Road Trip Nevada | Explore the Free-Range Art Highway

Ghosts of Goldwell on Nevada's Free Range Art highway
Haunting: The Ghosts of Goldwell is a must-see in your travels along the Free Range Highway. Credit: TravelNevada

Desert art and sleepy ghost towns of the most unimaginable kind add a whole sense of drama and beauty along the Free Range Highway in Nevada. If the arts is your thing, strap on your seatbelt in your Las Vegas motorhome rental and prepare to let your imagination run wild.

Whispers in the wind

If you have an eye for quirky styles and wildly colourful artistic displays, the Free-Range Highway will turn your road trip journey into the adventure of a lifetime as you discover the arts on the Nevada Highway.

The best way to experience this 490 mile journey from Vegas to Reno is self-driving either with a hired car or why not take the bed and kitchen sink with you and collect a RV rental in Vegas giving the flexibility to stop when and where you like. To get the artsy vibe juices flowing, start of with the Las Vegas Arts District on the way out.

On the road you’ll soon see plenty of sleepy ghost towns and some of the wildest works of art you have ever seen against the vast and dry Nevada desert, all from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Before heading North, go South

7 Magic Mountains south of Vegas
Magic in the air: Stop off at Seven Magic Mountains. Credit: Kaitlin Godbey/TravelNevada

In the desert outside Vegas there is plenty of magic in the air in the form of seven 11-story-tall rock pillars that are fluorescently painted and look stunning against the Nevada mountain backdrop. Known as the Seven Magic Mountains, this amazing artwork is located on Interstate 15 around a 40 minute drive south of Vegas and worthy of a detour before striking north.

Ghostly encounters in the desert

Near the ghost town of Rhyloite, at the northern end of the Amargosa Valley and just minutes from town of Beatty is the Goldwell Open Air Museum, an outdoor sculpture park, which features an eerie rendition of ‘The Last Supper’ in copper by Belgian sculptor Albert Szukalski.

Goldwell Open Air Museum on the Free Range Art Highway in Nevada
Desert art: The Goldwell Open Air Museum is an unmissable Free Range Highway stop off point. Credit: Lora Rose Robb/TravelNevada

Other works of art you can also view at the museum is a 24-foot miner and his penguin companion, a towering cinderblock lady and so much more.

The eye-catching Red Barn is the site of an arts festival called Albert’s Tarantella, which is held in October every year.

Checkout Travel Nevada's 22 reasons to pull up along the Free Range Art highway.

Art Cars of Rocket Bob

Car Art by Robert Van Kauren
Car art: A car forest features the works of Robert Van Kauren. Credit: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

As you get closer and closer to Tonopah, you will cruise through the town of Goldfield which has some of the most unusual artistic gems you’ll get to see on the Free-Range Art Highway.

At the Goldfield Art Car Park is the Art Cars of Rocket Bob, which was designed by artist Robert Van Kauren, and you’ll soon see what makes this display so special and unique. Hours and hours of work, engineering and design has gone into making this work of art what it is today.

Theatres, murals, sculptures and much more

Reno's Playa Art Park
Taking it to the streets: Reno offers murals and dozens of “post-Playa” sculptures. Credit: Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

The Yerington Theater for The Arts and the Jeanne Dini Cultural Centre are two other pits stops you should make on your road trip.

Located in the city of Yerington, the Yerington Theater for The Arts located inside the Jeanne Dini Cultural Centre is regarded as one of Nevada’s finest art organisations. Don’t worry about making a booking, just pop in as the theatre always has plenty of events and galleries open so that road trippers and families can enjoy the arts.

As you reach the end of your road trip at either Tonopah or Reno, there are still plenty of works of art for you to enjoy because we’ve saved the best until last.

On the streets of Reno there are plenty of commissioned murals and dozens of ‘post-Playa’ sculptures to celebrations that get the own town involved, like Sculpture Fest, Off Beat Music Fest and Artown. In Tonopah, don’t forget to keep your eye out for several murals, including the ‘Queen of the Silver Camps’.

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