Desert Discoveries

Matthew Jaffe

The drive up U.S. 93 is best in spring and fall. There are no services between Las Vegas and Alamo.

Lincoln County Driving & Walking Tours, available for free at most area-information centers, is a useful guide. For trip planning, contact the Nevada Commission on Tourism (800/638-2328).

Other helpful websites include:

Historic sites | State parks | Natural areas | Dining and Lodging



Caliente Railroad Depot 9-5 Mon-Sat. 100 Depot Ave.; 775/726-3129.


Boot Hill Cemetery Head north on Main St. from downtown and turn right on Comstock St.; go straight on dirt road.

Lincoln County Museum Artifacts include a large mineral collection and vintage Wurlitzer jukebox. 10-4 Tue-Sun; free. 69 Main; 775/962-5207.

Million Dollar Courthouse Old jail, restored county offices, and R.G. Schofield's paintings. 10-4 daily Apr-Oct. 69 LaCour St.; 775/962-5182.


For more about the area's parks, stop at the Regional Information Center (9-4:30 daily; 775/728-4460) near Panaca. Remote state parks worth a detour are Beaver Dam (with 2-mile round-trip Waterfall Trail) and Echo Canyon (with a 2 1/2-mile round-trip hike into volcanic tuff formations).

All parks but Kershaw-Ryan have campgrounds ($11-$14). The following two parks are the closest to U.S. 93.

Cathedral Gorge State Park Outstanding geology; best spots are just south of picnic area. Check out Miller Point Overlook for best panorama. 1 mile north of intersection of U.S. 93 and State 319, near Panaca.

Kershaw-Ryan State ParkOld homestead combines natural areas and city park amenities, including a horseshoe pit. Try the interpretive Overlook Trail to get a sense of the park's variety. 3 miles south of Caliente off State 317.


Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge Lakes and marshes with good birding. South of Alamo, about 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas on U.S. 93; 775/725-3417.

Rainbow Canyon Self-guided tour along State 317 south of Caliente, with stops for petroglyphs. Map available from the Bureau of Land Management (1400 S. Front St., Caliente; 775/726-8100).


Area restaurants offer good, no-frills fare. They're notable for hearty breakfasts but are also open for lunch and dinner.


Brandin' Iron $; 6 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 169 Clover St.; 775/726-3164.

Knotty Pine Lounge & Restaurant $; 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun- Thu, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri-Sat. 690 Front; 775/726-3767.


Silver Café $; 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun-Thu, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri-Sat. 97 Main; 775/962-5124.



Hutchings Motel Well-kept spot sometimes operates on the honor system ― guests may be asked to leave payment in their room's Gideon Bible. Five rooms from $40; reopens May 1. On LaCour; 775/962-5404.

Overland Hotel and Saloon Circa 1940s, with a popular ground-floor saloon featuring two 19th-century bars. 13 rooms from $45. 85 Main; 775/962-5895.

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