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Best Nevada State Parks to Visit in the Winter


Best Nevada State Parks to Visit in the Winter

Cross-country skiers at Lake Tahoe State Park - courtesy of Nevada State Parks

The Top Choices Offer Indian Petroglyphs, Ice Fishing, and Wilderness Cabins.

Valley of Fire State Park

Nevada's oldest and largest state park is located in southern Nevada, only 55 miles from Las Vegas and 6 miles from Lake Mead. It derives its name from the valley's red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the surrounding Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs.

Valley of Fire State Park climate is typical of a low desert. Temperatures generally range from a mild 45-60 degrees daily high in the winter, with only occasional snowfall. Camping, picnicking, and hiking are activities that are ideally suited to the winter at Valley of Fire. Campgrounds and trails are not as crowded as they are in the spring and fall. Wildlife, such as bighorn sheep are also seen more frequently in the winter.

Cave Lake State Park

Located 15 miles south of Ely in eastern Nevada, park is nestled in the 7,300-foot Schell Creek Mountains. With wintertime highs often in the 30's and 40's, snow is common from early December through early April with several feet usually on the ground during the the peak winter months.

The park's 32-acre reservoir, which is popular with boaters during the summer months, is also a popular spot for ice fishing during the winter months. The boat launch area is regularly used for outdoor ice skating. Other winter activities include cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing. While snowmobiling is prohibited within the park boundaries, snowmobiles is permitted on surrounding national forest lands.

Lake Tahoe State Park

Situated on the northeastern shore of Lake Tahoe, this popular park comprises more than 14,000 acres. Throughout much of the year, the Spooner Lake area of the park is popular for picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, and fishing. During the winter months, it offers more than 50 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, as well as trailhead access to the backcountry and remote log cabins.

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