Land of Contrast: Neon to Sagebrush
Nevada is built on two deserts: the sagebrush-filled Great Basin Desert in the north, and the drier Mojave in the south. This is the land of real cowboys, slot machines, and the Las Vegas strip. It's also a mountain biking paradise, full of lakes for boating, and a challenging trail up the side of Mount Wheeler, the state's highest peak.

In the north, you can't help but notice the basin-and-range structure to the landscape. Long ridge-hills run north-and-south along the state, divided in between by seemingly empty "oceans" of sand. Visit this area, and especially the Great Basin National Park, for jackrabbits, pronghorn, bobcat, desert tortoise, and rattlesnakes. Try horseback riding in Elko or head to Reno and the fantastic water sports of Lake Tahoe.

The state's southern triangle, home to Las Vegas, rests on the Mojave Desert. Creosote bush, yucca, and Joshua trees thrive here. Look for lizards, Bighorn sheet, snakes, and hawks. Watch a colony of wild burros at Red Rock Canyon, or rent a houseboat on Lake Mead, near the magnificent Hoover Dam.
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