Located in the Great Basin of the western United States, Nevada has a unique natural feature that sends water to the center of the country. The Great Basin is not a single large basin, but rather a cluster of basins spread throughout the north and south mountain areas. As a result of these mountain areas, Nevada is the country’s most mountainous state, leading to many steep roads. If you’re wondering which road in Nevada is the highest, look no further.
The Steepest Highway in Nevada
Nevada’s highest highway is State Route 342, connecting Virginia City and Silver City in the Virginia Mountains. The hardest part of this road is the 15% grade between Virginia City and Gold Hill, specifically the steep and twisting Greiner’s Bend. Even though the turns may seem too fast, the maximum speed limit is only 15 miles per hour. If you want to reach Silver City from Virginia City quickly, taking NV 342 is the best option, as Route 341 takes longer to travel.
Route 342 can be found approximately 7 miles northeast of Carson City, Nevada, and 10 miles southeast of Reno. This route will take you up into the beautiful Virginia Range mountains, which span across Storey and Lyon Counties.
Longer Alternative to NV 342
If you’re travelling from Silver City to Virginia City, NV 342 might be the quickest route. However, it’s important to note that trucks should avoid this road due to the steep 15% hill and a sharp turn at Greiner’s Bend. In response to this issue, Nevada constructed State Route 341, which offers a longer but safer climb. Unfortunately, this means that trucks must take a longer route to reach their destination since they cannot use NV 342.
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Animals Near NV 342
Nevada’s official state animal, the desert bighorn sheep, once roamed the region. Although they were presumed extinct in Nevada, they have been successfully reintroduced to their natural habitats. These majestic animals are predominantly found in the eastern parts of Nevada, but sightings of them are becoming more common in the state’s western regions, including near Route 342.
The area is home to various mammals, including the black-tailed jackrabbit, fox, mule deer, and North American porcupine. Predators such as the mountain lion, bobcat, North American black bear, and gray fox can also be found in the region. The osprey, golden eagle, and red-tailed hawk patrol the sky. Additionally, the mountain chickadee, smaller goldfinch, and California scrub-jay are some of the bird species that inhabit the area. Snakes and lizards, such as the western rattlesnake, desert-horned lizard, gopher snake, coachwhip, and yellow-backed spiny lizard, may also be present.
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