Elko is an undiscovered American treasure, a destination filled with years of history, gaming, entertainment, and the true spirit of the West. If you are seeking distinction, natural surroundings, fresh air and escape, Elko is the shining star of the West.
Elko County is the place that everyone wants to live. This small community has a little bit of something for everyone. Elko is the 3rd largest school district in the state but still small enough to focus on our students. Our town has a very well-insured population with a lower poverty rate than most rural communities. With a median income of $71,799, less than 10% of our residents are living below the poverty line, meaning that 90% of our population is thriving and doing well in Elko.
Nearly any weekend of the year visitors will find something special going on in Elko. There are festivals with long traditions and newer ones that attracting more tourism. The Ruby Mountain Balloon Festival features hot air balloons and is a crowd favorite each autumn. Other events focus on the heritage and culture of Native Americans or Hispanics, as well as good old-fashioned Western-style entertainment. Many events are tied with fund-raisers for local nonprofit organizations.
Numerous art galleries offer a place for visitors to see how the various cultures have interpreted life in the high desert, from Native American to modern artists covering a variety of backgrounds. Located in the historic Pioneer Hotel, the Western Folklife Center is dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the traditional cultures of the American West. Folklife Center activities include concerts, exhibits, workshops, educational programs, and the world renowned National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which is held at the end of January. Exhibits in the museum’s rotating art galleries feature local, regional and national art shows. The museum has several valuable permanent art collections which include photos by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.
Northeastern Nevada is the largest gold-mining region in the country, making Nevada the fourth largest producer in the world behind Australia, South Africa, and China. Gold mines are located throughout the region. However, most are on the prolific Carlin Trend and Cortez/Battle Mountain Trend, just a short drive west of Elko. Mining is Nevada’s second-largest driver of the economy, next to gaming, and employs thousands of residents who are among the highest paid workforce in the Silver State, as well as the nation.
Whether you're an outdoor or indoor person, Elko offers something for everyone. Summer recreation includes horseback riding, golfing, fishing, mountain biking, motor-cross racing, basketball, football, baseball, Little League, rock climbing, water skiing, boating, wildlife watching, and photography, picnicking, backpacking, camping, and hunting. Winter recreation and fun is just 6 miles north of town at the "Sno-Bowl" ski area. Local residents enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing, sledding, tubing, building snowmen and of course, snow-ball-fights. Ruby Mountains Heli-Experience also offers the ultimate in alpine skiing. Skiers are flown by helicopter to the top of the Ruby Mountains to ski one of the many peaks towering above 9,000 feet. The Ruby 360 Lodge recently opened and is located at 7,000 feet of elevation, 10 minutes from the town of Lamoille. It offers incredible 360-degree panoramic views of the Great Basin and the Ruby Mountains. The lodge is 10,000 square feet and offers an immaculate kitchen, full-service bar open nightly, a large ski room, and 10 large comfortable bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.
Elko is the largest city between Salt Lake City and Reno, located along Interstate 80. Nevada State Route 225 connects Elko to Owyhee and southern Idaho, while Nevada State Route 227 extends southeast to Spring Creek and Lamoille. SkyWest Airlines, operating as Delta Connection, serves Elko Regional Airport with regional jet service nonstop to the Delta Air Lines hub in Salt Lake City.