Nevada is a playground for families, boasting dinosaur bones, military forts, and stunning geological formations:
Some 225 million years ago, the Ichthyosaur was a Nevada native. The state still boasts the most concentrated collection of Ichthyosaur fossils in North America. You and your family will be awed when you uncover them near this charming, historic mining town. The ghosts of miners join the dinosaurs beneath the surface, and besides the fascinating collection at the Fossil House, you can visit their graves at the cemetery.
Cathedral Gorge is a Nevadan must-see, whatever your age. Formed by volcanic flows millions of years ago, the cathedral-esque mountain of jutting chambers you see today has been carved by water flowing through the valley over the intervening years. Views from below and above will the most distinctive and present photographers (little and large) with a playground like no other.
Turn back the hands of time at Fort Churchill, home base to hundreds of soldiers since its foundation in 1861. Children will be fascinated to discover the ruins at the end of the marked trails here. There are also plenty of picnic spots and your whole family can enjoy fishing and swimming in the Carson River.
Strike gold at Nevada's State Parks. Filled with mining heritage and wildlife, which are any hiker's dream:
Forty thousand acres of red sandstone are tattooed with petroglyphs and imprinted with petrified trees. Trace the riveting history of this fiery-red destination at the Visitor Center, which offers insights into indigenous peoples and local geology and ecology. There are also plenty of hiking trails through this photo-worthy wilderness.
Beaver Dam is blessed with profound canyons, gushing streams, waterfalls, and scented juniper and ponderosa forests. A Watchable Wildlife Area, you are likely to come face-to-face with exciting species like jack rabbits and mule deer during your visit, though the park is also home to coyotes, porcupines, and bobcats.
Hike to a silver mill from the 1860s in Dayton, which shivers with willows, sagebrush, and cottonwoods. It is situated at the base of the Virginia Range, and bisected by the Carson River.
Ice skate or fish, cross country ski or kayak to your heart's content. It's all here for you at these Nevada State Parks:
On the verge of the Colorado River, the glittering waters of this state park are a haven for watersports fans. Overlooked by majestic peaks, the winding river supplies blissful days of fishing, boating, and swimming to its visitors. Look out for equally active hummingbirds, hawks, and roadrunners.
Cave Lake is a winter sport favorite, offering visitors a plethora of sporting activities from ice sculpting to sledding, snowmobiling to ice skating and cross country skiing. During the summer, you can hunt, hike, or fish for trout in the glimmering 32-acre reservoir, which is also great for swimming. The lake is also the venue for the Annual Bathtub Races, one of the state's quirkier traditions. Come wintertime, a Fire and Ice Show takes place here which features fireworks which reflect on the lake.
Come snorkel, swim, and scuba dive at Cave Rock State Park, which crowns the Sierra Nevada mountains and is nestled on the eastern side of Lake Tahoe. Gin-clear water is also beloved of canoeists, kayak fans, and fishing aficionados. After all your exertions, you can always recline on the glittering sand, or sit on the rocks and drink in the tranquility of this gleaming natural jewel.