Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Caliente, NV

  • Published 2023/03/02

The famous tourist attraction Caliente is a city in Lincoln County, Nevada, formerly known as Culverwell and Calientes.

The city’s name comes from neighboring hot springs; caliente translates to “hot” in Spanish.

Caliente is known as “Nevada’s Rose City” because of the abundance of wild roses in the area.

Caliente, Nevada, is a prominent stop along your Terrific Basin Highway road trip, bringing you to many distinct state parks.

You can find these parks within 70 miles of one another.

Take a break at several restaurants and luxury hotels after your journey.

Here are the best things to do in Caliente, NV:

Explore the Kershaw-Ryan State Park

Steps leading up to a hill at Kershaw-Ryan State Park

Jennifer Agster /

Kershaw-Ryan State Park is about three miles from the center of Caliente, freely reachable through paved streets.

This tourist attraction is ideal for hiking, camping, and environmental research, with plenty of spots to picnic and a network of paths weaving throughout the area.

A Kershaw-Ryan camping trip is the best camping you’ll have in Caliente.

It recently underwent extensive renovation, including the addition of a 16-unit campsite with a bathroom, coin-operated shower rooms, and RV sites.

Welcome sign of Kershaw-Ryan State Park

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The abundant plants, vines, and flowers, a shaded reprieve to the desert explorer, will astound first-time visitors.

Kershaw-Ryan State Park is also surrounded by 700-foot multicolored canyon walls that have been formed over millions of years.

Lava and ash spewing from past volcanoes created these colorful rock formations.

Enjoy nature at this popular tourist attraction in Nevada.

Canyons at Kershaw-Ryan State Park

Traveller70 /

Order Specialty Cocktails at Side Car Dining Hall & Speakeasy

Stop by the 1920s-themed Side Car Dining Hall & Speakeasy.

You’ll find specialty cocktails, wine and beer, beverage specials, and an outside terrace with games and darts.

They have a corn hole, drinking games, Jenga, Connect Four, and a flame pit on their outdoor patio!

The Side Car Dining Hall is a fantastic place to gather your guests after hitting the single track or touring State Parks and other outdoor attractions.

Check Out the Caliente Railroad Depot

Exterior of Caliente Railroad Depot

Serj Malomuzh /

Drop by the Caliente Railroad Depot in Caliente.

Grab the opportunity to cross the train tracks and admire its beauty for yourself.

Caliente Railroad Depot is on the National Register of Historic Places for a good reason.

This architectural marvel, the crown jewel of the city center, was erected in 1923 to house a Union Pacific Railroad terminal.

You may find other intriguing tidbits about the depot on a Nevada State history sign.

The structure itself offers unrivaled photo opportunities.

Book a Room at the Shady Motel

Make this trip your best yet by staying at Shady Motel in Caliente.

Their family-owned motel, which has operated for over 50 years, will provide the ideal setting for you to rest and unwind.

Once you come to Shady Motel, you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable vacation.

Enjoy the fridge, microwave, wireless Internet, satellite television, motel amenities, BBQ grounds, and picnic tables.

There are also several magnificent and distinct state parks in this area, each with its sights and landscapes.

Explore Cathedral Gorge’s massive rock formations, relax in the town’s hot springs, mineral spas, and more!

Tour the Oak Springs Trilobite Area

Daytime view of Oak Springs Trilobite Area

Dominic Gentilcore PhD /

While touring the southeast region of the Silver State, stop by the Oak Springs Trilobite Area.

In the shale layers near Oak Springs Summit, this intriguing place has fossil remnants of six varieties of trilobites.

The fossils discovered at Oak Springs are the remnants of creatures that lived on this seafloor 500-524 million years ago.

Closeup of a fossil at Oak Springs Trilobite Area

Dominic Gentilcore PhD /

Back then, the area was entirely underwater.

Experts have unearthed these fossils in a trench on the property’s south end.

If you spend an hour or even half the day exploring the area, you might find one yourself.

Guests may enjoy a parking lot, trail registration, interpretive sign, and picnic table at the Oak Springs Trilobite Area.

Visit Antique Classrooms at the Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Site

Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Site is inside the Nevada ghost town of Elgin.

This one-room school, which taught grades one through eight from 1922 until 1967, schooled several generations of children.

There was no available housing in the tiny community.

In 1924, they built an extension to the structure, a modest apartment for the teacher.

You may find many of the school’s original materials at the Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Site.

Likewise, you can see original period furnishings such as desks and books in the old schoolhouse.

Explore the primary classroom, with student and teacher’s desks, blackboards with the day’s lesson, a wood-burning furnace, a piano, and other period antiques.

Tourists also have access to the teacher’s private residence, attached to the back of the schoolhouse.

It includes a kitchen, bedroom, and other period-specific objects depicting the life of early Rainbow Canyon residents.

Take a Stroll at Beaver Dam State Park

Mountain views at Beaver Dam State Park

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Beaver Dam State Park has a unique, primitive, and rustic charm that provides a calm atmosphere for hikers, campers, and anglers.

Individual campsites with a fire pit, picnic table, space for a vehicle, and a small trailer are available in two constructed campgrounds.

During their stay, tourists are likely to observe turkeys, jackrabbits, and porcupines.

A trail at Beaver Dam State Park

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Mule deer, bobcats, herons, coyotes, fox, the rare mountain lion, and a variety of reptiles and snakes call Beaver Dam home.

Trails abound at Beaver Dam for hikers of all skill levels.

A 360-degree panorama of the canyon may be seen from a viewpoint high on the Overlook Trail.

At this excellent tourist site in Caliente, Nevada, you may encounter beautiful animals and appreciate what nature offers.

Reconnect with Nature at the Silver State OHV Trail

The Silver State Trail is a nationally famous off-highway OHV excursion route with trailheads at Caliente, Alamo, Pioche, and Panaca, Nevada.

It is easily accessible from Caliente through Antelope Canyon on the north side of town.

The path circles the wilderness of Nevada for 260 kilometers.

Through Lincoln County, the road runs north to south.

The path is well-marked, with signs indicating mileage and trailheads.

Along the Great Basin Highway, you can find staging grounds and access roads, while you can obtain gasoline and supplies.

The road passes through a range of landscapes, including mountaintops and scenic basins, where mule deer, elk, antelope graze, and golden eagles soar.

Ride a Train to Rainbow Canyon

Railroad trestle bridge at Rainbow Canyon

Billy McDonald /

Are you ready for a southeast Nevada surprise?

The Rainbow Canyon is one of Nevada’s lesser-visited spots.

So, move this “undiscovered” recreational paradise to the top of your Caliente itinerary.

The Rainbow Canyon Scenic Drive runs the length of Nevada State Highway 317.

Railroad bridge under Rainbow Canyon

J Gillispie /

It’s also a mainline of the United Pacific Railroad, which is one of the reasons Caliente was founded in the first place.

See Union Pacific trains stopping every 20 minutes or so, adding to the canyon’s natural beauty.

Adding locomotives to the mix makes Rainbow Canyon even more spectacular, whether you’re a train enthusiast, a photographer, or just seeking a pleasant drive.

Book a Room at Patty’s Motel

Staying at Patty’s Motel is the best way to learn about southern Nevada’s cultural and outdoor leisure scene.

Patty’s Motel, formerly the Midway Motel, has been rebuilt.

Patty’s Motel provides luxurious accommodations with flat-screen televisions and a handy 24-hour reservation system.

Set up shop for the weekend at this lovely wayside inn in the center of old Caliente.

Then, visit the largest grouping of Nevada State Parks in the whole state.

Experience a relaxing stay at Patty’s Motel after a day of outdoor and indoor activities in Caliente, Nevada.

Drive along the Great Basin Highway

The long road of Great Basin Highway

Sarah Quintans /

Nevada, a state filled with majesty, has a sizable portion of the American West’s breathtaking terrain, fascinating geology, and natural marvels.

The highlights are included in this 355-mile journey along the Great Basin Highway.

Mountain views along Great Basin Highway

Claudio Del Luongo /

Appreciate the beauty, from red rock spires and sandstone canyons to mountain summits, old bristlecone pine forests, and even some of the country’s darkest, star-studded skies.

You’ll spend days driving from Las Vegas to Ely to Great Basin National Park, taking in the vistas of numerous unique Nevada state parks, ghost towns, and historical places.

Make your journey to Caliente, Nevada, worthwhile by exploring Great Basin Highway.

Road sign of Great Basin national park along Great Basin Highway

trekandshoot /

Enjoy a Cup of Joe at Café Caliente

Do you want to unwind with a cup of coffee after a long day of sightseeing in Caliente, Nevada?

Café Caliente is a locally owned and operated coffee and roasting shop in Caliente, Nevada.

They specialize in high-quality coffee, espresso, lattes, frappés, and other beverages.

Café Caliente has unquestionably mastered coffee brewing.

Enjoy a nice latte, hot tea, smoothies, iced drinks, hot chocolate, and many other beverages.

Relax at Café Caliente with a steaming cup of coffee.

Look at the History of Delamar Ghost Town

Wooden remains of a mine at Delamar Ghost Town

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Delamar Ghost Town is located near the southeastern hamlet of Caliente, around 150 miles or two and a half hours northeastern of Las Vegas.

The Nevada Bureau of Land Management has designated Delamar Ghost Town as a protected area with open public access.

Delamar Ghost Town is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Doorway of a structure at Delamar Ghost Town

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Located 30 minutes off Highway 93, Delamar offers a fantastic ghost town pit stop when traveling the Great Basin Highway.

The traveler must go 30 miles past Alamo on the Great Basin Highway to get there.

On the right side, you’ll notice a blue, Nevada-shaped historic plaque outlining Delamar’s history and a short dirt road going to Delamar.

Ruins at Delamar Ghost Town

Dominic Gentilcore PhD /

Try Local Cuisine at the Knotty Pine Restaurant & Lounge

Stop by the Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge the next time you’re driving down US 93 near Nevada’s eastern border.

After a day of bike riding, park hopping, and hot spring bathing in and around Caliente, take a well-earned break at this restaurant and lounge.

Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge serves family-friendly country food, drinks, and refreshing beer in the bar or dining sections.

You can enjoy gambling and billiard tables, accessible WiFi, huge parking for vehicles, and meet friendly people.

Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge always has something going on throughout your favorite sporting season, holiday, occasion, or celebration.

See Rock Formations at the Basin and Range National Monument

Volcanic rock deposit at Basin and Range National Monument

Danita Delimont /

Basin and Range National Monument is one of the most excellent places to learn about Nevada’s Great Basin Desert’s grandeur.

This vast, public-lands-managed area has unique rock formations and geology, rough basin and range terrain, a holy cultural past, and natural plant and animal life.

Wrong way canyon at Basin and Range National Monument

Dominic Gentilcore PhD /

It’s one of the state’s earliest and largest national monuments.

You should head to Basin and Range for unenclosed outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, camping, shooting, off-roading, animal viewing, stargazing, etc.

If you want to add some outdoor activities to your Caliente Nevada plan, visit this tourist attraction.

Visible stars over Basin and Range National Monument

Dominic Gentilcore PhD /

Cycle Through Barnes Canyon Mountain Bike and Hiking Trail

Barnes Canyon Mountain Bike and Hiking Trail is one of the most underrated spots in Caliente.

It’s located off the eastern outskirts of the city, offering picturesque views of the badlands of Nevada.

There’s a lot of good elevation here that’s not too tiring, making it a great place for some moderate hiking.

However, the real fun starts if you ever bring or rent a mountain bike, as the place is brimming with all sorts of dirt tracks that makes for great off-roading.

Once you reach the top of the trail, you’ll be awarded with beautiful views that deserve a nice set of photos.

Play Baseball at Dixon Park

Dixon Park is one of the best places to play baseball in Lincoln County, offering two large fields that plenty of locals utilize.

The grass and sand here are well-maintained, making this a perfect place to do some batting and pitching.

If you don’t like baseball, you can also utilize its walking trails around it and do some light jogging.

There are also a couple of pavilions that you can utilize in Dixon Park, great for watching games or simply enjoying the area.

It’s located along McKinley Street in a quaint neighborhood in Caliente, so it’s a great place to just enjoy a slow-paced afternoon.

Go Jogging at Meadow Valley Wash Linear Park

Meadow Valley Wash Linear Park is a fun and scenic way to enjoy the neighborhoods and surrounding nature of Caliente.

It’s a long paved road meant for jogging or walking, taking you to several corners of the city that’s brimming with interesting nature.

One of the best parts about Meadow Valley Wash Linear Park is you’ll see a lot of birds along your way, making it a perfect activity for wildlife enthusiasts.

There’s also a scenic walking bridge here that you’ll pass which is a great photo opportunity with a lover or with family.

You can start jogging along Meadow Valley Wash Linear Park through its trailhead found along Lincoln Street.

Grab Breakfast at Side Track Restaurant

There’s nothing like grabbing a hearty breakfast while venturing in the small cities and towns of Nevada, immersing you in its badlands and the urbanization that developed throughout the years.

One of the best places to experience this in Caliente is at Side Track Restaurant.

It’s a classic cafe-style diner that serves a lot of your favorite American classics, specializing in fish n’ chips, steaks, and an assortment of side dishes like onion rings and fries.

The great thing about Side Track Restaurant is that it also has a vegan menu, making it a holistic culinary attraction for all travelers.

Find this neat place along Clover Street.

Pitch a Tent at Cabin Pines Campground

Cabin Pines Campground is a must-try for the avid outdoor adventurer.

It’s an extremely rustic and isolated place in the outskirts of Caliente, located along Ella Mountain Road.

Whether you’re here to go camping or the see the wilderness, this is a great destination if you want to see the raw beauty of Caliente’s woodlands.

Tons of trees are found here, making it a great place to do some nature exploration via mountain bike.

The road leading up to here is also a nice spot to do some off-roading, so give this one a go if you’re up to the task.

Final Thoughts

Visit Caliente, Nevada, if you’re searching for something a little different.

The restored Caliente Railroad Depot, built in the style of Spanish mission architecture, provides an insight into Caliente’s beginnings.

Today, this depot is an art gallery, museum, and events venue, thanks to funding from the State Historic Preservation Office.

There are many fascinating things to do here, whether you want to engage in outdoor activities or do indoor activities.

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Set off for Caliente today!

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