Nevada is in the Great Basin, which is a natural feature in the western United States that sends water to the center of the country. In a technical sense, this is not a single large basin, but rather a group of basins spread out across the north and south mountain areas. Nevada is the most mountainous state in the country because of these mountain areas. Because of this, Nevada has a lot of steep roads. But which one is the state’s highest highway?
The Steepest Highway in Nevada
State Route 342 is Nevada’s highest highway. In Nevada’s Virginia Mountains, NV 342 links Virginia City and Silver City. Between Virginia City and Gold Hill, the road has a 15% grade which is the hardest part. Greiner’s Bend is the name of a very steep and twisting part of this stretch. You can only go 15 miles per hour through these turns, which may seem too fast! The fastest way to get from Virginia City to Silver City is to take NV 342. It takes longer to take Route 341.
It’s about 7 miles northeast of Carson City, Nevada, and 10 miles southeast of Reno to find Route 342. It goes up into the mountains of the Virginia Range, which goes through Storey and Lyon Counties.
Longer Alternative to NV 342
NV 342 is the shorter way to get from Silver City to Virginia City, but trucks should not take it because of the 15% hill and the turn at Greiner’s Bend. To fix the problem, Nevada built State Route 341, which makes the climb longer. Since trucks can’t use NV 342, they have to take a longer route to get from one place to the other.
Animals Near NV 342
The desert bighorn sheep, which is the official state animal, used to live all over this area. They were once thought to be extinct in Nevada, but they have recently been brought back. They mostly live in the eastern part of Nevada, but people are starting to see them in the western parts of the state, like near Route 342.
Mammals like the black-tailed jackrabbit, fox, mule deer, and the North American porcupine also live in the area. The mountain lion, the bobcat, the North American black bear, and the gray fox are all predators. The osprey, golden eagle, and red-tailed hawk watch over the sky. The mountain chickadee, the smaller goldfinch, and the California scrub-jay are some of the birds that live in the area. There may also be snakes and lizards like the western rattlesnake, the desert-horned lizard, the gopher snake, the coachwhip, and the yellow-backed spiny lizard.