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Recommended Tent Camping Locations - NV
Nevada Tent Camping Trip
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For those who decided to stay inland from our original Arizona stopping point (see above), welcome to Nevada tent camping. Obviously, we’re going to need to immediately roll (pun intended!) into Sin City itself, Las Vegas. What’s to say about Las Vegas that hasn’t been said already – folks either love it or hate it. However, it’s worth investigating no matter what side of the fence you’re on. If you have never been, or it’s been a while, give it another shot. No town in America has reinvented itself more than Las Vegas, which seems to be entering yet another “Golden Age.” The old-time acts like Wayne Newton are moving out, replaced by slicker, more artsy acts like Cirque du Soleil and casinos that take you away to New York City, Paris, Venice and beyond. But fear not, the Las Vegas of old hasn’t completely vanished, you just have to look a little harder to experience nostalgia. It’s the part of Vegas that first saw the Rat Pack. Check out Binion’s Horseshoe, an old-style gamblin’ joint that has ignored Vegas’ recent makeover. Today, Binion’s also hosts the World Series of Poker, an annual event whose growing popularity will soon rival that other World Series. Don’t miss The Stardust, a nostalgic casino that still displays its famous neon sign. Although the famous neon sign is gone from another classic casino, the Golden Nugget, gamblers are still welcome to throw their money away here. And what says “Vegas” more than a 40-foot giant, neon cowboy? Sure, the Pioneer Club may have closed up long ago, but the symbol of nostalgic Las Vegas -- Vegas Vic -- still greets visitors as a souvenir shop in the infamous “Glitter Gulch” section of downtown, where neon still rules brightly.
From Las Vegas, consider taking US-93 north until you reach the town of Ely, formerly known as Nevada’s longest-running mining venture. The mines dried up in the early 1980s and most people skipped town. What’s left is the semblance of a modern ghost town, but don’t count Ely down and out just yet. It features the Nevada Northern Railway Museum, a glimpse at what life was like in this one-time boomtown. For a little Nevada nostalgia away from the bright lights of Las Vegas, check out the Hotel Nevada, a landmark hotel with a giant cowboy sign outside, and plenty of active slots inside. Be sure to stay at one of the Nevada tent campgrounds here in Ely.
From Ely, head west on US-50, affectionately known as “The Loneliest Road.” This is the open road at its finest – or worst – depending on your need for human contact. The trappings of civilization are few and far between as your rig takes you across the open spaces of the southwest desert. Near the town of Sand Mountain, you’ll find some of the last remnants of America’s original postal service, The Pony Express. The region was once known as the most remote and dangerous stretch in the 1,900-mile Express route. A pair of relay stations still stand today, commemorating the intrepid riders of long ago.
Head west off US-50 and Virginia City comes a’calling. In 1859, the future of Nevada changed forever in this town when the Comstock Lode was discovered nearby, eventually producing over $300 million in mostly silver ore (in mid-1800’s dollars). Overnight, prospectors flocked to the area but, like all other boomtowns, the mines gradually tapped out and the town nearly wasted away. But thanks to the 1960s hit TV show “Bonanza!”, Virginia City enjoyed a new awakening as visitors came to see the town depicted on the show. It’s a charming little frontier- style town to spend a day exploring. You can even ride in an open-air rail car on the train tour.
Carson City, another original frontier town and the state capitol, is our last Nevada tent camping stop. Named after famed frontiersman Kit Carson, Carson City is a growing city with several landmarks casinos, most notable among them the venerable Carson Nugget. Old West nostalgia can be had on the nearby Kit Carson Trail, a walking path through the town’s residential district. The Governor’s Mansion (1909), State Mint (1869), 1800’s-era Victorian-style homes, museums and churches are all along the route. Here there are also several great Nevada tent campgrounds to check out.
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