The Most Beautiful College Campus in Nevada Will Leave You Speechless

Written by Justin Zipprich
Updated: November 6, 2023
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Key Points

  • The University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe is considered the most beautiful college campus in Nevada, located in the mountains above Lake Tahoe.
  • The campus features stunning buildings, including the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, which resembles a ski lodge.
  • The University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe is a small private liberal arts college with selective admissions and offers undergraduate programs.
  • The campus is surrounded by picturesque natural beauty, with greenery in warmer months and a winter wonderland in colder months.
  • The campus is home to a variety of wildlife and boasts beautiful flora and plant life.

Because the state of Nevada is synonymous with arid, desert landscape, many people assume there is not much beauty to discover there, but that is far from the truth. There’s much to explore in The Silver State, including colleges. Today, we talk about the most beautiful college campus in Nevada. We discover its location, history, what makes it so amazing, and the animals and plant life you might see during your visit.

What is the Most Beautiful College Campus in Nevada?

Infographic about Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is famous for its abundant wild animals, including bears.

As mentioned, there’s a lot of great sights to see in Nevada, especially close to the mountains. We’ve scoured the state and found that the most beautiful college campus in Nevada is the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.

This University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe campus is considered amazingly beautiful because it’s not in the desert at all. The college is located in the incredible mountains above Lake Tahoe. The glistening lake and crisp air welcome visitors as they near the college. 

The University of Nevada, Reno is a small institution, but it has a couple of gorgeous buildings, and the most stunning of them is the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences. It’s less like a traditional school building and more of a log cabin that features near-perfect woodwork and impressive masonry. In fact, it looks more like a ski lodge than anything else. This description is fitting, considering students can major in ski resort management. This is not only the most beautiful college campus in Nevada, but it might also be the most unique campus in the country.

Everything You Need to Know About the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe

In addition to being the most beautiful college campus in Nevada, the University of Nevada is also a great school. It’s a small private liberal arts college that’s technically located in an area called Incline Village, Nevada. Admissions are very selective, as enrollment typically stands at about 274 students. Still, with a 46% acceptance rate, applicants have a decent chance of getting in. The college offers undergraduate programs. At the time of this writing, there are 14 different bachelor’s degree programs. Classes are well taught, and there are typically about nine students for every teacher. All in all, there’s an average graduation rate of 44%.

This gorgeous area actually used to be a different college – Sierra Nevada University. That school ceased operations in 2022 and became a part of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe system. The staff of the University of Nevada promises to help the students who attended Sierra Nevada University complete their degree programs.

What Makes The Campus So Beautiful

Lake Tahoe

This snowy wonderland is typical of the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe.

©Joseph Sohm/

The campus is so picturesque because it’s located one mile from the shore of famous Lake Tahoe, but it’s up 6,700 feet above sea level. The buildings of the campus are located in the mountains. During the warmer months, the buildings are surrounded by amazing greenery, and during the colder months, it’s like a winter wonderland.

Buildings of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe

The classrooms and administrative buildings are a combination of rustic, stoic, and professional.

Campbell-Friedman Hall

This is the residence hall, which has 26 rooms for students. The building is picturesque, combining wood and brick.

David Hall

This wooden structure, which was built in 1981, is a huge 11,000-square-foot gym and class building.

Holman Arts & Media Center

Constructed in 1997, this recently renovated building is 10,000 square feet, and it’s home to the fine arts students.

Patterson Hall

This is where the students go to eat, and it’s another wood and glass masterpiece. You know you’re at a beautiful school when even the dining hall is gorgeous!

Prim Library

This rustic structure looks like a ski lodge. It’s 32,000 square feet, has three floors and two mezzanine, and various classrooms within.

Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences

This center for environmental sciences is a hands-on interactive learning center, with a wood and brick exterior that makes you want to go inside and learn.

The Animals of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe

Mountain lion with forest background

Imagine walking to class and spotting a mountain




Since this branch of the university is located near Lake Tahoe and is amongst the mountains, there are a ton of wild animals that call the campus home. Here’s a list of some of the amazing wildlife that you’ll see at the most beautiful college campus in Nevada.

  • Beaver – You’ll likely see the beaver (American or mountain) rummaging around and making dams in the area.
  • American Marten – Look up in the trees, and you may see this slender domestic cat hunting squirrels and birds.
  • Black Bear – Don’t go too far into the forest, or you may come across a black bear. There are over 25,000 black bears between Nevada and California.
  • Coyote – You may see a coyote because they often live close to humans, but don’t be too afraid because they typically only eat small rodents.
  • Squirrels – You may see the Douglas squirrel or the golden-mantled ground squirrel playing around in the trees during your walk through campus.
  • Mountain Lion – There’s always a chance you’ll run into a mountain lion if you go off the beaten path. Be cautious, as adults can grow to 7-8 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds.
  • Mule Deer – There are plenty of deer running around Lake Tahoe so be cautious of them when driving around campus.
  • Other Rodents – During your walk through the forest, you may also run across several other small critters, including porcupines, raccoons, and yellow-bellied marmots. They won’t bother you, and they’re very cute.

The Flora of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe

The campus is beautiful, and so is the flora and plant life around the school. Take a stroll through the nearby forest, and you may come across:

  • Wild Daffodil – Walk down a forest path, and you could come across the huge wild daffodils that bloom as soon as the weather gets warm. 
  • Common Yarrow – This flower can appear white or pinkish when it matures. In addition to being beautiful, the plant can also be used as a medicine.
  • Field Mustard – The field mustard will not be as common, but you get lucky and see its vivid yellow color out in the forest.
  • American Bistort – You’re more likely to see this flower since it is one of the more common species of the area. You’ll likely find it in moist and open environments. The underground stems of this flower were once used for cooking by the Native Americans.
  • Wooly Mule’s Ear – This is a unique flower that grows from 1-3 feet tall. The large leaves resemble the ears of a mule, so it’s a great find.


This has been your tour of the most beautiful college campus in Nevada – the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. Even if you’re not a student, consider visiting this campus to behold its beauty. It’s well worth the trip.

Summary Table

Key FeaturesDescription
LocationLocated in the mountains above Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, Nevada
Most Stunning BuildingTahoe Center for Environmental Sciences
EnrollmentApproximately 274 students
Acceptance Rate46%
Student-Teacher Ratio9:1
Graduation Rate44%
Unique FeatureLocated one mile from the shore of Lake Tahoe, up 6,700 feet above sea level
WildlifeHome to a variety of wild animals due to its location near Lake Tahoe and the mountains
FloraSurrounded by beautiful flora and plant life

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Fritzie Brady/

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About the Author

Justin Zipprich is a writer at A-Z Animals, where his primary focus is travel, state facts, pets, and mammals. Justin has been writing and editing animal content for over 7 years, though he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Western Illinois University, which he earned in 2005. As a resident of Texas, he loves discovering local animals and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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