Welcome to Elko County, Nevada ~ Cowboy Country
Update June 2009: I swear if I update this thing one more time it will be too big for anyone to possibly open - but how can I resist posting more photos of Elko - this time the trip was a family trip with me (Char), Mark, Amber and Buddy. We swung down into Winnemucca, then over to Elko and back home through Wildhorse. I had heard from a few of the locals that it had rained there every day for the past 30 days. One of the gals in the assessors office let me know that she had seen wildflowers blooming that she had never seen before! I read in the Elko newspaper that it was the second wettest June on record, the first being in 1913 and the records go back to 1888! A total of 10.71 inches of rain has fallen since October 1, 2008, well above the average water year of 9.59 inches - and there's still a few more months to go!
We were amazed at the fabulous green scapes that draped the hills and valleys. It was so incredibly beautiful!! I have 20 acres there that I have been saving for myself thinking someday I am going to watch it snow on the Rubies, and we stopped by the property about 10 miles northeast of Elko. There was quite a bit of water flowing through the North Fork of the Humboldt River - that was the first time I have been able to see water flowing through it from the road!
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a draft study of the proposed $3 billion Ruby Pipeline that would go through Elko County carrying natural gas from Wyoming through Utah and Nevada and into Oregon. We happened to own 40 acres of land that this proposed 50 foot easement goes through and we recently granted an easement to Ruby Pipeline for this. I thought this would improve the road to the property. The project will require about 3000 workers to complete including 100 or so in the Elko and Wells area and it is estimated the investment in Elko County would be $716 million. Wow again! As always I will keep my ears open for more information on this.
The big "E" on the Elko Hills with the Ruby Mountains looming behind them - you can see Ruby Dome still had plenty of snow on her!
These next pictures were taken about 10 miles NE of Elko near River Valley Ranches. The Ruby Mountains had snow in her peaks still and the valley and Adobe Range were so green!
Update May 2009: My first chance to see Elko County this spring was a beautiful welcome site! The reeds along the Humboldt River were a beautiful orangish/red and the valley was green. The Ruby Mountains were loaded with snow and Pilot Peak out by Montello still had quite a bit on her as well! I noticed a new building along the main drag in town and was told it is one of the mining companies moving headquarters into town! A local realtor was saying that although the prices of land had dropped the prices in Elko had remained strong with only a slight drop in value. And the mines and mineral exploration continue to do very well.
An article in the Wall Street Journal in April 2009 stated "Mining companies are keeping the construction industry humming and adding jobs in mountainous Elko, Nev. Gold fever has inoculated this historic cow town from the state's economic malaise, making it an island of relative prosperity in a state flooded with unemployed workers." It goes on to discuss the impact the price of gold is having on Elko at over $800 an ounce, tight rental-housing market and the thousand of job applications the mines are receiving compared to a year ago when they were having to hold job fairs to attract workers.
Elko County is located in northeastern Nevada, 295 miles east of Reno and 237 miles west of Salt Lake City. Click Here for Elko's road map. With 17,135 square miles it is one of the largest counties in the USA. A book listing American towns with the highest quality of life declared Elko, Nevada, "The Best Small Town in America." It is a small city, and a booming trading and service center for a mining and ranching area roughly the size of New England. In 2005 Relocate-America.com has named Elko City as 1 of the "Top 100 Places To Live" in the United States.
The population of Elko County is 45,275, the town of Elko is 16,708 and the town of Spring Creek is 10,548. Lately, Elko has evolved into a showcase for Western American Folk Art. Long famous for the National Basque Festival, held each Independence Day, a new era in Elko's cultural history began in 1985, when the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering was held. Estimates are 8000 - 10000 people attended the festival this January!
The weather in Elko County is considered ideal by many. Summer finds hot, dry afternoons with temperatures in the 90s, cooling to the low 40s and 50s by morning. Winters are moderate with lows typically in the 20s or 30s. Daytime highs during the winter months are in the 40s or 50s. Snowfall averages 42 inches per year and generally melts quickly. Yearly rainfall ranges from 9 to 10.5 inches. Sunny skies are usually seen over 300 days a year! The land is mountainous and interspersed with low, flat valleys. The Humboldt River flows through the county, with the Ruby Mountains stretching across it in a north-south direction. The elevation in the valleys is about 5000 and reaches up to 11,300 feet at Ruby Dome. The elevation of Pilot Peak on the east side of Elko County reaches up to 10,716 feet. Elko County provides unlimited recreational opportunities with fishing, big game hunting (mule deer, elk, antelope and bighorn sheep), snowmobiling, ice fishing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, boating and skiing.
Update October 2008 - Of course any opportunity I have to stop through Elko makes me smile big and this years venture to their annual tax sale still has me smiling! I had the pleasure of having breakfast once again with Caesar Salicchi and Rebecca Erickson, the retired treasurer and current treasurer. We had a great time at breakfast and afterwards headed up to the courthouse where Caesar was surprised with an unveiling of a plaque honoring his many years of service from 1971 to 2006. Wow that is a long time! I have such great respect for him and had big tears as people told of how much he had taught and mentored them. It was an honor to be part of the event and on top of it all it was Caesar's 81st birthday! Afterwards we headed out to the east side of the county for a fabulous afternoon exploring land! It was a beautiful time of year with lots of fall colors. There was some new snow on Pilot Peak and once again we came across a beautiful herd of antelope out grazing near Montello. I have said before that this is a good place with good people and I just love it there! I'm still smiling! : ) Char the Explorer : )
The unveiling of the plaque!
The surprise for Caesar as he came into the courthouse and me (Char), Caesar and Becky with the plaque that now hangs just outside the Treasurer's office.
The herd of antelope we startled out in Montello - a few had some big antlers on them!
New snow on Pilot Peak!
Beautiful fall colors near Wildhorse!
Update: Late summer 2008 - we stopped by Elko County to look at a few parcels of land and it was a beautiful surprise to see the wild horses roaming in Pilot Valley! Only one other time have I seen them - what a treat!
Josh got his picture taken in front of Pilot Peak and the little town of Montello was busy! As always we saw a few antelope grazing!
Wendover is a beautiful bright gambling town at night! Located on the Utah State border this place is always a fun place to stay the night. I personally enjoy the Rainbow - they are dirt cheap during the week usually!
Here is an interesting link for you to check out from a previous customer of ours, Montello Alpaca Company, who is building a home and an alpaca ranch in Montello. There is lots of good information about alternative building methods and a great story of their journey in this beautiful valley! MontelloAlpacaCompany.com Blogspot
Update: Fall 2007
2007 said good bye to Caesar Salicchi who had been the Elko County Treasurer for 36 years and one of my mentors when I started investing in land. His former Administrative Deputy Rebecca Erickson won the election as the new Treasurer. I was thrilled to have breakfast with the both of them! Good people in a good place!
Wendover Bill who welcomes you to the gambling town of Wendover that sits on the border of Utah and one of the locals just to the north of Wendover near Montello.
Wildhorse still had people out using their RV's in early November 2007 and beautiful fall colors!
The bright lights of one of the downtown Casinos and new homes being built on the northwest side of town!
Rhyolite Butte and Pilot Peak in early September 2007.
The rural town of Montello.
Some of the locals - proof once again that we see them every time we visit Montello!
In early November 2007 we journeyed thru the Humboldt National Forest and saw the burn from the major fire they had there this past summer. As sad as it was to see entire canyons wiped out it was also amazing to see how quickly mother nature sends new life up! You can see in the first few pictures what it usually looks like and the last few pictures you can see the new vegetation growing up through the burn!
A beautiful long horned momma cow out grazing and Snow Water Lake in Clover Valley at the base of the Ruby Mountains. I have been by Snow Water Lake several times when it was dry but it was full this time! May 2005
One of the locals in Independence Valley near the Pequop Mountains! May 2005
Beautiful spring flowers blooming and the Pequop Moutains east of Independence Valley. May 2005
These next four pictures are taken of Rye Patch Reservoir. The Humboldt River finds its early beginnings in Elko County and it flows across the state to this reservoir. They received quite a bit of snow this winter and it has been a wet spring making for early springtime fun for the locals! May 2005
What a beautiful sight this was! While out exploring land north of Deeth we came across the largest herd of antelope I have ever seen. As we got closer they took off over the mountain giving us a great show!
A family of antelope that we came across a few miles out of the town of Elko - the baby is too cute! And the Elko County Courthouse.
A view of The Elko Hills with the big "E" looming above the town of Elko with the Ruby Mountains in the distance and a view of the golf course in Elko. The golf course sits below Kittridge Canyon where you will find the western side of Meadow Valley Unit #5 - a beautiful subdivision!
The beautiful pictures above were taken on our trip to Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains! Often called the Alps of Nevada this Scenic By Way is a 12 mile tour into the glacier carved canyon. There are more than 100 miles of hiking trails to explore there!
The pictures above were taken just south of Wells in Clover Valley. Clover Valley is a beautiful valley tucked at the bottom of the Ruby Mountains on the east side of the range. You will see these beautiful sights as you venture to Ruby Lake.
The Ruby Mountains from the southeast in late spring and two cowboys working a farm in Ruby Valley which is on the southeast side of the Ruby Mountains.
The famous Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. With over 12,000 acres this area is a special habitat to over 207 species of birds providing feeding, nesting and a resting stop in the Pacific Flyway. The second picture above was taken at the fish hatchery that is part of the refuge. I asked these two men from California, who had just came from fishing down at Ruby Lake, if this was their favorite fishing place in this county and they let me know that this was the best fishing place in the state!
A roaming horse and antelope that we saw as we traveled over the Ruby Mountains along a route that was once part of the Pony Express Route and is now a scenic byway.
A beautiful farm with hay bales and the South Fork Humboldt River with beautiful views of the Ruby Mountains taken southwest of the Ruby Mountains near the South Fork Reservoir in late spring.
A view of the town of Elko showing the Elko Hills, Ruby Mountains and the lush green color that Elko turns every spring! Elko has a beautiful chamber of commerce located in the Sherman Station. Built in 1908 and moved to it's present site in 1998 it was previously a ranch house and stagecoach stop.
A beautiful view of the world class fishing Wildhorse Reservoir with the Independence Mountains and a cattle drive up near Wildhorse! Wildhorse Reservoir is a 2,800 acre premium trout reservoir 60 miles north of the town of Elko. Hunters know the area for its elk, deer, mountain lion and bird hunting but it's the fishermen that tell tall stories about the area! Ice fishing junkies consider this the creme-de-la-creme!
These two pictures were taken in the Humboldt National Forest near Jarbridge. What an incredibly scenic drive! I have no idea what bird this is but it was stunning as it kept its wings spanned to let us know not to mess with them. The Jarbridge Wilderness area is a favorite for locals and I had heard about it many times before visiting. A must see on your visit to the area!
A beautiful look at Pilot Peak from a home north of the town of Montello and a few locals in Pilot Valley out enjoying their afternoon. I don't recall ever taking a trip to this valley without seeing them!
Wild horses roaming Pilot Valley near Pilot Peak and more locals checking us out on our way to Jarbridge! The horses were absolutely beautiful standing there in the breeze in the distance - watching us carefully. My first look at the wild horses Nevada is known for!
The town of Wells with the beautiful Ruby Mountains in the background and the Flying J truck stop that is always hopping! Wells is about 51 miles east of Elko along I80 and has a population of about 1350.
The new mini mart/gas station at the Ryndon exit along Interstate 80 south of Devils Gate and Walmart and McDonalds located on the booming west end of the town of Elko. September 2005
The new Home Depot was having it's grand opening when we visited in September 2005 and The Great Basin Bank of Nevada that was being built.
If you look carefully you can almost see the antelope that blended in so well to the fall colors north of Deeth. We zoomed in to get a better shot in the second photo. September 2005
A few of the locals out enjoying a beautiful afternoon in Montello in September 2005. This valley is always filled with an abundance of animals!
The beautiful fall colors on the Ruby Mountains in September 2005!