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Nevada is a land of extremes, from the desert heat to the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. But even in this vast and rugged state, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get away for an easy adventure.

Here are some of the best and easy outdoor adventures you can have in Nevada.

Wheeler Peak, at over 13,000 feet in elevation, is an overwhelming sight in scenic Great Basin National Park © Arlene Waller / Shutterstock

1. Hiking in Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park has some of the most stunning scenery in the state, including towering mountains, ancient bristlecone pines, and beautiful wildflower meadows. There are a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks, to challenging scrambles.

One of the best easy hikes in the park is the Alpine Lakes Loop combined with the Bristlecone Trail. It’s a 5-mile round-trip trail that features glacier-fed lakes and stunning scenery. On a clear day, you can see for miles in every direction.

While you’re there, explore Lehman Caves on a guided tour. A short walk will take you through the caverns where you can see beautiful formations.

If you love gazing at the stars, you’ve come to the right place – Great Basin is designated as an International Dark Sky Park. Both Mather Overlook and Baker Archaeological Site are great places to stargaze. The park even plays host to an Astronomy Festival every September.

When horseback riding in Nevada, getting to know your horse’s unique personality is half the fun © Courtesy of Travel Nevada

2. Horseback Riding near Reno

Heavenly Hoofprints, in New Washoe City – about 25 minutes south of Reno – offers horseback riding tours for all levels, where you can ride along the Sierra Nevada mountains or the Truckee River. Nearby Washoe Lake State Park offers watersports, hiking, and fishing.

You can choose to ride the trails into the foothills, or learn to do it all. You can catch your horse, brush them, pick their hooves, and saddle the horse, all before hitting the trail (under supervision, of course). Getting to know your horse’s unique personality is half the fun.

No matter your adventure, you’ll have a memorable experience with a new animal friend.

If you want to stop at Gold Strike Hot Springs, a guided kayak tour is best © mindyonthemove.com; Courtesy of Travel Nevada

3. Flat Water Rafting and Hot Springs

The Black Canyon Water Trail is a 100-mile stretch of the Colorado River that offers jaw-dropping scenery and a variety of activities, including flat water rafting, kayaking, and swimming. As icing on the cake, a few hot springs are located along the river, perfect for mixing some relaxation into your day of adventure.

One of the easiest and most relaxing experiences is a guided rafting trip with Lake Mead Mohave Adventures. The tour takes you from the base of the Hoover Dam, which is not otherwise open to the public, all the way to Willow Beach, AZ. Along the way, you can even take a dip in the cool water.

If you want to stop at one of the hot springs, a guided kayak tour is best. Similar to the rafting tour, you can find ones that will drop you off at the base of Hoover Dam so you can paddle with the current. Depending on the tour, you can stop at Gold Strike or Arizona Hot Springs.

The Fire Wave Trail is an easy 1.5-mile round-trip hike that takes you to a red sandstone formation that looks like, well, a wave of fire © Courtesy of Travel Nevada

4. Exploring Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park is one of our favorite parks with easy hikes. Visitors can trek among the towering red rocks and explore ancient petroglyphs.

The most popular hike is the Fire Wave Trail, an easy 1.5-mile round-trip hike that takes you to a red sandstone formation that looks like, well, a wave of fire – or maybe a swirly ice cream.

Another great hike in the park is the White Domes Trail. This easy 1.1-mile round-trip hike takes you to a group of stunning white sandstone domes. Along the way you’ll walk through an old filming location (originally used in 1966’s ‘The Professionals,’ starring Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin), and a narrow canyon.

If you don’t have a set itinerary, stop by the excellent Visitors Center, where they can help you make the most of your time.

The Las Vegas Strip Tours are perfect at night, and best seen by helicopter ride © randy andy / Shutterstock

5. Las Vegas Helicopter Tour

If you’re looking for a bird’s-eye view of Nevada, soar over the state on a helicopter tour. 5 Star Helicopter Tours offers a variety of helicopter excursions, from scenic flights to adventure tours.

The Las Vegas Strip Tours are perfect at night, when you can see the Strip’s sparkly lights and most iconic landmarks from above. You can even upgrade your experience with an Eiffel Tower dinner.

If you prefer seeing nature, check out the company’s Grand Canyon Tours. There are a wide range of options, including a flyover, landing in the canyon, and pairing it with a visit to the Valley of Fire.

Fly LINQ is a zipline that stretches over 1,100 feet and 12 stories high over the LINQ Promenade © Courtesy of Travel Nevada

6. Ziplining

Are you ready for an adrenaline rush? Strap into a zipline overlooking the Las Vegas Strip (Fly LINQ) or soaring over the length of Downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience (SlotZilla).

SlotZilla takes you 7 or 11 stories above the famous Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Vegas. You’ll zipline either headfirst or feetfirst with a canopy of lights overhead and meandering crowds below.

Fly LINQ is a zipline that stretches over 1,100 feet and 12 stories high over the LINQ Promenade. You can fly up to 35 mph toward the High Roller observation wheel – itself an easy and awe-inspiring experience.

The Tahoe East Shore Trail offers access to Sand Harbor, Secret Cove, and Hidden Beach © 1000Photography / Shutterstock

7. E-Biking “America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway”

The Tahoe East Shore Trail, also known as “America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway,” is one of the best ways to experience Lake Tahoe. Ride along the trail in North Lake Tahoe with an e-bike and enjoy the views. Along the way, you can stop at public beaches and coves.

The paved 3-mile trail is 10 feet wide and pet friendly, and bike rentals are available at the northern trailhead. A series of vista points along the path are perfect places to enjoy the stunning views. At the southern end of the trail is Sand Harbor, with watersports and giant boulders beckoning.

There are plenty of ways to experience adventure in Nevada, including the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge © TheRobertsWereHere; Courtesy of Travel Nevada

There are plenty of ways to experience adventure in Nevada, and these are only the first steps. When you’re ready to put a toe outside your comfort zone, check out our guide to more intermediate experiences in the state. And when you’re ready for a thrill unlike any other, you’ll be blown away by our guide to the most challenging adventures in Nevada.

Sponsored by Travel Nevada

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This story was crafted collaboratively between Travel Nevada and Lonely Planet. Both parties provided research and curated content to produce this story. We disclose when information isn’t ours.

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