Nevada National Security Site: 65 miles from Las Vegas
Starting in 1951, an estimated 900 nuclear weapons tests were conducted at the Nevada Test Site, blasting giant holes in the landscape and sending mushroom clouds into the sky (said to be visible 65 miles away in Las Vegas). Today, the remote Rhode Island–sized swath of desert and mountains operates as the Nevada National Security Site, and while the U.S. no longer tests nuclear weapons there (or anywhere), visitors can tour the relics of the infamous outdoor laboratory. The Security Site conducts day-long public tours, busing visitors in from the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas to observe spots like Frenchman Flat, the location of the very first atmospheric nuclear test, and the sedan crater, where a nuclear explosion blew out 12 million tons of earth, leaving a crater 1,280-feet in diameter.
Plan Your Visit: Register online at nv.energy.gov for a tour, which can book out as much as a year in advance.
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