The independent spirit of the Old West pervades Nevada, America’s seventh-largest state by area, which lies landlocked by Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho and Oregon. Despite its size, Nevada’s 110,540 square miles of land contain only 2.75-millon people (less than half the population of New York City). Residents endure a subtropical desert climate, with January lows averaging 36 degrees and July temperatures soaring into the low 100s.

Nevada saw its early heyday beginning in 1859, when the world’s largest silver find was unearthed in the hills northeast of Carson City, the present-day capital. Nearby, to the north, Virginia City preserves its downtown as it looked in the rough-and-tumble…

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