What Do Trains, Lakes, Charcoal Ovens, Nerf Gun Battles and Giants Have in Common?

What Do Trains, Lakes, Charcoal Ovens, Nerf Gun Battles and Giants Have in Common?

Do you want to know What Trains, Lakes, Charcoal Ovens, Nerf Gun Battles and Giants Have in Common?


We hadn’t planned to spend as much time in Nevada as we have on this trip, but it is such a varied and diverse state with so much to see and explore!

As we headed north to Idaho, we made our way to some unexpected places to learn, explore, and appreciate.  If you get a chance to visit any of these, they are worth the drive.


One of the things we got excited about was the Nevada Northern Railway Museum.

Nevada Northern Railway Museum

If you’re a train enthusiast, you’ll love the access to the trains, information, and opportunities to explore this museum provides.  Check out the info here to plan your trip:  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g45938-d143304-Reviews-Nevada_Northern_Railway_Museum-Ely_Nevada.html


There’s a cute gift shop, movie you can watch to learn the history of the area, and some train pieces to build with.

Train Building Fun

Outside, you are free to roam the train yard, tour the exhibits, and can even watch real trains in action.

Train Yard Tour

One of our favorite memories here was exploring the machine shop, seeing the historic displays, and watching the restoration in progress.

There were people working there who were happy to answer our questions and it really felt like we stepped into a living history book, with all the steam, bells and whistles included.

Walking Train Tour

The size of the trains, tools, and machinery was amazing and something you can’t really grasp unless you see it in person.


If you enjoy trains, learning, and exploring, this is worth the stop!


Now, if you are up for a four wheeling adventure, there’s a hidden gem called Garnet Hill that you can locate on your GPS and go out for some real life “treasure hunting.”

Garnet Hill


Seeking treasure

The view is beautiful and you can take shovels, gloves, and dig into the rocks to find garnets, or you might just get lucky like we did and find some in the washes, driving and walking along.

Black Garnet

Either way, it’s pretty cool to have a sparkly keepsake from the trip and feel the rush that must have struck gold miners and treasure seekers out west.

But, if you find garnets, when you get back to camp…your children might want to play “old west” and have NERF GUN BATTLES.


Nerf Gun Battle

And after they’ve enjoyed battling with nerf guns, they will probably be hot and hungry and ask you to take them to the lake for a picnic.


Comins Lake, NV

But after they see the first lake they will decide the water is too cold so they want to go check out the nearby things that look like bee hives.

After you get closer they will learn they are Charcoal Ovens and enjoy exploring and reading about them.




After reading about them, they will decide they are finally ready for their lunch.

So you’ll drive them to a beautiful lake with water so clear they will want to dip their toes in.



Cave Lake State Park

Then they will be tired so they will want to rest in the truck as you take a scenic tour back to camp.


Success Loop Drive

Success Loop Drive

And, before you leave camp, they will be reminded of the Giants who live in Great Basin National Park so they will just have to see them for themselves.


Great Basin National Park

After a hike to the top of the mountain to see the Giant Bristlecone Pines, they will be ready for another state to explore.


So, you will hike back down together and plan your next adventure.

Come grow with us!


The Gunzel Family

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