Encircle Nevada

Encircle Nevada: Although Las Vegas is an exciting destination, there is so much more to see and do in the nation’s 36th state. This Encircle Nevada gallery is a visual sampler of four of my favorite locations in Nevada.

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1 Nevada State Capitol Building in Carson City, Nevada

In 1871, the capitol building for Nevada was finished in Carson City. It is a modest, two-story structure with an octagonal, silver dome. The façade is sandstone from a local prison quarry. In 1971, when the legislature outgrew it, they moved to an adjacent building. However, the original capital still serves as the governor’s office. When you are there, ask the governor’s receptionist to see the skeleton in his safe. Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864. It is the country’s driest state yet has over 200,000 slot machines to whet your gambling appetite.

101 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

2 Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City, Nevada

Nevada’s Legislature has only 63 members. Since 1971, they have conducted their biennial, sixty-day sessions in the rose-colored Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City. The state’s constitution limits their sessions to 60 days or they “cover the clock.” This means members receive no salary for additional days. This legislative body is the country’s third smallest and only one of three that does not meet in their state’s capitol. The Supreme Court has its own building on the same campus.

401 S Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

3 Cactus Jack’s Casino Howdy Sign in Carson City, Nevada

This iconic neon marquee sign with its “Howdy” greeting on the money in his extended hand stands atop Cactus Jack’s Casino. Its 8,500 square feet offers 24 hours of fun on their 150 “liberal gaming machines” and two poker tables. This may sound small by Las Vegas standards. However, Carson City has ten casinos, ranking it as the fourth largest gaming center in Nevada.

420 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

4 Virginia and Truckee Railroad Engine #22 Mural in Carson City, Nevada

This train engine # 22 mural is on the side of Heidi’s Diner in Carson City, Nevada. The artwork commemorates the 80 year history of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Starting in 1868, this rail system connected cities, towns, mines and milling operations between Reno and Carson City. Engine #22, also called the Inyo, was built in 1875 and retired in 1926. The locomotive went on to have an exciting Hollywood career in 20 Paramount Pictures movies plus was featured in “The Wild Wild West” TV show during the 1960s. It is now on display at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

1020 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701

5 Sand Harbor in Nevada State Park near Lake Tahoe, Nevada

In 1971, Nevada purchased 5,000 acres on the lake’s eastern shore from a local land baron. The property included this gorgeous view on Sand Harbor. This acquisition created Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. The idyllic spot consists of pristine sand, large boulders sprinkled across shallow waters, tree-lined shores, hiking trails and isolated picnic grounds. The only downside is the lack of parking along Highway 28.

2005 NV-28, New Washoe City, NV 89704

6 Logan Shoals Vista on Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe is shared by Nevada and California. Stretching 22 miles and 12 miles wide, the picturesque lake is the second deepest in the U.S. at over 1,600 feet. In a word, it is beautiful. Along a drive through Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, visitors can stop along the multiple turnouts for spectacular views. This woman enjoyed the tranquility from the Logan Shoals Vista.

1492 Lincoln Hwy, Glenbrook, NV 89413

7 Blue Bicycle Artwork Against Blue Sky in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The Great Lake Tahoe Bike Ride and America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride are two annual events encircling 72 miles around the lake. To honor these athletic cyclists, about a dozen bike sculptures adorn Lake Tahoe, Nevada. This one sits in a flower garden at MontBleu Resort on the Nevada and California border.

55 Highway 50 Lake, Stateline, Nevada 89449

8 Pony Express Monument at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

This bronze Pony Express Monument in front of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe is near Friday’s Station at the boarder of California and Nevada. The station was owned by “Friday” Burke and James Small. During the Pony Express’ 18 months of operation in 1860 and 1861, the riders would frequently remount fresh horses along their 1,900 mile route. The statue’s plaque calls the Pony Express, “A fleeting but exciting epoch in the winning of the west.” The monument was dedicated to William Harrah, the company’s founder, in 1968. In the base is a time capsule. It is scheduled to be opened in 2037.

15 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449

9 Harnessed Carriage Horse in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The first evidence of horse-drawn carriages dates back to 2000 BC. They have evolved into over 350 types of horse-drawn carriages. Except for a few cultures still using them for transportation, most are reserved for delighting tourists. This horse wearing a breastcollar harness and bridle stood patiently in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Stateline Ave & Lake Tahoe Blvd South, Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

10 Bentonite Clay Spires at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada

These Bentonite clay spires at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada, are beautiful. The rugged landscape was shaped by volcanic eruptions, fractures that formed mountains and valleys, a freshwater lake that disappeared, plus millions of years of wind erosion. Wonderful buff-colored carvings stand majestically among the 2,000 acres of arid desert near the Utah boarder. You can also explore several caves. But beware: some are inhabited by creatures who growl with disapproval at the slightest intrusion.

111 Cathedral Gorge State Park Road, Panaca, NV 89042

11 Scrub Brush and Mountains in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, Nevada

A short drive away from the flash and bedazzle of Las Vegas is the peace and serenity of Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. The desert floor is adorned with scrub-brush resembling coral. The backdrops are sandstone and limestone cliffs plus iron oxide outcrops with subtle hues of orange, brown and red. Meandering through this stark beauty is a 13 mile drive.

Red Rock Canyon, Overlook Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161