For those traveling east or west on Interstate 80, Elko is the biggest city between Salt Lake City and Reno. Yet, travelers will not appreciate all the area has to offer if they don’t take time to get off the highway.
When you discover the California Trails Interpretive Center, our western heritage becomes evident in the wagon ruts that can still be seen on isolated roads once used by pioneers on their way to California. Learn the stories of the pioneers who endured the 2000 mile trek to California; some seeking land, some gold and some for reasons we may never know. Experience life size dioramas, original murals, exhibits on the native peoples and the settler’s journey. Hike accessible trails, walk through a wagon encampment and see a Shoshone village. Hear the words of the pioneers and learn of the successes of the Bidwell – Bartleson party and the events that lead to the Donner Party disaster.
Visit the Northeastern Nevada Museum where the flagship collection is legendary western artist Will James. The museum owns the second largest collection of James art and books in the world. The museum’s history gallery and collection includes cultural, economic and early settler artifacts and the extensive historical archives include photos, newspapers, records, maps and manuscripts dating back to 1872.
Located in the historic Pioneer Hotel, the Western Folklife Center is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the traditional cultures of the American West. Activities include concerts, exhibits, workshops, educational programs, a gift shop and is home to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
The Sherman Station Ranch House and five outbuildings are located in the heart of Elko, next to the museum. This historic timber pine ranch house and outbuildings were relocated to Elko from Huntington Valley in 1997 and are now used as the headquarters of the Elko Area Chamber of Commerce. Guided group tours and self-guided walking tours allow visitors to view the stable, blacksmith’s shop, creamery and a one room schoolhouse all reminding visitors what the ranch looked like over 100 years ago.
The most recent addition to the Elko historic preservation efforts is the Cowboy Gear and Arts Museum, located in the original G.S. Garcia store. Enjoy western artifacts and collections on display representing the historic ranch and rodeo lifestyles.
Tour historic mining towns, take a tour of a modern gold mine and experience some of the finest cultural dining you will ever experience at one of our famous Basque restaurants. For additional itineraries, area or event information, visit www.ExploreElko.com.