Bright neon lights lead the way to Nevada's gambling and entertainment resorts, Las Vegas, Reno, and Laughlin. These cities have numerous luxury high-rise hotels and glittering gambling casinos.
In addition, Nevada has many historic and scenic attractions. Scores of ghost towns stand as reminders of the past. Nevada's deserts contain spectacular scenery and much of scientific interest, such as the fossils and multicolored canyons.
Recreation in Nevada is largely associated with its mountains, rivers, and lakes, where opportunities for seasonal sports are numerous. Deer hunting and trout fishing are popular, as is skiing, particularly at the Slide Mountain-Mount Rose area and Charleston Peak. Facilities for water sports and other activities have been well developed at Lake Tahoe and Lake Mead. Lake Tahoe, perhaps Nevada's best known scenic attraction, is also a popular winter sport area.
The federal government administers two national parks, two national forests, and a national recreation area, as well as wildlife and game refuges.
Great Basin National Park, in eastern Nevada, contains more than 77,100 acres of rugged mountains, sagebrush deserts, and limestone caves. The former Lehman Caves National Monument has been incorporated into the park. Nevada shares Death Valley National Park with California. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, in the southeastern part of the state, includes Mead and Mohave lakes and Hoover Dam and covers parts of both Nevada and Arizona. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located west of Las Vegas, features multicolored formations of the Red Rock escarpment, the Le Madre Mountains, and the Calico Hills.
Humboldt National Forest, the only national forest entirely within Nevada, encompasses more than 2.5 million acres. This forest contains six wilderness areas, including the 65,000-acre Jarbidge Wilderness, which contains rugged, glaciated terrain.
Other wilderness areas are Mount Moriah, Currant Mountains, Quinn Canyon, Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak, East Humboldt, and Ruby Mountains. In the forest, Native American pictographs (drawings) and stone tools are uncovered at archaeological sites in caves where ancient peoples dwelled.
In addition there are many caves of interest to spelunkers and scientists. The mountainous Toiyabe National Forest, in central Nevada, is the largest national forest outside of Alaska. Part of the forest is in California.