116 Fun & Interesting Facts About Nevada

Are you ready to explore a place full of dazzling lights, vast deserts, and hidden treasures? Let’s pack our bags and zoom into Nevada, a state in the western part of the United States that’s like no other. From the glittering city of Las Vegas to the mysterious Area 51, Nevada is a land of surprises waiting for us to discover. So, let’s dive into some cool facts about Nevada and find out what makes it so special!

Did you know that Nevada is home to Las Vegas, often called the “Entertainment Capital of the World”? That’s right! Las Vegas has tons of bright lights, amazing shows, and fun attractions that keep people coming back for more. It’s a city that seems like it’s always awake, with something exciting happening at every corner.

But Nevada isn’t just about the big city life. It also has some of the most beautiful and unique natural landscapes. Have you ever heard of the Valley of Fire or Red Rock Canyon? These places have stunning rock formations and ancient petroglyphs that tell stories from long ago. And let’s not forget about Lake Tahoe, a crystal-clear lake that’s perfect for swimming, boating, and skiing in the winter.

And here’s a fun fact about Nevada: its known as the “Silver State” because of the huge amount of silver that was found here a long time ago. This discovery helped to build and grow Nevada into the state it is today. Plus, Nevada has more hot springs than any other state in the U.S., making it a great spot for a warm, relaxing soak.

Are you excited to learn more facts about Nevada? From its dazzling cities to its breathtaking natural wonders and fascinating history, Nevada is full of interesting stories and fun facts. Let’s keep exploring and discover all the amazing things that make Nevada a one-of-a-kind place to visit and learn about!

 Be sure to discover even more interesting facts with our Facts about New York and our Facts about New Jersey.

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Facts about Nevada

  1. During the Pleistocene era (2.5 mya to 12,000 years ago), Nevada was home to mastodons and giant sloths.
  2. Las Vegas earns over $2 billion from the gambling industry per year.
  3. Lake Tahoe is on the border of Nevada and California, and it is a major water recreation area for both states. The lake has a surface area of 191 square miles and a depth of 1,645 feet. Lake Tahoe is not only the largest alpine lake but also the second-deepest lake in the U.S.
  4. The tallest free-standing observation tower in the U.S. is the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tower has its name because of a reference to its height.
  5. One of the largest cultural events in the U.S., the Burning Man festival (the symbolic ritual burning of a large wooden effigy), takes place each year in the Black Rock Desert, nearly 100 miles north of Reno. The festival draws upwards of 67,000 attendees and was first held in 1986.
  6. You will find the Valley of Fire in the Mojave Desert, Nevada. Apart from the bright red sandstone outcrops, there are rock carvings that date back 2,000 years.
  7. The Spirit Cave Mummy, found near Fallon, Nevada, is the oldest mummy ever found in North America, dating to around 10,600 years ago. It has since been returned to a local tribe.
  8. Emerald Cave is located in the Lake Mead recreation area, just about an hour outside of Las Vegas. The towering cliffs, caves, and sparkling emerald-green waters draw in about 25,000 paddlers a year.
  9. Nevada has over 200,000 slot machines, one for every 10 residents.
  10. Three of the world’s top ten producing gold mines are in the U.S. and all of them are in Nevada: Carlin, Cortez, and Goldstrike.
  11. The longest telegram sent in the U.S. was the state constitution of Nevada. The governor, James Nye, sent it to President Abraham Lincoln in 1864.
  12. Hidden Cave in Nevada is home to the oldest skeletons of early men ever to be found in the United States. They were discovered in 1949. 
  13. The Stratosphere in Las Vegas is over 1,100 feet high and holds the current title of “Tallest Freestanding Observation Tower in the United States.”
  14. The Bellagio Hotel on the Strip has more rooms than the population of Bellagio, Italy.
  15. State Route 375 in Lincoln and Nye Counties, Nevada, was renamed the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996. That is due to the many claims of UFO sightings.
  16. Las Vegas, Nevada is known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”
  17. Although Nevada does have some areas that are snow-covered, most of the state is desert. In fact, Nevada is one of the driest states in the United States. 
  18. Nevada gets its name from the Spanish word for “snow-covered” because of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. 
  19. More gold is mined in Nevada than anywhere else in the U.S. 
  20. Nevada is the largest gold-producing state in the U.S., producing over 170 tons of gold per year, second only to South Africa in the world.
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  1. The Federal Government owns more than 80 percent of Nevada. It is a weird fact, considering that only about 28 percent of the U.S. is federally owned.
  2. The Lunar Crater landmark site in Nye County features a 400-acre crater that resulted from a long-ago volcanic explosion, so the theory goes. The odd place was designated a national natural landmark in 1973.
  3. Off route 375 in Nevada, there is an Alien Mailbox where alien hunters can leave a message. The black mailbox has fascinated many UFO hunters through the years.
  4. In Las Vegas alone, there are in excess of 15,000 miles of neon lights.
  5. The state’s name, Nevada, is an old Spanish word meaning “snow-covered.” That appellation refers to the white-topped Sierra Nevada Mountains, which inspired early settlers to name the place after one of the area’s most beautiful sights.
  6. More than 300 couples are getting married daily in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is one of the most popular wedding venues in the U.S. and the world.
  7. Nevada has one of the world’s toughest bike races in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Carson Valley is an outdoor recreation paradise centered at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. 
  8. The Clown Motel overlooking Old Tonopah Cemetery is “America’s Scariest Motel”
  9. Nevada has a statewide law that allows the sale of alcohol from liquor stores, clubs, bars, and restaurants 24/7. Drinking and/or being visibly intoxicated in public is legal, too.
  10. Great Basin National Park is an official Dark Sky Park; on a clear and moonless night, thousands of stars and the Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye.
  11. The federal government owns 87% of Nevada’s land.
  12. According to an old Nevada law, you can’t kiss women in Eureka if you’re a man with a mustache. 
  13. Nevada officially became the 36th state of the U.S. in 1864.
  14. In 1999, the Venetian Resort opened in Las Vegas, becoming the largest hotel in the world.
  15. There are over 44,000 acres of human-made reservoirs in Nevada. Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in Nevada (and the entire U.S. when it is full). It is 24 mi east of the Vegas Strip. 
  16. Hoover Dam, the most visited dam in the United States, was created on the Colorado River on the Nevada–Arizona border.
  17. To hula hoop in Fremont Street, Downtown Las Vegas, is illegal if it’s over four feet in diameter. The law is meant for street entertainers performing to earn money.
  18. Covering over 125,000 acres in western Nevada, Pyramid Lake is one of the largest lakes in the state. It is also often regarded as “America’s Most Beautiful Desert Lake.”
  19. The lake’s Rubicon Trail Lighthouse is still one of the world’s only such structures located at high elevations. The lighthouse at Rubicon Point has the highest elevation (more than 6,000 feet) of any American lighthouse.
  20. The films “Sister Act,” “The Muppets,” and many other feature films have been shot in Reno since 1947.
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  1. A house in Rayolite, Nevada, was built from glass bottles by a stonemason in 1906. The house of Tom Kelly is famous for the odd material used to build it.
  2. The richest known deposit of silver in the United States was discovered on Mt. Davidson in the Virginia Range, in western Nevada.
  3. There’s no corporate or individual tax in Nevada.
  4. If you feed a pigeon in Las Vegas, you can face up to 6 months in jail.
  5. Nevada is the only state in the U.S. that allows people to gamble on slot machines at the airport, convenience stores, local grocery stores, and other locations. 
  6. The first casino to open on Highway 91, the future Las Vegas Strip, was the Pair-O-Dice Club in 1931.
  7. The first white people to live in Nevada were Americans.
  8. Although Samuel Clemens is famous for his works about the Mississippi River, he moved to Nevada in 1861 to try silver mining. He took a job as a newspaper editor in Virginia City, and it is there where he first used his famous pen name, Mark Twain. 
  9. Nevada was the first state to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment prohibiting the federal and state governments from limiting voting based on race. 
  10.  Francisco Garcés, a Franciscan Missionary, became the first white man to set foot in the region now known as Nevada at some point in the 1770s.
  11. The Great Basin National Park in Nevada is notable for its groves of ancient bristlecone pines, the oldest known nonclonal organisms. One of the species of this pine tree is more than 5,000 years old, making it the oldest known individual of any species.
  12. Andre Agassi, of tennis fame, and former First Lady of the U.S. Patricia Nixon were born in Nevada.
  13. The first Air Mail flights started in Nevada early in 1920. That was after the U.S. Air Mail service was established in 1918.
  14. The Mojave Desert is the smallest in North America. The infamous Death Valley is found within the Mojave Desert, which is known for its extreme temperatures. 
  15. The electric bill for the Luxor light is $51/hour.
  16. Nevada is the driest state in the U.S. The average rainfall per year is only around 7 inches. By comparison, states in the southeastern portion of the United States receive rainfall upwards of 50 inches per year.
  17. The Tom Kelly Bottle House sits in the small ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. Built in 1906 by a stonemason, Tom Kelly, the house is famed for its odd building materials. The house is constructed of glass bottles, over 50,000 of them! 
  18. The world’s largest chocolate fountain is in Las Vegas, Nevada. It stands 27 feet high, and about two tons of chocolate are circulated.
  19. The oldest mummified human remains in the U.S. were found in Nevada. Referred to as the Spirit Cave Man, the mummy was discovered in 1940 by a pair of archaeologists just outside of Fallon, Nevada. The Spirit Cave Man was found to be around 9,400 years old, making it the oldest mummy discovered in North America.
  20. Nevada’s key industries include agriculture, tourism, entertainment, mining, and manufacturing.
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  1. The first “all-you-can-eat” buffet was introduced in Las Vegas in 1946. It cost $1 per person.
  2. In March 1931, the first bill was passed to legalize gambling in Nevada. 
  3. The highest temperature ever recorded in Nevada was 125°F in 1994, while the lowest was −50°F  in 1937.
  4. The land speed record of 760.343 mph was set in the Black Rock Desert in 1997 and was the first to beat the speed of sound.
  5. It’s illegal to drive/ride a camel on the highway in Nevada.
  6. The smallest desert in the U.S. is the Mojave, located in the southern parts of Nevada. It spans over neighboring states of Nevada and is about 50,000 square miles wide.
  7. Nevada is now a major gold-producing region, second only to South Africa. In 2015 alone, the state produced more than $6 billion worth of gold, or about 165 tons of the sparkly stuff.
  8. According to the most modern theories on how the Americas were populated, a group of people called the Paleo-Indians crossed from the far east of modern-day Russia. The point of entry was to the most westerly point of modern-day Alaska, sometime around 14,000 BC, via the Bering Strait.
  9. Nevada is home to the majority of the country’s wild horse population. 
  10. The bill to legalize gambling in Nevada was first passed in March of 1931. 
  11. Except for fundraisers and church raffles for charity, lotteries are illegal in the state of Nevada, according to the infamous law known as “four-twenty-four,” which indicates the state legal code, Article IV, Section 24.
  12. The world’s largest digital screen is on Fremont Street, Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. It is about 90 feet wide and 1,500 feet long.
  13. The Sierra Nevada mountain range has one of the world’s most challenging bike trails. A popular event is riding the Wild Sierra Challenge.
  14. Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other place on earth.
  15. There are between 2,500 and 3,500 mountain lions in Nevada. The animals tend to scout for food in about a 100-square-mile area, are loners for the most part, and avoid human contact if possible. 
  16. Nevada is one of the top producers of Turquoise in the U.S.
  17. More than 30 tons of shrimp are consumed every day in Las Vegas!
  18. Nevada has several nicknames, including the Battle Born State, the Silver State, and the Sagebrush State.
  19. The Colorado River, which demarcates more than half of Nevada’s border with Arizona, is also Nevada’s lowest point, 479 ft (146 m) above sea level.
  20. In 1977, a huge Ichthyosaur Shonisaurus Popularis fossil that had been found in the Shoshone mountains became the official state fossil of Nevada.
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  1. Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum was voted the #1 Haunted Destination in America
  2. The highest temperatures ever recorded worldwide were in Death Valley, Nevada. A hot 134 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded on 10 July 1913 at Furnace Creek.
  3. Brad Snyder, a Reno-born swimmer on the United States Paralympic team, has a watch named after him – “The Bradley Timepiece.” The watch was built for use by blind people.
  4. A drilling accident in 1916 unintentionally burst open a below-ground geothermal vein. The result is a 5-foot by 25-foot (at the base) spout known as Fly Geyser. It’s on private land about 20 miles north of the town of Gerlach.
  5. Nevada’s state bird is the Mountain Bluebird and the state flower is the Sagebrush. 
  6. Nevada is one of the world’s leading producers of gold. 
  7. On a clear moonless night in Great Basin National Park, the Milky Way, man-made satellites, meteors, and thousands of other stars can be seen with the naked eye
  8. The Pershing County, Nevada Courthouse is one of only two perfectly round courthouses in the U.S. (the other is Bucks County Courthouse in Pennsylvania).
  9. In 2009, fishermen got quite scared when they reeled in an alligator at Sunset Park. Alligators are generally not from the desert life in Nevada.
  10. You can pedal your way through the Carson River Canyon and over historic bridges on the 150-year-old V&T Railway tracks.
  11. When an extremely complex bomb was planted at Harvey’s Casino in 1980, the FBI couldn’t disarm it, so most of the casino was blown up in a controlled detonation.
  12. The word “bonanza,” meaning a situation when one suddenly becomes rich, is often associated with the silver rush in Nevada. A hit American West TV series called Bonanza was set in the area. The word is also associated with the Klondike Gold Rush in Yukon, Canada.
  13. Desert Bighorn Sheep can be found all over the Southwest and are the official Nevada State Animal. They are expert climbers and well-adapted to desert life, often seen on cliffs and ledges. Their horns will continue to grow throughout their lives, so older sheep will often have very prominent horns. 
  14. Nevada is one of only 5 U.S. states that DON’T have a state lottery.
  15. Rising over 13,000 feet above the valley below, Boundary Peak is an impressive sight! It is the highest point in the state and part of the White Mountains that span across Nevada and California. 
  16. The darkest night-time skies in the U.S. are in Tonopah, Nevada. Most nights, you can see more than 7,000 stars with the naked eye.
  17. Just southwest of Groom Lake (by about 12 miles) is the Sedan Crater. It’s the result of a 104-kiloton nuclear test in 1962 that displaced 12 million tons of earth. Sedan Crater is 320 feet deep and 1,280 feet wide.
  18. There were only nine counties when the state of Nevada was formed in 1861. The rest were established in the next fifty years.
  19. Nevada is home to Lake Tahoe, which is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second-deepest lake in the U.S. 
  20. Nevada is home to what is known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. Many individuals have claimed to have experienced UFO sightings along this 98-mile stretch of road. 
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  1. Many Native American tribes lived peacefully in Nevada when Europeans arrived.
  2. The first train robbery in Nevada took place on November 4, 1870. About $40,000 in gold coins were stolen, but the robbers were all caught, and 90 percent of the gold was recovered. 
  3. Nearly two-thirds of the wild horses in the U.S. can be found in Nevada. Most of these animals were brought here during the settlement of the West.
  4. When Lake Mead was first created in the 1930s, the Mormon town of St. Thomas was drowned. Now, due to lowered lake levels, the ghost town is being exposed.  
  5. The world’s largest margarita was made in Nevada, taking 60 people over 300 hours to make. Fittingly, the 8,500-gallon behemoth was made at the Margaritaville Casino in Las Vegas. Named “Lucky Rita”, the cocktail stood two stories tall.
  6. In 2007, OJ Simpson was arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  7. The brightest light beam on Earth is Luxor Light in Las Vegas, Nevada. The light from 39 xenon lamps is focused in a narrow, upward beam.
  8. U.S. Route 50 cuts directly across the center of the state of Nevada and includes a section, which was famously nicknamed “The Loneliest Road in America” by the now-defunct Life Magazine back in 1986. 
  9. More Nuclear weapons have been tested in Nevada than anywhere else in the United States. The Nevada Test Site was created on January 11, 1951, solely to test various nuclear devices and continued to do so until September 23, 1992.
  10. The area now known as Nevada was claimed by both Spain and Mexico before the United States took over at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848. 
  11. Area 51, is a top-secret U.S. Airforce Military installation located at Groom Lake in southern Nevada. In the past, this area has been linked to various speculations including UFO sightings.
  12. Blue Jeans were invented by a tailor in Reno in 1870. They were made by Reno tailor, Jacob Davis.
  13. The largest alpine lake in North America is Lake Tahoe in Nevada and California. It’s also the second deepest lake in the U.S., at 1646 ft (501 m). Only Crater Lake in Oregon is deeper. Lake Tahoe is famous for its summer activities.
  14. Even before Covid-19, it was mandatory to wear masks while walking the streets of Elko, Nevada.
  15. The only complete skeleton of an ichthyosaur ever discovered in the U.S. was in Nevada. The complete fossil of this extinct ocean reptile is one of a kind.
  16. Nevada has more hot springs than any other state in the U.S., with over 300 naturally occurring ones.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Nevada? Share them with us in the comments! 

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