Elko Itinerary: Western History Tour in Nevada
The Itinerary at a Glance
Experience the versatility of Eastern Nevada. You will see historic churches, amazing museums and natural wonders centuries in the making, and enjoy a ride on an authentic coal fire steam engine.
4 Unique Experience on This Trip
- Northeastern Nevada Museum
- Western Folklife Center
- Lamoille Canyon
- Nevada Northern Railway Museum
Duration: 5 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Day 1 – Arrive in Salt Lake City
Visit Temple Square. Take a guided tour of all the magnificent historic sites, interactive exhibits, art displays, 70-mm films, parks and gardens. Also view the largest genealogy library of its kind in the world and the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. Lunch in Wendover. Visit Bonneville Raceway. Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats.
Arrive in Elko. Take a few minutes to unwind and freshen up. Then enjoy an authentic family-style Basque dinner at one of Elko’s famous Basque restaurants, complete with Pecan Punch. Spend the evening testing your luck in one of the casinos or take a leisurely stroll by some of the local shops.
Start your day at the Northeastern Nevada Museum. The Wanamaker Wildlife Wing contains Nevada’s largest collection of wild animals from around the world. The exhibit includes Nevada Mountain, which is covered with animals all native to Nevada and the Great Basin. There are also animals from Africa, the Arctic, Australia , Asia and all over North America. You won’t want to miss the Western Folklife Center. What once was the Pioneer Building, and is now the headquarters for the center, started as a tent called the Pioneer Saloon in 1868 and was likely the first bar in Elko. Completed in 1912-1913, the current building was the largest retail and office building in Elko at that time. After lunch wind your way up Lamoille Canyon for breathtaking views. With just a short walk you can find tranquility in the movement of the stream or gentle breezes through the trees. Venture down into the beautiful town of Lamoille where you will find the Little Church of the Crossroads. As the steeple comes into view you can’t help but feel like you should be traveling in a covered wagon. The church, completed in 1905, remains a wonderful tribute to our Western heritage. Enjoy dinner with a view as you glance out the window to the sight of deer grazing in the fields, the hustle and bustle of city life just a distant memory.
Stop in Eureka for lunch and then tour the 1881 Eureka Opera House with its historic elegance. Within walking distance is the Eureka Sentinel Museum, which is housed in the 1879 Eureka Sentinel Newspaper Building, a structure used as the newspaper office and a residence from 1879 until 1960. You will find a complete press room from the 1800s with posters that were printed by the Eureka Sentinel and then plastered on the press room walls. Arrive in Ely.
Follow a detailed map of Ely’s magical outdoor art. You will find masterful works of art from artists around the world who have depicted the history and variety of cultures that shaped this historic mining town in an outdoor setting for all to see. Don’t miss stopping at the McGill Drugstore Museum where you will find brand names whose luster faded decades ago. Tubes of lpana toothpaste sit across the aisle from jars of Dippity-Do. The store also houses a complete record of every invoice and prescription filled dating as far back as 1915. No visit would be complete without experiencing Renaissance Village. These homes built in 1908 have been restored to portray different ethnic backgrounds to show the diversity of cultures that settled in the area. The French, English, Spanish, Slovakian, Asian, Greek and Italian heritages are all represented.
Continue your trip through a bygone era as you visit the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. Unlike any rail museum in the country, the Nevada Northern offers visitors a tour through a working rail yard. You will tour the shops and the engine house where over 60 pieces of rolling stock are stored including two working steam engines, both over 100 years old. After the tour complete your adventure with a ride down the track in one of our century-old passenger cars pulled by the “Queen of Steam.”
Great Basin National Park is the ultimate in contrast to the typical image of Nevada with its snow-capped Wheeler Peak towering over 13,000 feet. You can drive to just over 10,000 feet elevation and see gorgeous views of a variety of wildlife and peaceful scenery.