Put the pedal to the metal for these mini road trips.

Man and woman on a motorcycle on Mt. Charleston Scenic Byway.
Mt. Charleston © Robert Adamo


As the seventh largest state, Nevada offers plenty of backroads and byways to choose. Not only that, it’s also one of the most geologically diverse states. Where else could you drive through mountains filled with forests of evergreens, valleys covered in a sea of sagebrush, and a strip of neon castles seen from space? Get behind the wheel and discover why Nevada is known as a land of contrasts.

Las Vegas Strip at sunset.Las Vegas Boulevard

3.41 miles

Take a trip through Las Vegas history on this National Scenic Byway. Starting near the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park and ending at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & Tower, you’ll view everything that makes Vegas, well, Vegas. With its retro motels, wedding chapels (a classic staple), vintage neon, and the tallest freestanding structure west of the Mississippi River, this drive shows you why no other city can replace Las Vegas.

Girl standing on a rock above a road in Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire State Park © @thewildindiangirl & @michaelmatti

Valley of Fire Scenic Byway

10.5 miles

Take in the southern Nevada desert in all its breathtaking glory on this scenic drive through Valley of Fire State Park. An inconspicuous winding road at first, this drive sneaks up on you. Suddenly, you are led through canyon after canyon of gigantic, red boulders, every turn offering another picture-perfect scene. This state park is best visited in the shoulder seasons, out of the infamous southern Nevada heat. If you do choose to go in the summertime, this scenic byway is a perfect way to enjoy Valley of Fire—all from the comfort of an air-conditioned car.

Road into Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire State Park © @thewildindiangirl & @michaelmatti
Man and woman on a motorcycle on Mt. Charleston Scenic Byway.
© Robert Adamo

Mt. Charleston Scenic Byway

36 miles

Those who’ve frequented Nevada know that we’re a mountainous state. In fact, the Silver State boasts the most mountain ranges in the Lower 48, with more than 300. There’s no shortage of amazing mountain routes, and Mt. Charleston is one of our favorites. Part of the Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas, Mt. Charleston is great to visit during any season—though be prepared for snow in the winter (take a detour and head to nearby Lee Canyon for some skiing). You’ll see various vegetation as you climb up the mountain, from sagebrush and Joshua trees to evergreens like juniper, ponderosa pine, and white fir.

Whitney Pockets in Gold Butte.
Whitney Pockets in Gold Butte © @richmoorephoto

Gold Butte Backcountry Byway

62 miles

This extremely remote road traverses Gold Butte National Monument, a stunning slice of pure Mojave Desert backcountry. Motor past colorful sandstone, thousands of ancient petroglyphs, and dreamlike formations at Little Finland that seem to ignite as the sun sets over nearby Lake Mead. A high-clearance vehicle with four-wheel drive is a must for this byway.

Two cars sitting in front of a mountain at Little Finland in Gold Butte.
Little Finland in Gold Butte
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