Photos I took while exploring northern Nevada! An amazing place. Don’t go there so I can have it all to myself c: I camped at Virgin Valley Hot Springs primitive campground, which is actually a warm spring but it felt WONDERFUL after a day of exploring the dry, dusty desert landscape. Also, visited Bog Hot Springs, a “hot creek” where the whole creek is boiling. It is too hot to swim in at its headwaters but is swimmable further downstream ((and it is one HOT hot spring xD)). Also went surface mining to see what kind of rocks we could find and I’ll post photos of my finds at another time! The area is known for its opals and I managed to nab a few samples of dry opal of various colors ((yellow, black and others… even white opal that glows green when under a black light!)) and there was a LOT of petrified wood, obsidian and jasper. Also, some agate and chalcedony rose.
My camera sucks at zoom and I fail at wildlife photography, but this area was TEEMING with life so I can only imagine what it is like during migration season for birds. We saw it all, from tiny sparrows to various ducks, kestrels, songbirds and even a golden eagle! When it came to mammals, there were wild burrows EVERYWHERE and they are very aggressive. Do not approach them xD There are also tons and tons of coyotes ((you can hear them every night)) and rabbits were in our camp.
Despite this being a harsh desert environment, there is a lot of water springing from the ground. It was a wetter place than when we went through northern California in the same trip :’D
We also got hit by a massive dust devil while at Bog Hot Spring. It snuck up on us while we were getting snacks in the car so we weren’t paying attention, but then this HUGE amount of wind like I had never felt it before hit us and shook the whole vehicle! And I have felt a lot of strong winds during desert travel ((if you hate wind, don’t come to the desert since it is windy from diurnal winds until the sun goes down)). After the dust devil hit us and had our attention, we looked and saw how massive the thing was. It must have gone 150+ ft into the air ((if not more than that xD)). Huge dust devils are a thing you see out there and are very common, and I put emphasis on HUGE since you can see them from miles away, visible from across valleys. The funny thing about this Bog Hot Spring dust devil was when looking at our photos later, we could see it was sneaking up on us all along as it was in our pictures :’D We were too focused on the hot spring to notice the thing coming in the background ((you can see it in the sixth photo of this post xD)).
Nevada’s desert is beautiful and filled with many hidden treasures, if you know where to look and are adventurous enough to search for them. I have known a lot of people who said “Nevada is ugly, barren and there’s nothing there”, but this is a very untrue statement as I have learned first hand. There are many things in Nevada that aren’t on the map and the only way to know about them is to go there yourself or word of mouth from people who have gone ((the gorge in the seventh photo, despite how spectacular it is, was not on any map and we only knew about it from when we had passed through the area before; when we saw it was the first time we knew it existed)). Much of Nevada’s roads are also not paved and locations are very remote. Be properly prepared before exploring as you are hours from medical/emergency help, grocery stores and in many cases, you don’t even have drinkable running water. Cell phone/internet service is non-existent and landlines are rare, so expect to not have contact with the outside world during your stay. This kind of vacation is for the smart traveler with an adventurous spirit. It can be difficult and challenging, but it is more rewarding than any other sort of trip!
I love traveling the high desert. I never fail to find amazing surprises I never expect.