Getting down—and maybe dirty—in the hills of Nevada is one of the easiest, least expensive, and most rewarding pastimes you’ll ever find. Hunting for gems and minerals can be an easy day trip from many towns, including Fallon, Ely, and Mesquite.
Picture a uniquely diverse landscape spread out across 1.6 million acres. There’s little water, few defined trails, and even fewer roads, but so much to explore. It’s as close as 25 miles from Downtown Las Vegas, yet seemingly far away from the city lights and crowds. If you want to experience “a rugged sense of open space,” the Desert National Wildlife Refuge may be for you.