Plein Air Painting Sites in Nevada
Plein Air Painting sites in Nevada are more varied that you might initially expect. If your immediate expectation is nothing but scrub and desert, you will be pleasantly surprised by the many exciting plein air painting sites available.
Picking the time of year is important - avoiding the intense desert heat of summer is obvious. That still leaves a lot of the year available for a pleasant experience - especially if you are visiting from the North or Eastern part of our country in the winter or fall.
Plein air painting sites listed here will increase in number over time as research is done on great painting spots.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Great Basin National Park, Nevada We recently visited this out of the way and spectacular National Park. It is most certainly one of the least visited parks because of its location. We stayed the night in Ely on Route 50. It takes about another hour or more of driving to get from Ely to the park entrance - so gas up your vehicle in Ely. The small outpost of Baker near the park entrance has a good deli and an unattended gas pump. Nice campgrounds are available in the park. The next time we come to visit we will camp and paint.
We drove took the road up Mt. Wheeler and enjoyed the amazing views of surrounding desert. We painted at the Lower Lehman Creek area because of the creek and aspen trees, meadows and cliffs of striated rock formations. We were a little early for the Fall aspen color so we recommend late September for optimum color - or call the Park headquarters for a fall color update before you go.
Sparks, Nevada Plein Air Sites - Provided by Erik Holland - Nevada Plein Air Artist
Lockwood Road area just east of Sparks....
Take I-80 east of Vista Blvd in Sparks.. Lockwood road is the next exit. Take that past the little town and store. (Store a great stop for drinks, snacks)
Red rocks, cottonwoods, interesting rock formations, a short climb gives you vistas, and you will almost ALWAYS see wild horses.
Winnemucca Ranch/ Marshall Ranch area.
Take Pyramid Highway north to Winnemucca Ranch Road (about 17 miles north of downtown Sparks.) Take a left on Winnie Ranch road, proceed to the end of the pavement. Continue on the dirt road, navigable for most vehicles for another ten miles.
All kinds of great stuff out there, including the Moon Rocks, canyons, old farmhouses, cottonwoods, 8700 ft. Tule Peak. See painting above - done in that area.
To view Erik's wonderful lively Nevada Plein Air Paintings.
Nevada Plein Air Paintings.
Carson City Area - Plein Air Painting Sites
Next is the area near Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Virginia City. The Muse recently traveled and painted in this area so the research is fresh.
Davis Creek Regional Park - - About 10 miles North of Carson City 0n Route 395 you will see a turnoff that is well sign posted for this Regional Park. There is a lovely little lake/fishing area that seems to be very popular with visitors and locals alike. This area is in the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is has pines and forest. Lots of great reflections and high desert scenery.
Bathrooms available. No fee is charged to access this park. Several different parking areas to choose from. We went to the parking area right next to the lake and painted there for 3 hours in the late afternoon. A beautiful spot.
To view a couple of paintings done at Davis Creek -
Zephyr Cove Park, Lake Tahoe, Nevada
THE best plein air painting site on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe with 180 degree view of the Lake, and the 10,000 ft. mountains on the California side of the lake Spectacular colors. Get out your intense color palette to attempt to capture this. Thalo Blue and Thalo Green can be used here without fear.
Picnic tables, parking and toilets all available right next to Lake Tahoe. There is even a nice lake beach here so you could easily spend all day.
Morning time is the best for this site due to looking Westward.
To get there: Take Route 50 North from State Line/South Lake Tahoe - it's only a few minutes drive to Zephyr Cove.
Sand Harbor State Park - Lake Tahoe - Site Recommended by Erik Holland, Nevada Plein Air Artist
Stop at the Visitor's area just north of Sand Harbor State Park near Incline Village at Lake Tahoe.
Most people don't realize you can park at that parking lot ALONG THE ROAD all day...also there is a parking area another quarter of a mile and at this time of year, it is generally easy to find parking there. You get great downhill shots into the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe and in the summer and fall, you can even take a short swim after (or before) painting!!! I'll include shot of that above.
Virginia City, Nevada - Plein Air Painting
Virginia City - Old Gold Mining town that is still hosting gold mining activities to this day. If you enjoy painting old buildings and Old Western themed paintings, this is the spot for you.
Take Route 341 off Route 50 to get there. Up at an altitude of about 6500 ft. - it is much cooler as a result - the road can be icy in winter also. A couple of good spots can be found on the drive up Route 341 to Virginia City if you want to paint the mountains and desert from the road side - noisy of course and no bathrooms. But it's a possibility if you are flexible and quick.
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