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Western Nevada is a region that includes Renomarker, Carson Citymarker and the Carson Valley. Lyon Countymarker and Churchill Countymarker are sometimes also referred to as part of Western Nevada.

The region is the second most populous in the state, with between 530,000 and 615,000 residents, depending on whether Lyon and Churchill counties are included. It is also the historic population center of Nevada, with the state capital in Carson City, the University of Nevada in Reno and several state historic parks, notably Mormon Station State Historic Park in Genoamarker, the state's first permanent European settlement.


The counties most commonly associated with Western Nevada

Western Nevada encompasses the western edge of the state, with the term generally applied to areas within of the California border, from Mineral County northward. On the west along the California border, the Sierra Nevada mountains rise sharply from the Great Basin desert floor. Basin and Range Province topography extends east from the Sierras, with mountain ranges such as the Virginia Range, Pah Rah Rangemarker and Pine Nut Mountains separating the more densely-populated Sierra front with the desert plains to the east. The mountains act as a second rain shadow for Pacific storms rolling east.

Three rivers flow off the Sierras to the Great Basin — the Truckee River, Carson River and Walker River. The Truckee Canyon through the Virginia and Pah Rah mountains serves as the route for Interstate 80 between Fernleymarker and Reno. Pyramid Lakemarker and Washoe Lakemarker collect water in their respective endorheic basins, and Lake Lahontanmarker impounds the Carson River to distribute water for irrigation in Churchill County.

Reno Skyline


The main roads in the region are U.S. Highway 395, Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50. U.S. 395 runs from the Los Angelesmarker area to the Pacific Northwest along the eastern Sierras, and is a freeway for about 40 of its through Nevada, with another of freeway under construction. Part of U.S. 395 is also Interstate 580. About 35,000 cars daily use U.S. 395 between Reno and Carson City.

I-80 is the main east-west route through the region, connecting with Sacramentomarker and the San Francisco Bay Areamarker to the west and the Great Basin and Salt Lake Citymarker to the east. It also connects the rapidly-growing community of Fernley with Reno and serves as a route to access the resort communities at Lake Tahoemarker.

U.S. 50 also connects to Sacramento to the west, running along Lake Tahoe before descending to Carson City. To the east, it connects Dayton, Silver Springs and Fallon to the state capital.


Western Nevada generally includes the following counties:

Cities and towns

See also


  1. Welcome to Greater Reno-Tahoe

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