Sometimes, there’s so much good stuff in our magazine, we don’t even know what to call it. So this is where you’ll find our contests, Best of Nevada, Great Nevada Picture Hunt, and much much more. Who needs labels?
Ancient Nevada: Fossils
Evidence of ancient life is set in stone. Hundreds of millions of years ago, giant marine reptiles occupied the oceans that covered what would become Nevada. The ichthyosaur was one among many species whose bodies became entombed in mud, which solidified into rock and remained undisturbed until modern man began unearthing the fossils.
But it’s not just 49-foot carnivorous reptiles that left fossil clues for us to find. Paleontologists have uncovered the remains of mammoths, giant sloths, ancient horses, bison, American lions, and many other species that existed in Nevada after the ancient seas dried up. Fossils tell a story similar to many other facets of Nevada history: the truth always lies just beneath the surface.
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Best of Nevada 2017
In the July/August 1998 issue, the Best of Nevada contest was born with a whopping 31 categories. Best revue, lounge act, and hotel reservation service were among the choices readers voted on that year, but today most folks wouldn’t even know what a hotel reservation service was (hint: It wasn’t Google). We did, however, grab a few of the categories from that first contest for our 20th survey, plus we added a few new ones, just for fun.
We had thousands of votes this year as folks voted for their favorites in the north, south, and everywhere else. We had a number of repeat winners—people are loyal to their choices!—but we got some fun new winners, too.
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Ancient Nevada: Ancient Landscapes
Although surely a feat for the ambitious, it is possible to walk the rim of a volcanic crater at Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark, hike the nearly 12,000-foot Arc Dome, and soak in a geothermal-heated pool in the massive Big Smokey Valley all in one day.
The Silver State’s landscapes are tremendously diverse. High desert, low desert, snowy mountaintops, calderas, dry lakebeds, forests, flood plains, lakes, rivers, and miles of endless sagebrush give the state its seasoned scenery.
2017 Great Nevada Picture Hunt
For 40 years, we’ve showcased the most beautiful images from around the Silver State, captured by local photographers.
This year, we offer two different opportunities for showing off your photographic talents.
Ancient Nevada: Ancient Civilizations
Thousands of years before the Great Pyramid of Giza, Machu Picchu, and Stonehenge were built, ancient Nevadans were leaving their own existential clues. Some of these clues—time capsules delivering messages about the behavior of man—sat preserved deep in the recesses of caves for millennia. Others—carved into exposed limestone—withstood the test of time, erosion, and destruction, and we learn from them still.
Ancient Nevada: Water
Water has sculpted Nevada’s desert mountain ranges and created miles of barren lakebeds. It’s what gives animals and plants the ability to thrive, and is responsible for almost every natural landscape in the state looking the way it does. With enough time, water can cut rocks and erode entire mountains. And when it disappears, it can create endless miles of nothingness.
Carson City State Museums
To see history up close—to touch it, to smell it, to hear it, to stand in the footsteps of those who made it—is what ties generations together. It can spark wonder in the young and memories in the old.
In Nevada’s capital city history has a heartbeat.
Both the Nevada State Museum and the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City, exist to preserve, protect and promote the history of the Silver State in intimate fashion. It is one thing to read about the millions in silver coins produced by the U.S. Mint in Carson City or the trains that hauled Tahoe Basin lumber bound for the mines of the Comstock Lode. It’s quite another to experience them up close.
Tour Around Nevada – Fallon
The final winner of our 2016 Tour Around Nevada contest shouldn’t be all it is today. Plopped into the arid land that was once home to ancient Lake Lahontan and part of the Forty-Mile Desert that ended the dreams of many pioneers, Fallon became the oasis of Nevada for one reason: somebody moved the Carson River’s water.
That someone was President Theodore Roosevelt when he signed the Reclamation Act of 1902. The Newlands Project—one of the Reclamation Act’s first projects—began construction in 1903, and it diverted the waters of the Carson River (and some from the Truckee River) to irrigate 57,000 acres of farmland. Fast forward 113 years, and the verdant Fallon area has more than proved it was worth the effort.
2016 Great Nevada Picture Hunt
The results of the 201 Great Nevada Picture Hunt are in. Take a look at the incredible photos from our winners.
Tour Around Nevada – Mesquite
The adage “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” is familiar to most, but it is especially personal in the southeastern town of Mesquite. A handful of pioneers who refused to let the beautiful, but fickle, Virgin River keep them from their manifest destiny are to thank for the existence of this charming town.
Mesquite Flats—as it was once known—was home to a couple dozen families in the late 1870s. Banking on the Virgin River to support farming, the pioneers flourished until the river changed its banks during a heavy rainstorm. Irrigation canals were destroyed, and the river that once gave the settlers life was now driving them away. In 1887, another farmer gave life along the river a try, but was driven out by the elements just four years later.
Tour Around Nevada – Winnemucca
Let’s get this out of the way: there is no such thing as a mucca, so no, you can’t win one. And yes, that question gets asked.
If there were such a mythical creature, it would surely live in this bucolic central Nevada town, located smack dab in the heart of Cowboy Country. Whatever pleasures you seek, you’ll find them in this melting pot of activity, heritage, and geography. Whether you’re a native or a transplant, the lure of Winnemucca is undeniable.
Tour Around Nevada – Genoa
If you look up quaint in the dictionary, you just might find a photo of the town of Genoa. Tucked so perfectly into the spectacular Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this picturesque town is exactly what you’d expect from what many say is Nevada’s oldest settlement. And while its name stems from the Italian city, locals would like to remind folks it’s pronounced “Juh-NO-ah.” Leave it to a tiny Nevada town to so unapologetically stand its ground, as it’s been doing since it first began.
Tour Around Nevada – Sparks
Sparks Councilwoman Julia Ratti had a big birthday wish.
“I was traveling to New York City and I grabbed
Nevada Magazine at the airport and saw the Tour Around Nevada story,” she recalls. “I posted on Facebook my birthday wish was for Sparks to win.”
Happy birthday, Julia! To say that the citizens of her town responded is an understatement. My inbox almost crashed from the number of emails I received voting for Sparks. While some mentioned Julia’s request, most came with information about why Sparks should be chosen; this was no mere gift for a friend or colleague…it was full-on community pride at work.
Tour Around Nevada – Carson City
When I was a youngster living in Reno, I used to think of Carson City as that town in between me and my sister in Los Angeles; the pedestrian-friendly 25-mph speed limit through the heart of Carson’s downtown drove me crazy, as I was eager to keep moving.
Today, I proudly work in the Silver State capital city, and have first-hand knowledge why slowing down for this delightful town is a good idea. And while I’m late to the party, Carson’s appeal is nothing new to those who live here.
Tour Around Nevada – Elko
Great expectations can sometimes lead to disappointment; no expectations can create a sense of boredom. Go ahead and toss both those notions out the window, if you please. This is Elko we’re talking about.
“We were a cow town, a railroad town, and a sheep town. Now we’re a mining town,” says Don Newman, executive director of the Elko Convention & Visitors Authority and Elko Convention Center. “Each of those industries has lent themselves to the town’s diverse culture.”
2015 Great Nevada Picture Hunt
The results of the 2015 Great Nevada Picture Hunt are in. Take a look at the winners.
Tour Around Nevada – Laughlin
There were just 93 residents of Laughlin in 1982 when we wrote a story about the “Boomtown with No Place to Go.” In 2010, when we wrote about Laughlin as a winner in our first Tour Around Nevada series, there were about 7,500 residents. Regardless of the population count, it was clear during voting for this installment of Tour Around Nevada that Laughlin’s residents are ready to make their presence known.
18th Annual Best of Nevada Readers’ Survey
To choose “the best” is a tough endeavor in a state as great as ours. Nevada is home to so many top restaurants, shows, attractions, golf courses, etc…we have just about run out of superlatives. That’s where you come in; each year, our readers vote for their favorite things about Nevada. We added some new categories this year, designed to highlight the family-friendly aspects of our state.
Because we’re such a large state, we’ve split Nevada—for contest purposes only—into three areas; North, South, and Everywhere Else, which includes our rural regions and our not-so-rural, but not-quite-urban cities.
Tour Around Nevada – Minden and Gardnerville
Laurel and Hardy. Batman and Robin. Simon and Garfunkle. Bogie and Bacall. Synergy occurs when two equally exceptional sides join to form a whole; the result is more than just the sum of two parts but an entirely new creation. Minden and Gardnerville are separate, unique, and rich towns, and for the last four rounds of 2015 Tour Around Nevada, they have been in the Top 5 each time. This time, however, there was no mistaking the outcry for these two towns, and despite asking folks to vote for their favorite town…our readers rarely voted for just one, so congratulations to Minden, and congratulations to Gardnerville.
Tour Around Nevada – Tonopah
The draw of Tonopah has fluctuated over the years. As home to the second largest silver deposit in Nevada history, its importance as a mining town is undeniable. As the almost-exact halfway point between two of Nevada’s largest cities (Las Vegas and Reno, naturally), it is a welcome overnight destination for road-weary travelers. More recently, Tonopah became known as the home of the world’s most advanced solar thermal energy storage plant, Crescent Dunes.
So which is it? Like most juicy puzzles, the answer isn’t simple; it’s all those reasons, and so many more. Tonopah received the most votes in round three of our 2015 Tour Around Nevada, and let’s just say the vote was a runaway, just like Jim Butler’s burro.
Tour Around Nevada – Virginia City
Silver, saloons, mining lore, the Comstock, the Wild West, and Mark Twain. It’s likely some or all of these words come to mind when someone mentions Virginia City. The history of this northern Nevada gem is as wild, deep, and important as they come, and not just to Nevada.
Tour Around Nevada – Ely
When the votes were counted and Ely was revealed as the first winner of the Tour Around Nevada 2015, no one in the Nevada Magazine office was surprised. Not only did Ely take honors in our 2010 Tour Around Nevada campaign, but in April 2014, Ely played host to the annual Rural Roundup tourism conference which many of us attended. This small eastern Nevada town pulled out all the stops to show attendees just how beautiful, charming, and diverse it was.
Tour Around Nevada 2015: Vote for Your Favorite Town!
Six years ago, you voted for your favorite Nevada towns. It’s time to vote again, and see if there will be any repeat winners or if some new favorites will emerge. You get to decide which towns we write about!
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
One Nevadan who has a closer perspective than most on the state’s strengths and weaknesses is Brian Edward Sandoval. He has served as a state assemblyman, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, state attorney general, United States district court judge, and—since 2010—Nevada’s governor. In a recent interview with Nevada Magazine, Governor Sandoval spoke candidly on a number of issues affecting Nevada, and his plans for the state’s future.
Why I Love Nevada
We can’t believe it’s almost over…more than one year of celebrations, events, and history in the making, and you helped make it possible. In January, Nevada Magazine set out with the goal of finding out what our readers love most about Nevada, and you answered that question with incessant vigor. We received genuine answers, quirky answers, poems, short stories, and everything in between. But almost every answer resonated with a sense of pride in the Silver State. So let us reflect on the past 150 years as we wrap up this sesquicentennial year, and usher in an outstanding 150 more!
2014 Great Nevada Picture Hunt