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Our Top 5 favorite day trips

By: One Nevada Credit Union / 29 Jun 2020
Our Top 5 favorite day trips

Near Reno and Vegas

This summer is different than any other in memory. We Nevadans love to explore, but COVID-19 has put a major dent in our travel and vacation options. Plus, for many Nevadans, the wallet is running a bit thin too.

That's why we asked the One Nevada team to vote for their favorite day trips — places within a few hours of Reno and Las Vegas that were affordable to explore and, most of all, fun. So without further ado, here are our Top 5 favorites for both northern and southern Nevada to help inspire your close-to-home adventures.

Be sure to check for any COVID-19 closures and restrictions before planning your visits

Top 5 Northern Nevada Day Trips

  1. North and South Lake Tahoe (tie)
    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? Pyramid Lake is the place. You'll find plenty of fishing spots, and guided lake excursions are available. If you want to hang out a bit longer than a day, there's some affordable camping spots too. Just get in touch with the local tribe to reserve your spot.

    Drive time: Less than 1 hour
    Pyramid Lake and get your permits and passes
  4. Steamboat Hot Springs
    During the Gold Rush, this was a popular stop. Located just south of Reno, the geothermal activity here has been harnessed for relaxation and rejuvenation. What comes up from the earth is some of the finest healing waters anywhere. Dotted throughout the area are spas and healing centers aimed at relaxing your body and mind.

    Drive time: 30 minutes or less
    Learn more about
    Steamboat Hot Springs
  5. El Dorado National Forest (California)
    Bordering Nevada amid the central Sierra Nevadas, 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 Day 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 excursion
  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 visitor center is open most days, with books, gifts, and other fun items to help you remember the quick trip. Go early; it gets busy quickly!

    Drive time: Less than 30 minutes
    Learn more about
    Red Rock Canyon   
  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.

    Drive time: Less than 1 hour
    Plan your adventure
  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

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