Finally, a region that Nevada is part of! The Empty Interior includes almost all of Nevada, except for a tiny western corner that lies in the transitional zone, and includes Nevada’s capital, Carson City, as well as Nevada’s oldest gambling center, Reno.
Much of Nevada was covered by Pleistocene lakes during the last Ice Age. Most of these are gone now, but Pyramid Lake, in the northern part of the state, remains. Since it has no drainage to the ocean, its water is highly saline.
Satellite View of Pyramid Lake.
Almost 90% of all land in Nevada is controlled by the U.S. government. This seems hard to believe, considering the amount of development around Las Vegas, and all the “For Sale” signs you see driving around.
Nevada only has one National Park, the Great Basin. It may not be one of the country’s better known parks, but it still has amazing scenery, and an incredible range of vistas, trees, and rock formations.
Great Basin National Park.
Great Basin National Park vista.
This park even has caves!
Supposedly, there is a fairly large Mormon population in Nevada, which seems odd, given the liberal gambling, divorce, and prostitution laws.
Nevada uses only 1.8% of Colorado River Basin water, but it does get a lot of its power from the Hoover Dam, which is on the Colorado River.
Gambling is the main contributor to Nevada econcomy ~ 45% of state revenue comes from gaming taxes.
Mining is not nearly important as it was in the late 19th century, when the Comstock Lode near Virginia City drew thousands of people, and miners were the second largest group, after Mormons, to settle the area.
Perhaps the name Empty Interior is not really appropriate anymore, since Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the region.
Information from textbook. Images from Google.