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Travelers looking for “the real west” and wide-open spaces won’t be disappointed with Elko. Set in the middle of northern Nevada’s high desert, its neighbors are large cattle ranches and some of North America’s most productive gold mines. Settled by a combination of pioneers who arrived via the Humboldt River Trail and immigrants, the city has a lively cultural heritage with Basque the most pronounced. Around town visitors will find four Basque restaurants, three dance groups, a pelota court and an entire section at the Northeastern Nevada Museum section dedicated to Basque culture. The town has a genuine western flavor, too, with the oldest ...

Travelers looking for “the real west” and wide-open spaces won’t be disappointed with Elko. Set in the middle of northern Nevada’s high desert, its neighbors are large cattle ranches and some of North America’s most productive gold mines. Settled by a combination of pioneers who arrived via the Humboldt River Trail and immigrants, the city has a lively cultural heritage with Basque the most pronounced. Around town visitors will find four Basque restaurants, three dance groups, a pelota court and an entire section at the Northeastern Nevada Museum section dedicated to Basque culture. The town has a genuine western flavor, too, with the oldest rodeo in the state and working cowboys in their broad-brimmed hats almost everywhere you look. Twenty miles to the north, the mostly uninhabited Adobe Range of mountains is home to one of the largest wintering antelope herds in the state. Southeast,with peaks rising more than 10,000 feet, the Ruby Mountains — called the Alps of America — provide a dramatic backdrop. Closer at hand, a 12-mile scenic byway leads to the picturesque town of Lamoille, where the rich and famous take off for heli-skiing in the Rubies and diners at Pine Lodge enjoy gourmet meals in the midst of stuffed animal dioramas.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April through October