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Best Hiking Trails in Nevada – USA

Overview

While Las Vegas gets all the glory in Nevada, there are many mountainous areas to explore in this southwestern US state.  Some of the main areas for hiking in Nevada include: Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, Spring Mountains, Rainbow Mountains, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area (all within easy reach from Las Vegas); Great Basin National Park; mountains around Reno; Lake Tahoe area; Ruby Mountains Wilderness; Humboldt Range and Toiyabe Range. There are more than 150 isolated mountain ranges in Nevada, many of which can be explored. The best months to hike in Nevada vary depending on region but it is a year round destination. Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Nevada. 

Capital: Carson City

When To Hike in Nevada – USA?

Year Round: For many mountainous areas in Nevada, spring and fall months are best, as they avoid both the heat of summer and the winter cold and snow.  However, in higher altitude mountains, summer months are optimal as that’s when it’s guaranteed to be snow-free.
Varies 
Varies: Winter months are too cold in many regions but could be optimal in the southern areas

Climate: Arid and semi-arid – hot summers and cold winters. Nevada is one of the driest states in the US. Higher altitudes will have snow in the winter.  Spring and fall are usually the best months in many of the mountain ranges, particularly in the southern part of the state. 

Note: In spring 2023, many areas of southwestern USA have seen flooding, including in Nevada.  Check local forecast and warnings prior to setting out on hikes.

 

NWS Forecast Office Las Vegas, NV

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy – Medium: There are well-marked trails in many areas such as in the national parks and conservation areas, but many of the isolated mountain ranges are challenging to get to and may not have the hiking infrastructure in place for a smooth hiking trip.

Transportation required: Car

Where to stay in Nevada for hiking:

  • Reno
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Las Vegas
  • Baker
  • Elko

 

Top Places to Hike in Nevada – USA

There are more than 150 isolated mountain ranges in this state. The areas that get the most attention are around Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, and in Great Basin National Park. There are many other areas, some more challenging to access than others. Highest Mountain: Boundary Peak (4007 m) in the White Mountains.

Filter out hiking places of Nevada – USA by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Humboldt – Toiyabe National Forest

Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area

Rainbow Mountain Wilderness

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Spring Mountains

Parsnip Peak Wilderness

Mount Irish Wilderness

Worthington Mountains Wilderness

Seaman Range

Great Basin National Park

Reno

  • Apr – Oct; summer months could be too hot
  • Surrounded by mountains – Hidden Valley Regional Park; Clark Mountain
  • Reno Hiking Trails

Boundary Peak Wilderness

Pyramid Lake

Mount Rose Wilderness

Lake Tahoe

Ruby Mountains Wilderness

Toiyabe Range

  • Apr – May; Sept – Oct
  • Peaks include Bald Mountain

Humboldt Range

Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak Wilderness

Jackson Mountains

Nevada – USA's Long Distance Trails

Nevada – USA's Walking & Hiking Resources

Nevada Hiking Books: Many books, small sample below, some are a bit dated

  • Hiking Nevada: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, 3rd Edition, by Bruce Grubbs, 2017, Falcon Guides
  • Base Camp Reno: 101 Hikes from Sage to Snow, by Christopher Barile, Elizabeth Barile, 2022, Imbrifex Books
  • Afoot and Afield: Tahoe-Reno: 201 Spectacular Outings in the Lake Tahoe Region, 2nd Edition, by Mike White, 2015, AdventureKEEN
  • Base Camp Las Vegas: 101 Hikes in the Southwest, by Deborah Wall, 2017, Imbrifex Books
  • The Dirt Around Lake Tahoe: Must-Do Scenic Hikes, by Kathryn Reed, 2020, Kathryn Reed
  • Moon Tahoe & Reno: Local Spots, Getaway Ideas, Hiking and Skiing, by Nicole Szanto, 2020, Moon Travel Guides 
  • Top Trails of Nevada: Includes Great Basin National Park, Valley of Fire and Cathedral Gorge State Parks, and Basin and Range National Monument, by Eric Henze, 2016, Gone Beyond Guides
  • Backpacking Nevada: From Slickrock Canyons to Granite Summits, by Mike White, 2018, Wilderness Press
  • Best Backpacking Trips in California and Nevada, by Michael C. White, Mike White, Douglas Lorain, 2015, University of Nevada Press
  • 50 Classic Hikes in Nevada: From the Ruby Mountains to Red Rock Canyon, by Mike White, 2006, University of Nevada Press

 

Nevada Hiking Associations/Clubs: – there are many clubs

 

Best Hiking Trails in Nevada:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, official park websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • Tahoe Rim Trail
  • Mount Rose – Mount Rose Wilderness
  • Turtlehead Peak – Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
  • Mary Jane Falls Trail – Mount Charleston Wilderness
  • Griffith Peak – Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
  • Charleston Peak – Mount Charleston Wilderness
  • Echo Overlook Trail – Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
  • Frenchman Mountain – Shadow Rock Park
  • Marlette Lake Trail – Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park
  • Raintree Trail – Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
  • Wheeler Peak – Great Basin National Park

Easy Hiking Trails in Nevada:

  • Calico Tanks – Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
  • Bristlecone and Alpine Lakes Loop – Great Basin National Park

 

Nevada Hiking Websites:

 

Nevada Weather Website:

 

Nevada Official Tourism Site:  

 

Nevada Hiking Apps: 

 

Nevada Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Las Vegas 
  • Burning Man
  • Valley of Fire State Park
  • Cathedral Gorge State Park
  • Lake Mead

Other Important Points