Places in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterparts

Places in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterparts

Photo courtesy of Travel Nevada.

By Aleza Freeman

June 12, 2024

From panoramic parallels to alternative attractions, the following awe-inspiring locations invite you to embrace the thrill of discovery, venture beyond the beaten path, and unearth hidden treasures in Nevada

Once you’re hit with the travel bug there’s very little that can stop you from setting out on an adventure, except maybe time and money. Fortunately, Nevada is home to many destinations that are just as incredible as their more famous counterparts.

These destination dupes (duplicates) offer affordability, allure, and adventure. And since they can be reached on a road trip, you won’t have to dole out thousands of dollars for plane tickets.

1. Great Basin National Park

Dupe for Yosemite National Park

Places in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterparts

Photo courtesy of Travel Nevada.

Great Basin National Park is located in an isolated area of Eastern Nevada near the Utah border. Quaintly nestled on 77,180 acres, the park is the country’s least visited, probably due to its remoteness. Some people call it the National Park Service’s best-kept secret. 

As the nation’s only cold desert, summers here are hot and winters are snowy, perfect for many outdoor activities. The park is quite biodiverse with a variety of lakes and streams, wildlife, lush forests, a glacier, fossils, a system of caves, and some of the state’s darkest skies. 

While Yosemite has ancient sequoia trees, Great Basin National Park’s aging beauties are bristlecone pines, some more than 4,000 years old. Defying extreme weather and ominous growing conditions, their contorted and twisted trunks are mercifully sculpted by nature’s hardships. In its lower slopes, Lehman Caves dazzles curious visitors with a guided tour of its two miles of fragile shields, stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations. 

Camping is a popular option for visitors, but lodging is available in nearby Baker, a tiny town with restaurants and a general store.

2. Red Rock Canyon

Dupe for Red Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ

Places in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterparts

Photo courtesy of Travel Nevada.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is known for its dramatic red sandstone formations, which majestically reach toward the sky upwards of 3,000 feet.  

More than 13 million visitors flock to Red Rock each year for its diversity of plants and wildlife, plus outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, picnicking, or simply observing nature. Some of the hikes have great pay-offs like waterfalls, petroglyphs, and panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip. 

A 13-mile scenic drive, also used by bicyclists, winds around Red Rock with parking areas at trails and lookout points along the way. The loop starts at the LEED gold-certified visitor’s center, a veritable museum that’s packed full of interesting exhibits on the Mojave Desert and Red Rock.

Best of all, it’s only about a 15-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip.

3. The Extraterrestrial Highway

Dupe for Roswell, NM

Places in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterparts

Photo courtesy of Travel Nevada.

Perhaps you believe the truth is out there. Maybe you harbor a secret desire to be abducted and probed by aliens. Whatever the reason for your interest in Little Green Men, visitors from all over the world come to Nevada to explore State Route 375, known as the Extraterrestrial Highway.

The 98-mile stretch of highway between Crystal Springs to the east and Warm Springs to the west runs alongside the top-secret military base and alleged alien incubator known as Area 51, which some believe is closely tied to an alleged UFO crash in Roswell in 1947. 

Visitors enjoy alien-themed attractions on the drive along the way like an alien jerky shop, an Instagram-worthy E.T. Highway road sign, and a research center. The well-guarded back gate to Area 51 also adds to the mystique for UFO hunters, alien enthusiasts, and conspiracy theorists. Nevada’s UFO capital, Rachel, is the closest town to the gate. It’s a small town with a motel and diner and a great place to stay for the night to try and unravel the mysteries of the universe. You never know what you might see in the night sky.

4. International Car Forest of the Last Church

Dupe for Cadillac Ranch, TX

Somewhat dystopian and hauntingly beautiful, the non-profit International Car Forest of the Last Church is a quirky attraction located at the south end of Goldfield, Nevada.

While Cadillac Ranch consists of ten Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground, Nevada’s version is larger and more eclectic. Created by artists Chad Sorg and Mark Rippie, the outdoor gallery has more than 40 junked vehicles. They stretch back toward and into the mountains, like a deconstructed Stonehenge. Some are buried headfirst or tail-first, others are stacked on top of one another. Original, colorful graffiti art decorates each car.

Visitors are welcome to drive around the installation or park and walk right up to the cars. The photo opportunities are endless.

5. Las Vegas landmarks

Dupe for famous international landmarks

International flights are long and expensive, and unless you’re going to multiple countries, you’ll probably only get to see one or two landmarks at best. 

If you opt for Las Vegas instead, you can fit multiple landmarks (well, the Vegas renditions) into one trip. 

In Las Vegas, you can see an Egyptian pyramid, a medieval castle, the Eiffel Tower, the canals of Venice, and throw in the Statue of Liberty for good measure, all on one iconic street. These, of course, are replicas of the originals, but each with its own unique charm. 

In the case of the Vegas versions, it may be quantity over quality, but don’t worry. Your friends will be equally impressed by the sights of Sin City when they see them pop up on your Instagram feed.

Viva Las Vegas!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Places in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterpartsPlaces in Nevada that are just as cool as their more famous counterparts

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

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