Nelson, Nevada

We were ready for a diversion, so we headed out of town to a place on our ‘want to go’ list. We had been told that we could go to Nelson, Nevada at the end of the road, with a great view overlooking the Colorado River and see big horn sheep coming down for water.

We didn’t see any big horn sheep, but we saw lots of iconic old cars and old buildings, relics of a time gone by.

Instead we found this cute little, eclectic ghost town between Searchlight and Boulder City, NV. Back in its heyday, in the late 1800’s Nelson and the El Dorado Mining Camp was the largest city in NV (prior to Las Vegas casino’s). Gold mining was active in the mines here from 1858 through 1945.

We were thrilled to be able to take a mine tour and actually go inside the mine.

The El Dorado Mine has been featured in several notable movies, probably most popular Kurt Russell & Kevin Costner’s 2001 movie, ‘3000 Miles to Graceland’.

These days it’s main attraction is tourists who come by the hoards to wander through the scattered relics, and tour the mine for $15 per head.

We enjoyed our visit and the opportunity for a change in scenario that beckoned a different time.

Loneliest Road

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It’s been called The Loneliest Road, which ironically gave it fame and tourism otherwise unsolicited or deserved.  Route 50 cuts across Nevada from East to West, with nary a stop along the way.  It’s sole purpose to get from one end to the other… CA being on the West end, Utah being on the East.

Our destination was to cut across Northern CA to Great Basin National Park, on the Eastern edge of Nevada.  This time of year we were the only ones at Great Basin National Park, as the Park itself and all the roads, overlooks, and scenic drives were closed (unlike what their own website indicated).  One year round campground was open, so at least we had that.

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With snow on the ground, the temperatures were quite nippy.  It did provide for our first glimpse of a white turkey, though… so that was pretty cool.

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Lehman Caves was open, and provided a wonderful excursion and scenic site.   You can check out my photos of the Caves here….Lehman Caves

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We will have to imagine the park and it’s views since it wasn’t open when we were there.  But I can tell you that the babbling brook and creek running as the snow melted was very calming and serene.  The views of the snow packed peaked above us, surrounded by aspen and birch were stunning to behold.

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I can’t say it’s worth the drive, having seen so little of it… but it was a nice place to rest our head for the night.