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Sample desert delights in this oasis of hiking, fast cars and firearms, just a short drive from Las Vegas

Base camp of all base camps, Pahrump is a desert oasis for travelers who want to explore the nearby mountains and rugged terrain that makes the Silver State so compelling.

The area was first inhabited by the Shoshone tribe, and the American settlers who came in the late 19th century named the town after the Native American term for "water rock" (pah-rimpi). This refers to the ample artesian wells that flow throughout the valley and provided irrigation for cotton and alfalfa. It also aided the raising livestock.

Before the 1960s, locals had no telephone service or paved roads in or out of the Pahrump Valley. When nearby Las Vegas grew, a paved highway was developed to connect the town to so-called "glitter gulch." Telephone service, likewise, was put in during the late 1960s. The city steadily grew, its population exploding from 2,000 to 36,000 between 1980 and the present.

Today, Pahrump is home to one of the largest firearm training facilities in the world. Front Sight Firearms Training Institute attracts gun users from all walks of life to hone their shooting skills and increase their knowledge of firearms. From target ranges to gun education classes, this institute is a destination for gun lovers everywhere.

Another popular attraction is Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch, which boasts the exclusive Ron Fellows Corvette Driving School, Radical Racing School, SCCA License Recommendation School and Lotus Performing Driving School. With its clay-based, high-banked quarter-mile dirt tracks, the Pahrump Valley Speedway is rare among racetracks in the United States. Pahrump also has a handful of high-end wineries to choose from.

Pahrump has been the home of several celebrities over the years, including entertainer Michael Jackson, Apple co-founder Ronald Wayne, casino mogul Ted Binion and radio show host Art Bell. It's also close to many exciting places to go for a day, which makes it the ultimate base camp.

Spring Mountains
The gorgeous Spring Mountains are within view of the city and offer many rocks to climb and trails to hike. Some thrill seekers may want to ride on ATVs and Jeeps, as there are many exciting trails, including Wallace Canyon Road, which also offers an easy footpath and access to scenic Mt. Charleston.

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