Nevada's longest continuous hiking trail is the Toiyabe Crest Trail - an airy 66-mile path that rides the spine of this amazing range between 6,000 and 11,000 feet.
The Crest Trail is the highlight of any venture into the Toiyabe Range. In fact, here's a spot that's becoming a prime backpacking destination not only for its scenic beauty, but it accessibilty into one of the longest roadless areas in the state. The TCT is a hiker's dream, and considering what visitors get in the Toiyabes, it's easy to see why. Here there are fewer visitors than many of the overcrowded and loved-to-death trails of the Sierra Nevada. The Forest Service doesn't require fees or permits for backpacking in this area. The Toiyabe code is simple: simply park and embark.
So, what can back packers expect from this 66-mile long trail? Here is a basic run-down of this very unique destination ...
- Trailheads are close to SR 376 (which runs between Austin and Tonopah). As a bonus all that's required to reach the trailhead is a single two-wheel-drive vehicle into Kingston, Union, or Washington Canyons. Four wheel drive is recommended during the wet months.
- Although the entire trail is 66 miles in length, only the first 30 miles are within the federally-protected Arc Dome Wilderness ...
- ... Outside the wilderness, the path is truly a "crest" trail that travels along the spine of the Toiyabes from the edge of the wilderness to Kingston Canyon.
- Within the Arc Dome Wilderness, the trail initially avoids the top of the range and follows the South Twin and Reese Rivers on a horseshoe bend before adopting a northbound course that climbs along the crest for the last 7 miles to Ophir Summit.
- The elevation of this trail averages roughly 8,500 feet, yet exposes backpackers to a wide range of environments ...
- Hikers here will sample lush riparian foliage along three major drainages -- the Reese River, Twin Rivers, and Stewart Creek. Packers experience a diverse mixture of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers thanks to range's wide assortment of year-round streams that bear dozens of wildflower fields and dense aspen forests!
- 6,000 ft: Above the streams, pinyon-pine-juniper woodland blankets the lower slopes, intermixed with the characteristic sagebrush.
- 8,000 ft: Significant stands of aspen fill some of the higher canyons adorning a dramatic display of color during autumn.
- 10,000+ ft: Limber pines grace the hillsides along the upper canyons and ridgecrests up to the 11,000-foot plateau near Arc Dome.
If you want a trail that escapes the crowds and offers absolute tranquility, look no further than Nevada's longest trail!
Nevada brochures might be over-clogged with images of Wheeler Peak and the Snake Range, Lake Tahoe and the Carson Range, or the intense fall beauty of the Ruby Mountains. Perhaps they've never heard of the Schell Creek Range, or maybe, they just haven't found their way here ... yet. For many people unfamiliar with the ranges of Nevada, this one might come as a surprise, but make no mistake -- the majestic, and often overlooked Schell Creeks is the longest mountain range in Nevada!
Known by the locals as the "Schells," this range stretches for approximately 132 miles in an almost perfect north-south arrangement. "North-South" indeed. This chain comprises two major groups of peaks and are commonly viewed as two separate ranges, the North Schells and the South Schells. The southern section is the lower of the two, rising from a tiny point in Lincoln County then undulates quickly to the summit of Mt. Grafton (10,990 feet) (Lincoln County high point) where it drops quickly to a line of lower summits, eventually reaching its lowest point its only road crossing -- 7,723-foot Connors Pass (US 6/50/93). After Connors, the range rises considerably to its most popular section at Cave Lake State Park and the scenic Success Summit Loop. It is here the Schells reach their apex of three simultaneous peaks ... South Schell Peak (11,785'), Taft Peak (11,734') and North Schell Peak (11,883'), the official high point of the range. From here, the range makes a very slow descent to lower elevations, dropping to Schellbourne Pass at 7,984 feet, Becky Peak (10,008'), before meeting its ends at the floor of Steptoe Valley near Lages Station.
The Schell Creeks boast not only length, but substance as well! Its abundance of high peaks collects its fair share of precipitation, making it one of the wettest ranges in the Great Basin. Twenty two perennial streams flow both west and east of the range with dozens of side canyons providing moderate to challenging access into the range's higher reaches. The best trailheads can be found on the west within the Duck Creek Basin, a sub-valley of the Schell Creeks, notably Berry Creek, Timber Creek, and the unpaved Success Summit Loop. From the more remote Spring Valley side, Cleve Creek, Kalamazoo Creek, and McCoy Creek provide even more challenging access into the rugged eastern slopes. It's likely in time this massive mountain range will be discovered by young and old Nevadans alike, but for now, those who do know about it, whisper quietly. They may not graze the covers soon, but the Schells represent wild Nevada is every possible way.
The meandering Humboldt River might be the state's most important waterway, and at approximately 330 miles, it's also Nevada's longest!
The Humboldt begins its long life at a site known as Humboldt Wells at a convergence of the T and Marys River in the mountains of Elko County. Like all Great Basin waterways, the Humboldt River has no outlet to the ocean and ends its life unceremoniously at the edge of the dreaded "Forty Mile Desert" in the Humboldt Sink just west of Lovelock. Let's pump up the awesome factor even more shall we? After the Bear River in Utah, the Humboldt is also the second longest river in the Great Basin and is the fourth largest river (in terms of discharge) in the United States.
Through its many tributaries, the Humboldt River drains most of northern Nevada as is passes through repeated gaps in the north-south running ranges across the state from east to west. The combined mileage of the Humboldt's twisting elbows and oxbows equal over 500 miles and furnishes the only natural transportation artery across the Great Basin.
"The Humbug" (as it was commonly known) was perhaps the cruelest joke nature had ever played on the westward emigrants in the 1850s. Emigrants and their oxen soon tired of its hard, brackish water halfway through their journey through Nevada en route to California's fantastical goldfields. These resilient folk found themselves in disbelief when the river suddenly evaporated away right at the worst part of their westward journey -- the "Forty Mile Desert," over two hundred miles shy of their destination. Despite its difficulties, no other waterway provided a more direct route across the barrens of northern Nevada. Love it or hate it, the Humboldt River is a true blessing in the Silver State.
The Humboldt River provided such a direct route across Nevada that upon its construction in 1952, the section of Interstate 80 through Nevada was built so that it roughly paralleled the Humboldt's lazy slog across the state. Today, the river's course still provides the most direct route across Nevada. NDOT surveys taken in 2005 conclude that over 250,000 commuters every year drive across Nevada on Interstate 80.
Longest Rivers & Streams in Nevada:
Here's a bit more to chew on. (Distances listed for bi-state rivers count only the portions of river within Nevada)
- Humboldt River -- 330 miles
- Reese River -- 181 miles
- White River -- 138 miles
- Carson River -- 131 miles (Including West & East Forks)
- Truckee River -- 121 miles
- Quinn River -- 110 miles
- Colorado River -- 97 miles
- Walker River -- 62 miles (Including West & East Forks)
- Little Humboldt River -- 60 miles
- Meadow Valley Wash -- 58 miles
- Jarbidge River -- 52 miles
- Duck Creek -- 48 miles
What road stretches 665 miles down the entire length of our great state? It's good ol' US 95 of course, the longest road in Nevada and the very spine of the Silver State. US 95 is a vital backbone for Nevada - one that connects the state's only two metropolitan areas with each other and one that binds the northern and southern portions of this great state together.
Nicknamed the "Silver Trails Highway," US 95 is a mostly two-lane highway that crosses into Nevada from Oregon at the tiny gateway town of McDermitt before hightailing it south to the very southern tip of Nevada, crossing into California 72 miles south of Las Vegas. This long highway is a common route for commuters going to and from Reno and Las Vegas, as well as trucks who pass through from the northwest.
Fun Fact: US 95 passes through twenty towns along its length. Here they are in order from north to south!
- McDermitt - First town in Nevada (Nevada-Oregon border)
Fun Fact: Ready for a double superlative? US 95 serves seven of seventeen Nevada county seats, bestowing it the honor of serving more county seats than any other route in Nevada!
In a state known for its wide expanses and empty roads, one could think this title pertains to just about every lonely ribbon of highway in Nevada. In this case, one highway far dominates them all. US 6 connects Nevada east and west across the middle of the state, but the stretch of highway between Tonopah and Ely (nicknamed "the ghost stretch") is the longest stretch of paved road without services in Nevada!
So how remote are we talking? Upon leaving Tonopah, there are no services for 168 miles to until reaching the town of Ely. This stretch of road should be a sort or rite of passage for Nevadans and suited for loneliness seekers to this barren and mostly lawless highway. Just be known: traveling out here should include a bit of warning. In 2005, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) concluded an average daily traffic count of only 25 cars per day on the "ghost stretch."
On an interesting note, US 6 barely beats the second place winner for this title: State Route 375, the "Extraterrestrial Highway," in between US 93 and US 6 at 167 miles. What are some of your picks for Nevada's most remote road? Welcome to Nevada.
The title for Nevada's longest state highway belongs to this long north-south route -- SR 318 in eastern White Pine County. This two-lane byway runs from US 93 at Crystal Springs north to a remote junction on US 6 approximately 25 miles southwest of Ely. The highway was built as a shortcut between Ely and Las Vegas and caters mostly to area residents of Lincoln, Nye and White Pine Counties, serving Nesbitt Lake, the Wayne Hirsch Wildlife Refuge, and the three small towns of Hiko, Sunnyside, and Lund.
Fun Fact: State Route 318 is mostly uneventful, but a particularly remote stretch of highway in between Adams-McGill Reservoir and Hiko is closed twice a year for the Nevada Open Road Challenge and Silver State Classic Challenge road races. The racing videogame Need For Speed: Pro Street also features a portion of the highway as a racing track (titled "Nevada") for Speed Challenges, complete with its brown Mojave Desert landscape and scenic rock formations.
I believe this lister deserves a little praise considering this superlative took loads of research and double checking of NDOT records and mileages! After is said and done, you can find Nevada's longest urban street by driving the Virginia Street complex (both North and South Virginia Streets) through Reno and the Truckee Meadows.
The length of Virginia Street actually owes its existence to its direct connection with nearby California. It is possible to drive to the California state line entirely on Virginia Street without ever setting foot on the freeway. NDOT paved the original 1860 wagon route to and from California, hence forming today's Virginia Street.
The entire Virginia Street complex sits just under 30 total miles ...
- "North" Virginia Street begins at Exit 38 along US 395 at Red Rock Road, 8 miles north of Reno. However, an unpaved dirt road (the original wagon route) continues north from Red Rock Road to the California State Line at Bordertown. This old wagon route is still considered to be "Virginia Street" by NDOT standards, which theoretically can add even more mileage to this listing!
- North Virginia runs south to McCarran Boulevard, 1.5 miles north of the downtown strip. Here, "North" Virginia turns into simply Virginia Street.
- Virginia Street runs south through downtown to its meeting again with McCarran Boulevard halfway through urban Reno. From here, "South" Virginia Street takes over.
- "South" Virginia Street then continues into the southern Truckee Meadows, past Mt. Rose Highway (SR 431) ...
- ... And finishes 11 miles later at its official ending with SR 429, Old US 395 in Washoe City.
Versus Las Vegas Boulevard
Now, I know what you southern Nevadans are thinking. The beloved Las Vegas Boulevard would seem to be the longest continuous "street" in Nevada, but it came just shy of winning this title with a total of 25.111 miles. We tracked this mileage from its official beginning and ending of its designation as "Las Vegas Boulevard" - 2 miles south of Jean to the Apex interchange at I-15, 4 miles north of Las Vegas. This was so close that had the designation continued north or south from any of these points, this superlative would've gone to the South.
Next time you're in northern Nevada, pay tribute to Nevada's longest street by driving Virginia Street end to end!
A bit of pause is necessary before revealing the details of this sacred title. With a lifespan of 68 years and counting, the placer camp of Osceola in White Pine County has earned its status as the longest-lived mining camp in Nevada.
Gold was discovered here in 1872 and exploitation of the deposits immediately followed using hydraulic mining techniques with the construction of two ditches -- the Osceola West and the Osceola East Ditches, in an effort to convey water from the nearby Snake Range. Water production was still less than hoped and hydraulic mining ceased in 1900 when the population had declined from 1,500 (at its peak) to 100. Osceola's fate was sealed when a fire destroyed much of the town in the 1940s before the last person left in 1942, officially nailing the coffin shut on Osceola. Despite the fire, a few buildings remain, along with one of the best cemeteries in the state.
Osceola was a great business town because of its proximity to a year-round water source (the Snake Range) and its location near the cattle and grain ranches in Snake Valley to the east and the fresh vegetable gardens in Spring Valley to the west. Overall, the camp produced nearly $5 million primarily in gold, with a smattering of silver, lead, and tungsten -- a legacy that will be hard to replicate.
Today, it seems Osceola still refuses to die as one year-round resident still remains. Visitors to Osceola today will find a pretty camp in the shadow of a gRand mountain range far from civilization. The road to Osceola is located 8 miles east of Majors Place (east of Ely) on US 6/50. Look for the Osceola historic marker and continue east up the bajada into the mountains, 3 miles to the ghost town site and cemetery. For added adventure and convenience you can follow this road even further into the range! Although it becomes steeper and rockier, the road remains in good enough condition for passenger cars. Eight miles later it will deliver you back onto US 6/50 at a BLM roadside rest on Sacramento Pass just west of Great Basin Nat'l Park.
Fun Fact: One of the world's largest gold nuggets, said to have weighed 23 pounds, was found in Osceola by a man with a pick and shovel. The story goes that he stole the nugget, but at the threat of a duel, he later returned $4,000 in gold bars to the owner.
With a ten-year tenure, Nevada's 26th governor was also the longest-serving governor ever in the state of Nevada. Bob Miller became the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada for a four-year term on January 5, 1987 and on January 3, 1989. He was then elected to two full four-year terms in 1990 and 1994.
Governor Bob began his tenure when his predecessor, Richard Bryan, resigned to become a U.S. Senator and served as Governor until January 4, 1999. Lifetime term limits prevented him from seeking the governorship again in 1998. With his likeability, many residents believe that Bob could've easily been elected indefinitely!
(c) UFO Mind
Bob Miller is best known for passing a measure to designate State Route 375 as "The Extraterrestrial Alien Highway" in early 1995. The State Assembly passed the measure that although passed with an almost un-anonymous vote, it was killed by the State Senate as "frivolous" and a "waste of the Legislature's resources." This didn't stop "Bob." A few months later, he resurrected the measure without notice to local residents and it was passed in a meeting of the State Transportation Board with testimonies heard from only two people -- Pat Travis of the Little A'Le'Inn and "Ambassador Merlyn Merlin II," a Northern Nevada man who claims to be an alien. Only in Nevada.
Shortly after passing the measure, the Governor flew to Los Angeles, at taxpayer expense, to negotiate an agreement with the 20th Century Fox movie studio to jointly market the "E.T. Highway" and Fox's upcoming movie "Independence Day." There is no evidence whether he ever visited the highway itself, and he never once consulted with any official of Lincoln County for the measure's blessing. Did he also receive help from said extraterrestrials too? Either way: Way to go, Bob!
Prior to March 28, 2009, the Folies Bergere show, at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was the longest running show in Nevada.
(c) Las Vegas Sun
Running since 1959, the Las Vegas Folies Bergere, was a French-style topless number that thrilled some 40,000 fans every month and had been entertaining Vegas audiences longer than any other production on the Strip. Folies offered a glimpse at some of the award winning musical numbers from past shows along with spectacular new production numbers in its later years. The revue eventually evolved into a true variety show with singing, dancing, spectacular sets, and beautiful showgirls. Think of it this way: Think "classic Las Vegas entertainment" and you can immediately picture this glamorous production -- a timeless musical extravaganza that embodies the very essence of rebellious, golden-era Las Vegas entertainment.
With only a relatively few major river systems to speak of, bridges are far and few here in Nevada. Yet, we have one bridge ... and it's a big one, that defies all others: a world-class superlative right here in the Silver State. At its completion in 2011, the Galena Creek Bridge, 4 miles south of Reno holds the title for three monster superlatives. Check these out ...
At 1,725 feet long and over 300 feet tall, the Galena Creek Bridge is the longest and tallest bridge in Nevada. What could be more impressive? Let's tack on the fact that this bridge is the largest concrete cathedral-arch bridge in the world!
The world's longest and highest arch bridge, right here in Nevada! (c) Bruce Czopek
The Galena Creek Bridge is a product of the state's largest ever transportation project, encompassing an 8.5 mile long freeway extension of Interstate 580 that connects Reno and Carson City with an improved freeway system. The bridge is the centerpiece of this project, one that includes eight other "cast-in-place" bridges and two "double arches," each gloating a span of 689 feet.
The unique design of this bridge was not only for aesthetics, but more to safely accommodate commuters over the area's rugged terrain and famously high winds, many of which can exceed 50 miles per hour. In order for the extension to work, the future interstate had to cross over the loose scree of Galena Creek while minimizing environmental impact on the stream itself. Years of careful planning and ingenius design thus preserved the creek's streamside shrubbery and riparian habitat while providing a super fast and safe freeway connection for the area.
What did you think of these superlatives?