Pahrump’s reputation as a hotspot for outdoor thrills is relatively new, but this high-desert haven has quickly become a top destination for adventure seekers. From race cars to rugged hikes to relaxing with a wine glass at one of the state’s popular wineries, there’s a little something for everyone in the heart of the desert.
Need for Speed
Just 60 miles west of Las Vegas, Pahrump serves as a jumping-off point for enjoying the glitz and glam of the Strip, but don’t skip out on the countless attractions closer to home. If you have an appetite for adrenaline, Pahrump has you covered. The Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch is a one-of-a-kind driving school where visitors can learn to handle tight corners and banked turns in Corvettes, Cadillacs and other high-performance vehicles. At nearby Lake Spring Mountain, guests can go paddleboarding, swimming and even take hydro flights strapped to a jet pack. Who needs Vegas thrills when you can truly soar?
Off-Roading, No Limits
If you’re looking to get into the rugged countryside, off-roading is another popular pastime in the hills around Pahrump. Whether you arrange a rental with an outfitter or travel with your own ATV, the many nearby trails, such as Carpenter Canyon Road and Wheeler Wash, wind with twisty turns and deliver visitors to stunning vistas.
Fishing in the Desert
Nestled in the high desert of the Mojave, you won’t find much in the way of water sports, but Pahrump’s location means fishing and boating are within reach. Less than two hours east, Lake Mead is a mecca for outdoor lovers. Anglers should head to the lake’s hot spots of Boxcar Cove and the Hemingway area to land top-notch stripers and catfish, while families looking to water ski, tube, paddle and swim can find everything they need at the marina. Further south, Lake Mohave is home to black, largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as endless opportunities for recreation.
Surrounded by Desert Splendor
Pahrump is the perfect place for hikers and mountain bikers to explore Nevada’s ruggedly beautiful countryside. Just east of town, the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area boasts over 60 miles of trails, including a challenging hike to the 12,000-foot summit of Mount Charleston. Breaking a sweat on the route to this peak is worth the stellar view at the top. Try the Desert Overlook, Mahogany Grove and Pack Rat routes for easier approaches that offer spectacular views of the landscape.
Wild in Nevada
The nearby Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is the last remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert and home to 26 species of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. Even closer to downtown, try the Elk Meadows Trail network or Wallace Canyon trail. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Death Valley National Park are also quick drives from downtown.
Days of Wine and Rodeos
For those looking to wind down, the Pahrump Valley Winery has been producing award-winning vintages for years. The winery’s lush, palm tree-covered grounds are worth a visit, whether you’re a wine lover or teetotaler. Relax with a visit to the tasting rooms, a tour of the vineyards with desert mountain views in the distance. Discover the unique flavors found only in this desert environment.
Raise a Glass
If you time your trip for fall, you can take part in the annual Grape Stomp festival. February visitors won’t want to miss the endlessly photogenic Balloon Festival, when more than 30 hot air balloons take flight in a one-of-a-kind spectacle.
Relive the Old West
Over three days each May, the Wild West Extravaganza and Bluegrass Festival celebrates the homesteading history of Nevada’s pioneers with bluegrass music, rodeos and trail rides. The free event has activities for the whole family. Plan on going sky high if you visit during February’s Pahrump Balloon Festival.
Doing Death Valley
Can’t get enough of the desert? Just 48 miles west, Death Valley National Park in California thrills visitors with smooth sand dunes and spectacularly stark vistas.
For More Information
Town of Pahrump