Before you give in to cabin fever and run to the nearest Wilderness Area, think about the small communities who call where we recreate their own backyard.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we all have been asked to make sacrifices for the sake of our emergency service providers and the vulnerable members of the community. While exercise and nature are an inseparable part of our lives, recreating at the expense of small communities is unethical and unnecessary at this time.
Located just 45 minutes from downtown Las Vegas, the town of Mt. Charleston sits within the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, a local favorite due to its proximity and higher elevation which provides snow activities in the winter and a relief from the desert heat in warmer months. The town is cited as having 357* residents. Most weekends, they are grossly outnumbered by recreationists seeking a mountain adventure. Unfortunately, even with stay at home orders, Mt. Charleston is still seeing these large crowds.
Many of our most prized outdoor destinations around the state are near small towns dealing with uncertain times and visitors who should be at their respective homes and not in the backcountry. Massacre Rim WSA is an International Dark Sky destination and nearest to Cedarville, CA (population 514*). Great Basin National Park lies adjacent to Baker, NV (population 68*) and Cathedral Gorge State Park is near Pioche, NV (population 1,002*). These vulnerable communities are relying on us to find adventure closer to our homes rather than taking a day trip or camping out in areas near their small towns.
Nevada has 70 Wilderness Areas, many of which can be accessed without putting small towns at risk. Other times, we can find places to recreate in our own backyards. The Neon to Nature app helps Southern Nevadans find trails in their own neighborhoods. We are also including a link to Reno trails to make it easier for Northern Nevadans to recreate safely while practicing social distancing. Stay local and stay safe
* - Population per US Census Report 2010.
For local hikes in Southern Nevada: https://app.gethealthyclarkcounty.org/neon2nature/
For local hikes in the Reno area: https://www.reno.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation-community-services/parks-trails/reno-trails