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Elko Must-Sees

Things to Do in Elko, Nevada

One of the great attractions in Elko, Nevada is the Ramada Elko Hotel and Casino, but if you want to get out and explore the area’s finest, here are a few stops you should add to your itinerary when looking for what to do in Elko, NV.

Elko County Courthouse

The 1910 replacement of Elko’s original courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places. The original was completed in 1869 and builder W.P. Monroe and the commissioners disagreed on the final bill. Monroe then copied the keys and distributed them to people around town, forcing the commissioners to replace the locks and keys for an additional $600, thus settling what was owed. By 1910, the Elko County commissioners decided a new and more elaborate building would replace the original and created the structure that exists today.

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

This 6.3 million acre national forest is located in Nevada and a slight portion of California. The forest has 14 picnic areas, 46 trailheads, and 3,591 miles of trails, 483 motorized trails, two visitor centers, and much more.

The name of the national forest is comprised of the name of the East Humboldt Mountain Range and the Humboldt River which were named by the explorer John C. Fremont after the German naturalist Baron Alexamder von Humboldt.

The nearest forest access point to Elko is 2.5 hours southwest of town making this a great stop if you’re driving past it on your way to California or other parts of Nevada.

Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Known as one of the most remote refuges in the contiguous 48 states, this area encompasses close to 40,000 acres of marsh, meadows, grasslands, and brush. At the refuge, visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing, boating, fishing and hunting, and touring historical sights.

Ruby Valley has many historical trails and routes and you can find markers that signify the Hastings Cutoff Trail - an important stop along the Pony Express. The actual Pony Express Station can be seen relocated to the Northeastern Nevada Museum here in town.

South Fork State Recreation Area

About 16 miles southwest of Elko is a beautiful recreation area with a 1,650-acre reservoir. The South Fork Reservoir is surrounded by more than 2,000 acres of meadow and hills and many visitors come for wildlife viewing and fishing and hunting.

Facilities and amenities at the park include restrooms, a visitor center, trails, boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking.

In 1988, the dam was completed which acts an earth filled embankment with a depth of 30 – 35 feet. These near-constant water levels provide a perfect home for rainbow and brown trout, cutt-bow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and channel catfish.

Usage permits may be purchased upon entry to the park and fee schedules are posted at the entrance.

Sherman Station Visitor’s Center

Much like our historic spots around Elko, the Sherman Station Visitor’s Center was built and used in the 1800s. Originally a family home that was relocated to Elko in 1997 it’s now used as the Elko Area Chamber of Commerce.

At the center, you can take either a guided or self-guided tour of the buildings to see antiques, the stable, the blacksmith’s shop, the creamery, and a one room schoolhouse.

Carlin Trend Mine

Learn about the Gold Rush and visit a real gold mine with a free tour of the Carlin Trend Mine. These tours are scheduled April – October on the second Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon.