The state of Nevada became admitted to the Union in 1864 as a “union state.” Known as the “Silver State” due to the large amount of silver mines found in the state, Nevada is the 7th largest state in area. Approximately 86% of the states land is owned by the U.S. government with most of the population living in either Las Vegas or Reno. Consisting of mostly desert and mountain areas, Nevada experiences the extreme summer heat of other desert southwest states but also receives an extensive amount of snow in the mountain areas of the state. Nevada has 172 mountain summits at least 2,000 feet or higher. Home to nuclear testing, military bases, the glitz and glitter of casino gambling and even legalized brothels in 8 of its 16 counties, Nevada remains an interesting and unique place to visit like no other state in the union.