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  • Writer's pictureRusty Donlon

The Year of Nevada

We've deemed 2024 "the year of Nevada"! This is the year that we explore all those wilderness areas featured on the calendars. This is the year we prioritize camping trips that are only a handful of hours away (the places you always drive past on your way home from the further destination). This is the year we really get to know our home state (since we finally have a reliable vehicle trusted on those dusty back roads).

Nevada is full of enough mountains (the most in the lower 48 actually), basins, lakes, ghosts, and trails to keep you busy for the rest of your life. So why has it taken so long for us to dive in?

Most people seem to explore the areas of wildness that are closest to home (aka, the local parks, trails and summits), then travel far and out of state when the "time off" presents itself. Often forgotten are the fantastic opportunities in their own state. The Sierra Nevada is right next door to us, and the pacific coast is only a 5 hour drive away and for most, spending a 3 day weekend in one of these destinations is what comes to mind. But this year, we’re turning a blind eye to those temptations, and focusing on all things Nevada.

We're so lucky that Nevada is a state of such varying ecosystems. We have the Mojave and Great Basin deserts, the alpine environment of the Ruby Mountains, the world renowned Lake Tahoe, and more hot springs than you can imagine. Our hope is to spend some quality time at a different location each month (with the exception of ski season when we're prioritizing the ski pass).

We kicked off our year long journey last month in April as we kayaked down the Colorado River beneath the Hoover Damn in what is known as the Black Canyon. We found and soaked in a hot spring in nearly every canyon in the first half of the trip! We explored slot canyons, gazed at swallows in caves, and enjoyed silence in our river bank campsites. In May, we’re planning on exploring some of the playas (dry lake beds) close to Reno and venture out to a state park we always drive past the sign to... because 50 miles into the middle of the state is never justified on the return trip home. Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park is getting a trip dedicated to it!

We’re eager to get to know some of the little towns that are spread across Nevada (we'll give you the ratings of the best shops to find ice cream), and spend our money supporting these small towns that often rely on tourism. It always feels good to know that our hard earned dollars are going back into our local economy.

This is the year we set aside the hassle of flying out of state and focus on the comforts of camping in our many state parks. (Plus, we're only a couple parks away from completing our State Park Passport!) We may have not been born in Nevada, but it’s home. We’re excited to get to know our home a little better. Join us (virtually) as we tune you in on all our adventures. And we hope we inspire you too! -Written by Rusty Donlon


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