Desert Discoveries

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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

HISTORIC SITES 

CALIENTE

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

PIOCHE

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.

STATE PARKS 

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.

NATURAL AREAS 

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).

DINING 

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

CALIENTE

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.

PIOCHE

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

LODGING

PIOCHE

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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