Nevada State Parks provide fun and beauty for any vacation.
When I think of Nevada I think of the Las Vegas Strip with all the lights and action. So I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at the diversity expressed in the Nevada State Parks. There are 25 sites in all. The state offers towering mountains, historical sites, dry (hot) desert and everything in between.
Some of the Nevada State Parks are a challenge to get to. If someone tells you that the last gas station is at a certain place be sure to stop and fill up. Expect to pay a higher price in remote areas than you would at home.
A few Nevada State Parks, like the Old Vegas Mormon State Historic Park described below are very easy to get to. These parks can make beautiful additions to your existing trip plans.
Visitors to Nevada State Parks will also need to consider their physical condition and the demands of the park. The best advice is to do your homework ahead of time and follow common sense precautions.
In the hot areas you may need to constantly sip water or an electrolyte beverage. I have asthma and am from a lower elevation than we experienced on our last trip out west. Needing my inhalers more often came as a surprise – and I did my homework first!
Entrance fees for Nevada State Parks range between $6.00 and $8.00. A $1.00 discount is given if the car has disability plates. A permit for annual entrance at a park can be purchased. They range from $50.00 – $75.00 annually. This is not the same as a Nevada State Annual Pass. The cost for the pass is $90.00 annually.
The following overview of Nevada State Parks will give you an idea of the wide diversity offered. For a full list of state parks in Nevada click this link.
Old Vegas Mormon State Historic Park
500 E. Washington Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89101
This urban park is in downtown Las Vegas. It’s an easy add-on to your existing trip. Visitors here can enjoy a historic fort. It was built by Mormon missionaries in 1855, turned into a ranch in 1865 and sold to a railroad company in 1902. In 1929, the US Bureau of Reclamation used it as an office during the construction of Hoover Dam.
Visitors will enjoy the historic buildings and touring the museum and visitor center.
Big Bend State Recreation Area
Needles Hwy., 5 miles South of Laughlin
Laughlin, NV 89028-2850
Phone (702) 298-1859
The Colorado River makes this Nevada State Park a lush green oasis that is enjoyed by many visitors. The desert terrain means that temperatures can reach above 115 degrees during the summer and very seldom reach freezing in the winter.
Visitors enjoy picnicking, fishing, swimming and boating. Hiking trails are not yet developed.
Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park
Incline Village, NV 89452
Phone (775) 831-0494
With sandy beaches, a boat dock and visitor center it’s easy to see why this Nevada State Park is one of the most popular. Visitors here can also enjoy primitive camping, picnicking, hiking tails, wildlife viewing, fishing and swimming. The park is also a popular spot for scuba diving because of under water geological formations.
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Area
S.of Ely via U.S. 50/6/93, then 11 miles SW on Cave Valley Rd
Ely, NV 89315
Phone the Information Center (775) 728-4460
Phone the Ranger Station (775) 289-1693
The striking feature of this park is 6 huge beehive shaped ovens that were created by the Italians late in the 19th century. They were used to manufacture charcoal for the area silver miles.
Visitors can also enjoy camping, fishing, picnicking, the historic site itself and nature and wildlife viewing. Photographic opportunities abound. This unique park even has a yurt available for rent.
Valley of Fire State Park
I-15 exit 75, 55 miles NE of Las Vegas
Overton, NV 89040
Phone (702) 397-2088
This is the oldest and most extraordinary of Nevada State Parks. The park features striking geologic formations, petrified wood and 3,000 year old petroglyph. The park has a visitor center with displays. Visitors can camp, hike and picnic. Photographic opportunities abound. Summer temperatures can reach 120 degrees. Visitors are advised to exercise heat precautions.
This Nevada State Park is so popular that it’s been rated “The #1 Place to Take Out-of-town Visitors in 2008” by the Las Vegas Review Journal and as the Trip of the Week by the same.
When traveling through Nevada be sure to stop at one of the many terrific Nevada State Parks!
Nevada Division of State Parks
Las Vegas Review Journal
Southern Nevada Health District