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…
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Bodie and Aurora rivalry continues to this day

Two towns located in the hills above Mono Lake maintain, the Bodie and Aurora rivalry continues even now, long past their demise.  Bodie, CA and…
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…

Devil’s Canyon

Devil's Canyon in a 4x4 trail out of Jean, Nevada towards a mining district in the hills on the west side of the valley. Devil's…
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

A short east trail from Lake Mead Powerline Road to the shore of Lake Mojave. Nellis Cove Trail Map [map style="width: auto; height:600px; margin:20px 0px…

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…
Carol Lombard was killed on a Douglas DC-3, Jan 16, 1942 on Mt Potosi

Potosi Nevada

Potosi Nevada is the oldest load 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 Nevada Ghosttowns

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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 Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Bodie and Aurora rivalry continues to this day

Two towns located in the hills above Mono Lake maintain, the Bodie and Aurora rivalry continues even now, long past their demise.  Bodie, CA and…
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…
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…

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…

Downeyville Nevada

Downeyville Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada.  In May 1877 silver-lead discoveries in the area caused a…

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…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
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…
Carol Lombard was killed on a Douglas DC-3, Jan 16, 1942 on Mt Potosi

Potosi Nevada

Potosi Nevada is the oldest load 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…
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…
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…

Nevada Reptiles

California Desert Tortoise emerging from a hiding place...

Desert Tortoise

One of  the more unique and quite frankly cool animals found in the Mojave Desert is the Desert Tortoise.  My family has a connection with…
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.…

Nevada Wildflowers and Vegetation

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…
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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