Places to Find Meteorites in Nevada

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Meteorites found in deserts are mostly made up of iron.
Meteorites found in deserts are mostly made up of iron. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The best places to find meteorites include deserts, dry lake beds and other dry climate areas. The southwestern United States is a prime location to locate meteorites due to its desert topography. Nevada has several locations where meteorite hunters might be able to locate some of the rocks. In addition to national and state parks, a few wilderness areas provide ample opportunity for meteorite discovery.

National Parks

National parks that comprise a large desert area, such as Death Valley, are a good place to hunt for meteorites. Death Valley spans a small portion of Nevada, but provides the type of ideal arid climate for finding meteorites. The portion of the park that is in Nevada is just off U.S. 95. Great Basin National Park, in Baker, Nevada, is another arid region where you can hike and discover desert plants, wildlife and rocks.

State Parks

Nevada has numerous state parks to explore. For example, Cathedral George State Park features high desert plains that were formed by water beds that are now dry. The park is home to an ancient lake bed that is no longer full. Dry lake beds are suitable places for beginners to locate meteorites since they do not contain any other formations such as trees and boulders that might get in the way. Dry water beds are also easier for beginners to get around in due to their flat and smooth topography.

National Wilderness Areas

Wilderness areas i of Nevada such as Red Rock Canyon and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge might be a good place to locate meteorites. While the area does feature some wetlands, it also has desert climates that are ripe for meteorite survival. Ash Meadows is 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Also located near Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon. It is a national conservation area that features a thrust fault and plenty of desert canyons, hills and hiking trails.

Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Areas

The Bureau of Land Management's Nevada District office maintains several wilderness areas throughout the state that feature desert climates. One such area in Elko County possesses topography similar to that of the Great Basin. It is in the northeastern portion of the state and features a meteorite crater field. Black Rock Desert is another area that features an alkaline, arid climate. The area's wind storms, however, make wearing a mask and pair of goggles necessary.

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