Winchell Lake is another high alpine lake in the Humboldt-Toiyabe Wilderness near the Angel Lake Rec area, just south of Wells, NV. It's neighboring lakes, Angel Lake & Smith Lake, gets most of the attention, but Winchell is just as pretty! Because this lake is only lightly trafficked, the trail is semi-overgrown and wearing pants will protect your legs. The trail is very easy to follow, it's just filled with overgrown sagebrush.
The Angel Lake Rec Area is a popular hiking, fishing, and camping spot just outside of Wells, Nevada. You've probably seen the brown sign off I-80 for this area, but drove past. I'm here to tell you its worth the stop! Not only is this area very dog and kid friendly, but the lakes, views, and surrounding peaks make this a very enjoyable visit. The shortest hike in the area is Smith Lake, at just 1.3 miles one way.
Gold Butte National Monument (GBNM) is located just 2 hours outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, 1 hour from Mesquite, NV and encompasses 300,000 acres of land. One of the newer monuments since 2016, GBNM is home to endless sandstone, rock art, old mining equipment, arches, wildlife, and even a ghost town. Most people come here to ride their ATV around to all the sites, and others like me, come for the hiking and geological features.
Spencer Hot Springs is located almost directly in the center of Nevada, about an hour west of Eureka, NV. This is one of Nevada's more popular hot springs, and consists of three soaking areas - two tubs and one natural pond. This remote area is dog friendly, has plenty of free camping, clothing is optional (half the people we saw were skinny dipping), and it's free to soak.
12 Mile (Bishop Creek) Hot Springs is one of Nevada's hidden gems that is oh, so relaxing. Nevada has more hot springs than any other state in the U.S., with more than 300 occurring naturally; most are found in Northern Nevada. With only a 2 mile hike, the whole family can get in on this one. The trail, which follows an old dirt road, is flat and quite scenic. How did it get its name? That's easy - it's roughly 12 miles north of Wells, Nevada along Bishop Creek. Getting to these hot springs is accessible year-round, but the 102F water temperature feels amazing in Winter. Worried about crowds? Don't be - most people haven't even heard of this place which makes it even more unique! Grab your swimsuit and snowshoes, and let's get soaking!
Cathedral Gorge State Park in Panaca, NV is a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Basin Desert. The Great Basin Desert is the largest US desert, which covers an arid expanse of about 190,000 square miles and is bordered by the Sierra Nevada Range to the West, and Rocky Mountains to the East. At the South East corner of Nevada sits Cathedral Gorge State Park, which exposes erosion that has carved unique patterns in the soft bentonite clay.
Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada has been on my "hiking to do list" for almost two years, but I had never made it one of my travel priorities. Every year something else that seemed "better" came up, and I passed on the opportunity to visit here. This weekend I made it there, and realized how much I had been missing out on! The amazing vistas of colored rock, petroglyphs, arches, slot canyons, beautiful desert scenery, blue bird skies, and an awesome campground had me smiling all weekend. My friends and I picked the perfect weekend to go. It wasn't a holiday weekend so there were less people, plus the temperatures in February are perfect, with an average temperature of 62F. This past weekend it got up to 80F, which is the hottest I've felt since last summer! Temperatures in summer can reach 120F, so it's best to visit the park from December-March.