There is currently four National Park Service Site in Nevada and three associated sites.
Official National Parks of Nevada
- Death Valley National Park
- Great Basin National Park
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area
- Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
Associated sites of Nevada
- California National Historic Trail
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail
- Pony Express National Historic Trail
National Parks of Nevada Map
Nevada National Parks
Death Valley National Park
Great Basin National Park
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
California National Historic Trail
The California National Historic Trail is a massive 5,000 mile trail and runs thru 10 different states. This trail retraces the overland routes over 250,000 emigrants took to reach the fertile farmlands and famed gold fields of California in the 1840’s and 1850’s.
Unlike some of the other trails of the National Trails System, the California Trail isn’t a single hiking trail. It is a disconnected series of hiking trails, roads, and sites. Many of the US highways follow the wagon trail the settlers created as they rushed to California. Emigrants had a choice of routes across the United States. These trails start in Missouri and Nebraska. The then run thru Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming before splitting into Idaho and Utah. They go thru Nevada and into California and Oregon.
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
Old Spanish National Historic Trail is a historic trade route that connected Santa Fe, New Mexico with Los Angeles, California. The trail built upon the known trails established of the Indian Tribes of the region and the Spanish explorers and trappers. There are several common routes along the Old Spanish Trail depending on who the trade partners were and what they were trading. The Armijo Route provides the most direct route and was often a yearly trip for traders along the route. The trial saw the most use from 1830s until 1860s. Large mule pack trains could be seen walking back and forth from Santa Fe to Los Angeles.
The Old Spanish National Historic Trail is mostly an auto trail. The trail runs thru Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Stops can include many other National Parks Service sites in the region.
Pony Express National Historic Trail
The Pony Express National Historic Trail follows the 1860 and 1861 mail route used by the Pony Express to transport mail between Missouri to California. The Pony Express used a relay of horse-mounted riders. The system was set-up so that riders would ride between 186 Pony Express stations. The stations were between 5-25 miles apart. At each station, the rider would switch to a fresh horse and continue on their journey. The Pony Express reduced the time to for a letter to travel across the US from six months to 10 days. After 18 months of speedy mail delivery, the Pony Express was replaced with the telegraph.
Pony Express National Historic Trail was declared a National Historic Trail on August 3, 1992. Today it is mostly an auto-touring route starting in Missouri and traveling through Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada on the way to California. There are sections of the trail where visitors can hike or ride along the trail. The trail is still being developed for tourism but there are several stations and museums along the route so visitors can learn more about the Pony Express.
In Nevada, stops include Schell Creek Station, Diamond Springs Monument, Sand Spring Station, Fort Churchill State Historic Park, and many more.