Itinerary at a Glance
Take a trip into America’s pioneer past and witness spellbinding mountain scenery in northeastern Nevada. Elko, with more than 2,700 lodging rooms throughout the city, is the perfect place to witness the Old West.
4 Unique Experience on This Trip
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- California Trail Center
- Trail of the 49ers Interpretive Center
- Western Folklife Center
- Northeastern Nevada Museum
Duration: 5 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Check in at your Elko accommodations and enjoy a manager’s welcome dinner tonight is on the property or at one of Elko’s group-friendly restaurants.
Wake up to breakfast and the beauty of this northeastern Nevada community, framed by the splendor of the Ruby Mountains. Our adventure begins at the California Trail Center. This $20-million facility depicts the life-and-death experiences of pioneers who made the grueling 2,000-mile journey to the West. Return to Elko for lunch on your own at any of the 50 area restaurants with cuisine to please any palate. Spend the afternoon shopping in the downtown historic district. Tonight enjoy a dinner experience at one of Elko’s many restaurant options. From Japanese and Mexican to Italian and American, there is an abundance of group-friendly restaurants.
This morning’s journey takes us west to Carlin and the Chinese Gardens Nature Study Area. Carlin’s history is all about the Gold Rush and railroad construction. Chinese immigrants played a major role in the latter. Nature trails with interpretive signs share the story. Next it’s on to Carlin Canyon Historical Wayside. This was a travel route for Native Americans, mountain men, pioneers and eventually the Central Pacific Railroad. Interpretive signs share the history of the 3,000-year-old geographical formations.
Our first stop this afternoon is a visit to Wells and the Trail of the 49ers Interpretive Center. An intriguing collection of artifacts reinforces the hardships early travelers experienced on the California Trail. Right outside Wells we’ll begin our 11-mile Angel Lake Scenic Drive. This spectacular tour presents a panoramic view of the Humboldt Mountains and Lake Angel. Enjoy a leisurely lunch on your own in Wells. Back in Elko we’ll finish a busy day with a tour of the Northeastern Nevada Museum and the new mining exhibit. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at one of Elko’s casino restaurants followed by an evening of gaming action.
This morning our travels take us to the quaint town of Lamoille and the breathtaking beauty of the Lamoille Scenic Byway. Filled with unusual rock formations, this spectacular drive takes us through the glacially carved Ruby Mountain Wilderness. Next stop is the historic Little Church of the Crossroads, which has hosted more than 600 weddings. A tasty lunch at O’Carrols is an absolute must when visiting Lamoille.
Returning to Elko, let’s get serious about getting our “cowboy on” with a tour of the Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery and 20-seat Black Box Theater. If time allows, cross the street to J.M. Capriola and watch a master saddle maker display his skills. Nearby, the new Cowboy Arts &Gear Museum, which displays some exquisitely decorated antique saddles and other vintage tack, also preserves the area’s ranching heritage.
Enjoy dinner at one of Elko’s famous Basque restaurants. Elko-area Basques take pride in the culture of their homeland, northern Spain/southwestern France. Bring your appetite because we’re going family-style and nobody leaves hungry.
Enjoy breakfast and set out your luggage. We’ll be saying good-bye to Elko with a promise to return.
Day 5 option: Northeastern Nevada is the nation’s largest gold producer. Newmont Mining Corporation provides mining operation tours April-October in Elko/2nd Thursday, Battle Mountain/3rd Thursday and Winnemucca/ 4th Thursday.