WE HERE AT MATADOR have published so many great stories on Nevada and have seen so many gawk-worthy pictures, it’s about time we put them all in one place (and throw in some fresh ones to boot). From the cities to the desert playa, the hot springs to the mountain peaks, the ghost towns to the…alien encounters?

If these images don’t make you drop what you’re doing and start planning a trip to the Silver State, we’re not sure what will.


Lake Tahoe

Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the US and is known for its clear and reflective waters. Both water and snow sports are huge draws to the area, but plenty of visitors just come for the views.
Photo: Trevor Bexon


Las Vegas Strip

Only in America would you find a strip of hotels and resorts so beautiful by sundown that it's been designated a scenic route at night. These 4.2 miles are one of America's only nighttime scenic byways and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country—if not the world.
Photo: Nan Palmero


International Car Forest of the Last Church

Once in a while an artist will redefine modern art, and that's just what Chad Sorg and Mark Rippie have done with their 40-some pieces. To find this scene, hop on US Hwy 95 going south from Tonopah and follow the dirt road just beyond Goldfield, NV.
Photo: Wes Dickinson


Spring Mountain Motor Resort

Yes, you can fly, so long as you're near somewhere like Spring Mountain in Pahrump, NV. Jetpack America offers flight experiences up to 60 minutes, letting you take to the skies above the eight-acre lake. Bonus: It's a quick drive from Las Vegas, and there's a great local winery right up the road.
Photo: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada


Black Rock Playa

The Black Rock Desert is painted with a different brush when it's not the stomping grounds of one of the biggest festivals/creative gatherings around. Sans people, it's one giant region of lava beds and alkali flats, and has more than 120 miles of historic trails for some epic Instagram shots like this.
Photo: Trevor Bexon


The Neon Museum

The closest thing to experiencing Las Vegas as it used to be is the Neon Museum, home to hundreds of old neon signs from Vegas mainstays like Caesars Palace, Binion's Horseshoe, and the Golden Nugget. We may only have the present, but here the past is still going strong.
Photo: Kory Westerhold


Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Those mountains you're seeing from the Las Vegas Strip? That's Red Rock Canyon. Grab your 4WD and rock climbing gear—these walls will remind you of Yosemite. And if you're not the climber type, bring your boots; there are some seriously awesome trails here.
Photo: Bureau of Land Management


The Great Reno Balloon Race

It may not be the biggest balloon race in the world, but it's the biggest free balloon race, and that's just as important. It's held after Labor Day every year in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, where upwards of 100 balloons take to the sky over the scenic western Nevada landscape.
Photo: Trevor Bexon


America's Last Dark Skies

You'll find them all over the state—Tonopah sits at the center of an extensive network of mapped "star trails," and Great Basin National Park hosts an astronomy festival. The photo above was captured at Sand Mountain, near the town of Fallon.
Photo: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada


Veer Towers

That's not all photo manipulation—the Veer Towers actually lean in different directions by about 10 degrees. The buildings house luxury condos right on the Las Vegas Strip, and they provide the definition of #housegoals: rooftop infinity pools, hot tubs, sun decks, and summer kitchens.
Photo: Bob Dass


Sand Mountain Recreation Area

This isn't any ordinary sand dune—this is a singing sand dune. As wind blows over the sand (the effect can even be achieved by walking on it), it produces a sound, sort of like whistling. Beyond the soundtrack, this might be the most interesting sand dune there is, as it originates from the remains of the ancient Lake Lahontan, which once covered much of the state, and was also the one-time home of the Sand Springs Station of the Pony Express.
Photo: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada


Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

The Ruby Mountains, part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, are best seen one of two ways: hiking the 40-mile Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail (as beautiful as it sounds), or driving the 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Road, a National Forest Scenic Byway. Either way is totally worth it. Oh, and you can heli-ski here in winter.
Photo: Intermountain Region USFS


The Hoover Dam

As many as a million people visit the Hoover Dam every year. Not only is it beautiful, but it represents a remarkable feat of engineering. Built in the early 1930s, it's as tall as a 60-story building and could handle the volume and strength of the waters of Niagara Falls. If you stop by, be sure to take the tour; a fascinating history is a huge part of the appeal of this structure.
Photo: janie.hernandez55


Hard Rock Cafe

It may be right on the Las Vegas Strip, but even if it weren't, it would be hard to miss. If you've been to a Hard Rock, it's still likely you haven't been to one like this—there's 42,000 square feet of space, three floors, and a live music venue on the third floor.
Photo: Steve Sutherland


Valley of Fire State Park

The oldest state park in Nevada, Valley of Fire dates back to the dinosaurs. Aztec sandstone reflects the sun's rays at certain times of day, making the rocks appear as if they're on fire. It's about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas; while you're there, keep an eye out for the petroglyphs, which are pretty ancient too.
Photo: John Fowler


Greater Nevada Field

This Reno stadium is home to the Triple-A Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League. It may look like a normal stadium, but it's not—there are two "party zones" behind home plate. And no, we're not going to tell you what exactly that means. You'll just have to find out for yourself.
Photo: Reno-Tahoe Territory


Black Rock Rocket Launch

The Black Rock Desert doesn't go totally quiet when Burning Man moves on. For example, it's also the site of the competition for the Carmack Prize—the first rocket to reach 100,000 feet (with GPS-validation) wins.
Photo: Steve Jurvetson


Guru Road

Two miles north of Gerlach lies Guru Road, arguably one of the most artistic-yet-quirky, out-of-the-box installations out there. There are scenes like the one pictured above, but most of this stretch of dirt road is dedicated to words of wisdom, etched into stones placed along its borders. DeWayne Williams, the artist responsible for Guru Road, was one of the first to enter Hiroshima post-bombing, and is passing along his lessons learned in the Nevada desert.
Photo: Kaitlin Godbey/TravelNevada


Lake Mead

If you want to get a sense of just how much water is drained from the West by the Colorado River, head to Lake Mead. Formed by the Hoover Dam, it's the largest reservoir in the US and has 759 miles of shoreline. There are sandy beaches, four marinas, and an entire recreation area to explore, making this a great alternative to a drive to the ocean.
Photo: Stuart Buchanan


The Death Valley Superbloom

March of 2016 saw the "superbloom" in Death Valley National Park, a rare event when the driest, hottest place on the continent blossoms to life. This happens every 10 years or so and is worth the trip when it does—just make sure to bring along plenty of water on your visit in 2026.
Photo: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada


The Ghosts of Rhyolite

These eerie figures in the Mojave Desert comprise "The Last Supper," an art installation by Albert Szukalski. They're now part of the Goldwell Open Air Museum, likely the only museum with a ghost town for an address.
Photo: mtneer_man


Ruby Valley Hot Springs

The most rugged mountain range in Nevada, the Ruby Mountains, hides some seriously relaxing, serene spots—like the Ruby Valley Hot Springs. To get here, you'll have to hike south through Harrison Pass, around the Wildlife Refuge, and down a dirt road that leads to the springs, but the dip will be worth it.
Photo: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada


Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Not all hotels take you away from Mother Nature. At Lone Eagle Grille, part of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, you get a front-row—and fireside—seat to some of the best views the West has to offer.
Photo: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada