The region now occupied by the State of Nevada was held by the Goshute, Mojave, Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe Indians and claimed by the Spanish Empire until the early 1800s
Spanish explorations into this region have never been documented clearly enough to establish any European party constituting the earliest expedition into Nevada
Before the discovery of gold in the West, the vast region between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, including what is now Nevada, was designated on many maps as "Great American Desert." The "Great Basin," an area of interior drainage by definition, named by John C. Fromont following his expeditions of the 1840s, does not cover all of the present area of the State of Nevada, since tributaries of the Snake River in the north and those of the Colorado in the south drain waters to the Pacific Ocean.
Geographic location (western state beside California)