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The National and State Parks of Nevada

The State of Nevada may not offer the same outstanding features that many other states have in abundance, yet the numbers of parks found in the region reflect the valuable and rare ecosystems that can be found. Many people who visit Nevada do so with the intention of exploring these parks. A number of the spread into neighbouring states, such as Utah and California. A good example is the Death Valley National Park with the majority of the park being situated in eastern California, with parts of it being found in Nevada.

The Badlands of Nevada

The place is famous for being one of the hottest and driest places on earth. The basin of the area actually lies below sea level with towering mountains hemming the area in. This causes a huge rain shadow with little moisture getting over the mountain peaks. This has resulted in the basin being subjected to huge extremes of temperature with the summers being very hot and the winter nights being very cold. All types of plants can survive in the desert conditions. Any rains will see the appearance of pastures as plants lie in wait for any rainfall to occur. There are many ways that visitors can see the park. There are camping grounds where people can reside or there are organized day trips from Las Vegas. Particularly popular is the visit to Badlands which lies 280 feet below sea level and during the summer temperatures can reach 49 degrees.

The Great Basin National Park is located entirely in White Pine County in the east of the state. It was established in 1986 and covers 77,180 acres. It is a huge basin that lies between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Wasatch Mountains. It is famed for its glacier which is the, after the ones in the Himalayas, southernmost glaciers in the northern hemisphere. This area is also the home to bristlecone pines which are one of the oldest species of tree to be found on earth. The park has a number of developed camp sites which gives visitors the opportunity to hike around the area. The park is also home to the Lehman Caves which have been a National Monument since 1922. The limestone formations are home to bats, mice rats and many other animals.

The bright colours of Fire State Park

The oldest state park in Nevada is the Fire State Park which is renowned for its bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops. Established in 1935 and just 60 miles from Las Vegas, the park enables visitors to view the unique colours that are found in the area. This landscape has been created as a result of previous seas leaving behind sands that over time have been uplifted and weathered into the landforms that are found today. Indigenous people have been living in the area for at least 2500 years. The unique geology of the park has resulted a unique variety of flora and fauna that survive in the conditions. Most of the animals that survive in this part of the Mojave Desert are nocturnal, although it is possible to see desert big horn sheep during the day.

The Lake Mead Recreational Area is operated by the National Recreation Service. The area covers South Eastern Nevada and South Western Arizona. Within the area is the Lake Mead, which has been formed by the Hoover Dam blocking the Colorado River, and Lake Mohave which has been formed by the Davis Dam. There are over 200,000 acres of recreational areas and is a popular destination for many people into the region. Boating, swimming and fishing are popular with hiking taking place in the areas surrounding the lakes. Artificially produced beaches have made the water front even more popular. The parks in the state have proved to be popular destinations for those holidaying in the region. The number and variety of them has been well supported by the tourists on holiday.

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