Skip to main content

5 Budget-Friendly Road Trips

By: One Nevada Credit Union / 01 Jul 2021
5 Budget-Friendly Road Trips

Last summer was all about staying safe and social distancing. This summer, it's all about hitting the road and enjoying some long overdue adventures.

Road trips can be easy and inexpensive with a little extra planning. That's why we put together this list of five road trips to inspire your close-to-home adventures – places within a few hours of Reno and Las Vegas that are affordable to explore and, most of all, fun.

Top 5 Northern Nevada Weekend Trips

1. North and South Lake Tahoe
The term world-class is an easy way to describe Lake Tahoe. Choosing between South Lake Tahoe and North Lake Tahoe can be tough. South Tahoe is the largest city around the lake, and it's also the most exciting with a vibrant downtown, casinos, restaurants, shops, bars, live music, and sandy beaches. North Tahoe is quieter and more laid back. There's still a bit of nightlight with several casinos, but the majority of visitors come for the rafting, hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding (in the winter), and wonderful beaches.

Drive time: Less than 1 hour
Plan your trip to
South or North Lake Tahoe 

2. Virginia City
If you like Mark Twain, you're going to love Virginia City. This local favorite is where Samuel Clemens first used his pen name while writing for the local newspaper. This town is also packed with western history. A quick trip up the hill is like going back in time. The kids will love the walk down the old wooden sidewalk, and be sure to lookout for one of the town's many reported ghosts and haunted houses.

Drive time: 45 minutes
Virginia City

3. Pyramid Lake
Looking for some click-worthy photos of you and the family having fun camping? Pyramid Lake is the place. You'll find plenty of fishing spots, and guided lake excursions are available. Have your camera ready for epic sunsets and sunrises when you camp right on the lake. Just get in touch with the local tribe to purchase a permit.

Drive time: Less than 1 hour
Pyramid Lake and get your permits and passes

4. Truckee
Truckee-Tahoe is a hub for outdoor adventures rich with mountain plants and wildlife. The Tahoe National Forest, Donner Memorial State Park, and gorgeous Lake Tahoe are at the doorstep of this gorgeous mountain town. After you enjoy the great outdoors, explore the town's Main Street and historic downtown area with a variety of shopping and dining options.

Drive time: About 1 hour
Learn more about

5. El Dorado National Forest (California)
Bordering Nevada amid the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Eldorado National Forest sports amazing views, wonderful hikes, and plenty to see and do. There are too many lakes to count, plenty of camping spots to claim as your own, and over 70 day-use recreation facilities. A great way to let the kids run off their energy.

Drive time: less than 2 hours
your spot and learn more

Top 5 Southern Nevada Weekend Trips

1. Mt. Charleston
Scraping the clouds at nearly 12,000 feet in elevation, Mt. Charleston has plenty to do for everyone in the family. From horseback riding and camping, to hiking, and more. Too hot in the valley? Feeling adventurous? Try the hike starting at 6,000 feet to the summit. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water.

Drive time: Less than 1 hour
Plan your

2. Red Rock Canyon
Packed with hiking trails, camping opportunities, plants, wildlife, and a one-way scenic drive that is not to be missed, Red Rock Canyon has something for everyone. The Bureau of Land Management requires reservations for entry, so be sure to reserve your entry pass online before your trip. The Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center is open most days with books, gifts, and other fun items to help you remember the quick trip. If you're visiting in the summer, make sure to prepare for the heat and stay hydrated. Go early; it gets busy quickly!

Drive time: Less than 30 minutes
Learn more about
Red Rock Canyon and make reservations

3. Valley of Fire State Park
At the center of the park's impressive landscape are some often photographed 150-million-year-old red sandstone formations. You cannot miss them. While you're there, take a hike amid the park's 46,000 acres. Feeling adventurous, bring along a picnic and your camping gear and stay the night. If you're into Star Trek, this is the final resting place of James T. Kirk. Ask around, they'll show you where the fictional character is buried. Valley of Fire State Park can reach scorching temperatures well into the 100s during the summer. Getting an early start and bringing plenty of water and sun protection is highly recommended.

Drive time: Less than 1 hour
Plan your

4. St. George, Utah
Home to some of the most stunning views and locations in the American West, St. George sits amid the Mojave Desert, Zion National Park, and the Pine Valley Mountains. This is also where biking, golfing, and hiking are year-round pastimes thanks to one of the most moderate climates anywhere.

Drive time: Just over 3 hours
Plan your trip to
St. George

5. Lake Mead
This is America's first national recreation area. Today, visitors are welcome to swim, boat, hike, cycle, fish, and camp along the beautiful, blue waters of Lake Mead. You'll find over 1.5 million acres of mountains, valleys, and picturesque views for that all-important selfie. Pack for the weather, because temperatures can range from 120º F in the summer to well below freezing in the winter.

Drive time: Less than 1 hour
Learn more about
Lake Mead

Find more readings

Leaving Site

You are leaving the One Nevada Credit Union website.

We cannot control the content of other internet sites. Links from our website(s) are intended to serve as a benefit to our members and are offered on an as is basis. We are not responsible for the accuracy, security, or content of site links. We encourage our members to view privacy and security disclosures on all websites they visit.