

Berlin Nevada - 1910 Berlin Nevada is a ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada and found within the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park some 19 miles…
Located in Blair, Nevada the Pittsburg-Silver Peak Gold Mining Mill

Blair Nevada

Blair Nevada is a ghost town and mine site located in Esmerelda County.   The town site is located a few miles north of Silver…
The Bristol Mine near Bristol in Lincoln County Nevada

Bristol Nevada

Also known as  National City, Bristol City and Tempest throughout its history, Bristol Nevada is a ghost town in Lincoln County, Nevada. Bristol is located about 14 miles…
George Graham Rice

Broken Hills Nevada

Broken Hills Nevada, c 1915. Ore sacks being loaded for shipment to the railroad at Fallon. Broken Hills, Nevada is more a descriptive term than…
Main Street in Bullfrog Nevada - 1905

Bullfrog Nevada

Located at the northern end of Amargosa Desert, Bullfrog is a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. The Bullfrog mine was discovered on  August 9,…
Bullionville, Nevada, Horse-driven slip scrapers retrieve tailings to dump onto a conveyor and then dropped into a freight car. Before 1880

Bullionville Nevada

Bullionville Nevada began early in 1870 when John H. Ely and W.H. Raymond removed their five-stamp mill at Hiko and placed it at this point.…
Candelaria, Nevada 1876

Candelaria Nevada

Candelaria was a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada located about 120 miles south of Falen. The location may be closed due to another local…

Carrara Nevada

Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV Carrara Ghost town is a small ghost town and marble mine located about ten…
Columbia, Nevada - Paher

Columbia Nevada

The Columbia Nevada ghost town and mine site is location just one mile north of Goldfield in Esmeralda County Nevada. Originally named Stimler, the town…

Columbus Nevada

Downtown Columbus, Nevada, late 1870's. Spanish miners discovered silver in the area in 1863. A small mining camp was established in the area which became…
Delamar Nevada in the 1890's. Many of the buildings were transported from nearby Pioche on wagons. After the devastating fire in 1909, most of the remaining wooden buildings were transported back to Pioche.

Delamar Nevada

Delamar Nevada in the 1890's. Many of the buildings were transported from nearby Pioche on wagons. After the devastating fire in 1909, most of the…
DiamondField Nevada - 1904 - Paher

Diamondfield Nevada

Located just five miles north-northeast of Goldfield, Diamondfield is a ghost town and mine camp in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The camp was founded by Jackson…
Chafey, Nevada. 1908. Prior site of Dun Glen, Nevada.

Dun Glen Nevada

Chafey, Nevada. 1908. Prior site of Dun Glen, Nevada. Dun Glen Nevada later known as Chafey Nevada is a ghost town and mine site located…
Fourth of July parade, Fairview, Nevada 1906. - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p96, Ashley Cook Collection, Theron Fox Collection

Fairview Nevada

Founded in 1905, Fairview Nevada is a ghost town and silver mining camp located in Churchill County, near the town of Fallon, Nevada. The towns…
Fay Nevada - 1910

Fay Nevada

Fay Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Lincoln County Nevada near the border with western Utah. The townsite is located…
Hornsilver / Gold Point Nevada in 1908

Gold Point Nevada

Founded in 1860s, Gold Point, is a ghost time and silver mining camp located in Esmerelda County, Nevada. The townsite was known by three different…
The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy

Goodsprings Nevada

Goodsprings, Nevada is locate about seven miles west of the I-15 near Jean, Nevada.  Mining activity in the area started in 1868 when a group…
Grantsville Nevada 1886

Grantsville Nevada

Grantsville Nevada 1886 Named for Ulysses S. Grant, Grantsville Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Nye County Nevada. Initial prospecting…
Ione settlement, with Ione Valley in the background, c 1900

Ione Nevada

Ione Nevada is a ghost town, which is located in Nye County, Nevada. In April 1863 a silver stike was made by P. A. Haven…
Jackrabbit Nevada - (Theron Fox Photo) Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps

Jackrabbit Nevada

Jackrabbit Nevada is a ghost town and silver mining camp located in Lincoln County Nevada. Local legend attributes the discovery to the locator picking up…

Jessup Nevada

Jessup Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Churchill County, Nevada. The site was first discovered in February 1908 by Frank…
This ten-stamp mill built in 1864 at the lower end of La Plata - Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps - Paher

La Plata Nevada

Following the discovery of silver in 1862, La Plata Nevada is a ghost town locate in and the second county seat of Churchill County, Nevada.…
Lida Tent City in 1905

Lida Nevada

Now on private property, Lida Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp located in Esmeralda County, Nevada just off State Route 266. The area…
Water Rhyolites near Logan Springs, Nevada - NARA

Logan City Nevada

Logan City Nevada, also known as Logan City, Logan Springs and Logans Springs, is a silver mining camp and ghost town located 12 miles north…
Manhattan Nevada 1906

Manhattan Nevada

Manhattan Nevada 1906 Located about fifty miles north of Tonopah, Manhattan Nevada is ghost town located at the end of Nevada State Route 377 in…
Mazuma, Nevada - 1908

Mazuma Nevada

Mazuma, Nevada - 1908 Mazuma Nevada started its short life in 1907 when the Seven Troughs gold strike started attracting an influx of miners from…

Nelson Nevada and Eldorado Canyon

Rock spires carved by erosion located in Eldorado Canyon, Nelson, Nevada. The ghost town of Nelson, Nevada, which is located in Eldorado Canyon along Lake…

Palmetto Nevada

Tent business in Palmetto, 1906 Palmetto Nevada is a ghost town located just off of highway 168 about 30 miles west of Lida, in Esmeralda…
Pine Grove, Nevada - 1880s

Pine Grove Nevada

One of the lesser known yet longest running gold mining camps is Pine Grove, Nevada.  Located in Lyon County, Nevada just East of the 338…
The Camp of Pioneer in July 1910 is partially rebuilt after the fire in 1909

Pioneer Nevada

Beginning as a mining camp near the Mayflower, Pioneer Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. The Pioneer gold…
Potosi mine, south center of sec. 12, T. 23 S., R. 57 E., the mine workings explore a zone at the base of the Yellowpine limestone. Clark County, Nevada. Circa 1921. Plate 33-B in U.S. Geological Survey. Professional paper 162. 1931.

Potosi Nevada

Potosi Nevada is the oldest lode mine in Nevada and the town site is located just off highway 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada.…
Rawhide, Nevada - 1915

Rawhide Nevada

Rawhide, Nevada. 1908. Rawhide Nevada was a mining town in Mineral County. The town site is located approximately 55 miles south of Fallon, and 22…
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by Destination4x4.com

Rhyolite Nevada

Rhyolite is a ghost town location just outside of the Eastern edge of Death Valley National monument in Nye country, Nevada.  Founded in 1904 by…
Upper Rochester, Nevada 1918

Rochester Nevada

Upper Rochester, Nevada 1918 In the 1860s, immigrants and prospectors from Rochester New York discovered gold in the nearby mounts and the silver mining town…
Seven Troughs Nevada 1907

Seven Troughs Nevada

Seven Troughs Nevada 1907 In 1894, Frank Ward a sheepman in the area, built seven water troughs to water his sheep. The name Seven Troughs…
The tallest building remains of St. Thomas, Nevada

St Thomas Nevada

Founded in 1865 when Brigham Young sent settles to the confluence of the Virgin River and Muddy Rivers.  St Thomas Nevada remained a Mormon settlement until…

Troy Nevada

In May 1867, prospector Alexander Beatty worked the the Grant Mountain range when he discovered silver and founded the town site of Troy, in Nye…
Tybo, Nevada - 1881

Tybo Nevada

Tybo Nevada - 1875 Tybo Nevada is a ghost town in Nye County located some 8 miles north west of U.S Route 6 and some…
Wonder Mine 1907 - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970) p 100

Wonder Nevada

Wonder Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp, which is located about 14 miles north of the US 50, in Churchill County, Nevada. In…

Nevada Birds

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

A member of the cuckoo family, the long legged Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is an icon of the desert southwest in part to the artistic…

Nevada Mammals

Black Tailed Jackrabbit enjoying the shade of a Joshua Tree

Black Tailed Jackrabbit ( Lepus californicus )

Black Tailed Jackrabbit enjoying the shade of a Joshua Tree. The Black Tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) commonly known as the American Desert Hare makes its…
Coyote (Canis latrans) enduring a snow storm in Joshua Tree National Park

Coyote (Canis latrans)

Coyote (Canis latrans) A symbol of the American Southwest, the howl of the humble Coyote (Canis latrans) is synonymous with wild places. A member of…
Two well fed mustangs near Cold Creek, Nevada

Mustang (Equus ferus caballus)

A lone mustang is the symbol of wild, power and freedom Left behind by Spanish explorers and settlers, the Mustang ( Equus ferus caballus )…
A solitary Pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) found near Golbin Valley, Utah

Pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana )

Commonly known as an antelope, the Pronghorn is an even toed or hoofed mammal found in the plains of the western United States of America.

Nevada Reptiles

Juvenile Speckled Rattle Snake found in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Speckled Rattlesnake ( Crotalus mitchellii )

The Speckled Rattlesnake is fairly common pit viper found in southern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona and south-western Utah and down the Pacific coast into…
Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)

Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)

Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos) Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), also known as the "horny toad", is a common North American reptile and found throughout…
A male Zebra-Tailed Lizard ( Callisaurus draconoides )

Zebra Tailed Lizard ( Callisaurus draconoides )

The Zebra-Tailed Lizard is a medium sized lizard which features a long black and white striped tail and commonly found in California, Arizona and Nevada.…
Western Fence Lizard

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis )

The Western Fence Lizard ( Sceloporus occidentalis ) is perhaps one of the most common lizards in the desert southwest and is also known as…
California Desert Tortoise emerging from a hiding place...

Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

One of  the more unique and quite frankly cool animals found in the Mojave Desert is the Desert Tortoise ( Gopherus agassizii ).  My family…

Nevada Wildflowers and Vegetation

Arizona Thistle (Cirsium arizonicum)

Arizona Thistle ( Cirsium arizonicum )

Arizona Thistle ( Cirsium arizonicum ) is a member of the sunflower family and common across the south west. The thistle has a two year…
The California Poppy the state flower of California.

California Poppy ( Eschscholzia californica )

The California Poppy the state flower of California. As the name implies, the California Poppy is that state flower of California. However, this little flower…
Chicalote (Argemone munita)

Chicalote (Argemone munita)

Chicalote (Argemone munita) A species of prickly poppy, Chicalote (Argemone munita) is also known as the flatbud prickly poppy. A native of California, the Chicalote…
Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata)

Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata)

Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata) Coyote Melon (Cucurbita palmata), also known as Coyote Gourd, is a flowering plant common in the desert southwest and known to…
A Davey Gilia stalk poking up between the California Poppies in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.

Davy Gilia (Gilia latiflora)

A Davey Gilia stalk poking up between the California Poppies in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Davy Gilia (Gilia latiflora) also known as Hollyleaf gilia…
Desert Marigolds located off the Old Mojave Road.

Desert Marigolds (Baileya multiradiata)

Desert Marigolds photographed near the Old Mojave Road. Desert Marigolds (Baileya multiradiata) are an abundant and well distributed flower across the desert south west. The…
Fremont's Phacelia (Phacelia fremontii) photographed in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Fremont’s Phacelia (Phacelia fremontii)

Fremont's Phacelia (Phacelia fremontii) is a small delicate looking flowering plant commonly commonly found in the southwestern United States including Nevada, Arizona and California. The…
Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) The Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) is a perennial herb and orange wildflower which is commonly found in Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona. This…
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)

The Giant Red Indian Paintbrush or Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) is a wildflower and perennial which is quite common in the western United States, including…
Mojave-aster ( Xylorhiza tortifolia )

Mojave-aster ( Xylorhiza tortifolia )

Mojave-aster ( Xylorhiza tortifolia ) A member of the sunflower family, the Mojave-aster ( Xylorhiza tortifolia ) boasts a delicate lavender flower in the harsh…
Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus)

Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus)

Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus) Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus) is a fairly common vibrant purple wild flower and is common in much of Western North America…
Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) in Big Bear, California

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea)

Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) in Big Bear, California The Snow plant (Sarcodes sanguinea) is a rather rare and unique member of the plant community. The…
Photographed in the White Moundtains, Phlox diffusa is a small white flowering plant which prefers alpine and sub-alpine environments.

Spreading Phlox ( Phlox diffusa )

Spreading Phlox ( Phlox diffusa ) is a perennial shrub with small needle like leaves.  This is a small white flowering plant prefers alpine, sub-alpine…

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