From a Spanish phrase meaning “snow-covered,” Nevada is one of America’s most mountainous states. The “Silver State” is indeed a beautiful landscape that any traveler in the Western United States will surely not want to pass over. And for those who truly love the unique allure of the mountains, these Nevada mountain towns offer some of the best vistas and cultural charm in the country.
Nevada’s capital, Carson City, is near the Eagle Valley and the Carson Mountain Range and was even named for pioneering mountain man Kit Carson. Indeed Carson City is a true mountain town, where visitors and residents alike can enjoy great panoramas, beautiful hiking trails, and even beach areas to lounge and swim. Known for its hot desert summers and mild winters, Carson City also has a number of fascinating cultural attractions. Stop by the Nevada State Railroad Museum (and its impressive collection of preserved locomotives), the Nevada State Museum, and, of course, the neoclassical State Capitol building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These and its wonderful natural setting make Carson City a truly beautiful place to explore.
Incline Village finds itself on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, near the Sierra Nevada mountain range. With its incredible lake and mountain vistas, this town also has moderate temperatures year-round, and visitors and residents alike can enjoy being outside from January to December. Home of the University of Nevada Reno, Incline Village also has one of the more expensive housing markets for a small town in America. Notwithstanding its pricey homes, visitors can still profit from an affordable stay and truly breathtaking natural surroundings.
Imlay is a small community of only 210 residents near the Humboldt Mountain range. This former railroad town in Pershing County may not offer a great variety of activities, but its small-time feel gives it a unique charm. Stop by the local trading post and general store for a real feeling of traveling back in time while a meal at some local eateries delivers an authentic slice of Americana. Enjoy some mountain vistas while in Imlay, or also stop by the Thunder Mountain Monument, a series of sculptures from different art styles.
Just under a 30-minute drive from Carson City, the town of Genoa is Nevada’s oldest non-indigenous settlement, founded in 1851 by Mormon pioneers. This charming historic town boasts a modest population of 1,343 people, and tourists can explore its unique heritage through a visit to the Genoa Historic District and the Mormon Station State Historical Park. Marvel at beautiful Victorian-style architecture and the Genoa Courthouse in the former, while at the latter, replica trading posts and other buildings commemorating the Mormon settlers are great first-hand historical experiences. Genoa may not be as famous its Italian namesake, but this small Nevada mountain town is a special place, nonetheless.
The seat of Nye County, Tonopah, was founded in 1900 as a silver mining town and today maintains its special historic charm for visitors and residents. With a modest population of just over 2,000, Tonopah is both a great place to learn about Nevada history and to enjoy the wonders of the outdoors. Here visitors can partake in such activities like hiking, mountain biking, and ever birdwatching in a hot desert setting. Meanwhile, a visit to the historic Mizpah Hotel (1905) or the Clown Hotel makes for a unique cultural experience. At the latter, which is located adjacent to the Tonopah Cemetery, urban legends contend that spirits of former miners haunt the area, leading to its moniker as “America’s Scariest Motel.”
Situated at the base of the Ruby Mountains, the small town of Lamoille has a population of only 276 residents. Near the Lamoille Canyon and the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway, visitors will find some of the most stunning mountain vistas in all of Nevada in this area. And with the opportunity to experience all four seasons, there is really never a bad time to stop by Lamoille and its picturesque ambiance.
Located just 61 kilometers from Las Vegas, the small mountain town of Mount Charleston is an idyllic place for stunning valley views and outdoor adventures. Situated within the Spring Mountains, the town is named after the peak of the same name, which reaches an elevation of 11,916 feet. A popular day trip for those in the Las Vegas area, Mount Charleston offers its visitors beautiful opportunities for hiking and cycling, with some of the best vistas in Nevada. With cooler temperatures compared to Vegas, this town, with a small populace of only 314 permanent residents, entices many for its charming and stunning natural ambiance. And do not forget to spend time at Charleston Park for some special camping memories and stargaze at the spectacular night sky.
The State of Nevada is a land full of mountains and valleys, providing some of the most memorable and beautiful vistas in the United States. A journey through some of its mountain towns is thus one of the most picturesque and charming excursions one can embark on. From mining towns to lakeside shores, these communities all share great mountain views and surroundings for a most special vacation experience.