Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer Part 11

September – October 2019

Oily indigo smoke billowed from a circular opening in the top of a strange beehive shrine, marking the near completion of a process as foreign as the 1800s Nevada frontier had ever seen. Weeks prior, cords of juniper and pinyon were lain into the rocky tomb, set ablaze, and cooked in the oxygen-starved environment, as observant eyes kept watch of the smoke, and attentive hands operated a series of flues. At first, the smoke burned white, then yellow for a couple days, then dark blue, marking the completion of the process. An uninformed Nevada frontiersman who witnessed these makeshift mausoleums may have attributed the colossal bulbous structures to the occult, maybe even gone as far as to believe they were a portal to the underworld.

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

September – October 2019

In a remote corner of southern Nevada, groves of ash and mesquite trees shelter spring-fed pools of warm, crystal-clear water that are a boon for native wildlife, some of which are rare and found nowhere else on Earth. This unexpected fertile patch—Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge—is where the desert springs to life.

Embrace the Darkness

July – August 2019

As the sun sets and light slowly fades from the sky, stars begin to appear and the dark side of Nevada shows itself. Long known for remote and beautiful landscapes, Nevada is now being recognized for its exceptionally dark skies. In March, the International Dark Sky Association designated the Massacre Rim Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in northern Washoe County as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, only the fourth location in the country to achieve this status and the seventh in the entire world.

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 10

July – August 2019

It’s May 21 when I start my ghost town adventure, which means its springtime in Nevada. The birds should be chirping, flowers should be in full bloom, and the sun should be smiling down upon the Silver State. Hotel Nevada in Ely is my ghost town base camp for the trip, and as I open my eyes and peer outside…it’s absolutely dumping snow. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning…only the opposite. I asked Santa for a mountain of presents and a trove of dry roads and easily accessible ghost towns, and I’m greeted with a mountain of coal that I know means soupy mud roads and malicious mountain passes. But, considering I don’t have a choice, I set off into the great and mysterious unknown.

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 9

May – June 2019

Just around suppertime on July 11, 1912, housewives prepared meals, miners clocked in and out, and children played in the streets of the northwest Nevada mining camp of Mazuma. The town rested at the mouth of Seven Troughs Canyon, just below the mining camp of the same name, and on that day, everything seemed normal in this little slab of sagebrush, save for an unusually colossal gathering of somber thunderclouds that hovered just up the canyon.

Then, amid thunderous roars and cloudburst, a biblical tsunami rained down upon the canyon as if Heaven’s bathtub had swiftly cracked in two.

Springtime in Nevada is for the Birds

March – April 2019

Nevada’s vast and diverse landscape holds many secrets, not the least of which is its popularity with birds. Our feathered friends are not only populous in numbers, they are increasingly popular as evidenced by the rising use of “birding” and “birders,” two words that do not appear in the dictionary, but are proof of this ever-growing hobby.

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 8

March – April 2019

More than 100 years ago, southern Nevada pioneers and prospectors spent every day surviving on the razor-edge of death. Mucking, sweating, and blasting in sweltering summers and stinging winters. They moved earth as they dug their dwellings into the sides of mountains, sleeping in ramshackle huts made of rock and wood. They tossed fire and brimstone over their shoulders with shovels and pickaxes as they sought to manifest their destiny. They took up arms against Mother Nature, who tried her hardest each and every day to convince them that living there wasn’t worth it, but they only thumbed their noses and kept digging.

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 7

January – February 2019

Ghost towns by their very nature are plagued by hardships. They exist because something didn’t work out the way people had hoped. They exist because obsessions of riches and grandeur faded to sometimes sickening realizations that precious time may have been wasted; wrong choices were made. They exist because of broken dreams.

Cowboy Fast Draw

September – October 2018

SHOOTING FROM THE HIP Cowboy Fast Draw Association brings back the romance of the Wild West. BY ANNIE FLANZRAICH In a wooden barn on the outskirts of Fernley, a red-haired woman stands patiently, sizing up her target. She leans back, and settles her weight into her lower body. Her right hand rests lightly on the […]

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

September – October 2018

Camel Safari offers a truly exotic adventure. STORY BY MEGG MUELLER In a corner of the harsh desert landscape some 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas, a camel, armadillo, porcupine, and llama walk into a yard. If you’re waiting for the punch line, you might want to go hang out with the sloth, because there […]

Tonopah Historic Mining Park

July – August 2018

Tonopah BY ERIC CACHINERO In the days of old, miners seldom just stumbled upon massive silver strikes. That’s because silver ore doesn’t exactly look like the shimmering, polished metal found in wedding bands and werewolf bullets. Silver ore is oftentimes an amalgamation of many different types of minerals, and usually requires an assay to determine […]

Ely Air Races

May – June 2018

The World’s Fastest Motorsport Comes Ely Eastern Nevada town launches first new air races in the West in 34 years. BY MEGG MUELLER When you have around 4,000 people in your town and you consider putting on a show, you might not endeavor to be the biggest. But there needs to be that special something […]

Gold Butte National Monument

March – April 2018

There’s a spot in Gold Butte National Monument where if you stretch your arms out wide, reaching your fingertips to their furthest extent, it seems as if you can almost touch Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon at the same time. It’s the southern apex of a landscape that encompasses the wealth of southern Nevada’s beauty and its arid, teeming desert.

Infinity Highway Opens

January-February 2018

Infinity Highway Opens USA Parkway links two major highways and opens a chapter of Nevada history. BY DALE BEESMER In 1928, some $9,000 in cash, $8,000 in gold, and $20,000 in bonds and traveler checks were robbed from a bank in Virginia City. The two thieves fled east and down the Clark Road toward the […]

Carson City Daytrip

January-February 2018

Day Trippin’ in the Carson Valley One day in a place where a year isn’t enough. BY MEGG MUELLER Winter vacations in northern Nevada often consist of 1) go to Lake Tahoe to ski, and 2) take in a show and toss some dice in Reno. That’s fun, but now what? Just south of Nevada’s […]

A Rugged Sense of Open Space

November – December 2017

Picture a uniquely diverse landscape spread out across 1.6 million acres. There’s little water, few defined trails, and even fewer roads, but so much to explore. It’s as close as 25 miles from Downtown Las Vegas, yet seemingly far away from the city lights and crowds. If you want to experience “a rugged sense of open space,” the Desert National Wildlife Refuge may be for you.

Nevada State Parks, Part 6

November – December 2017

One year and 26 state parks later, the journey through our state parks is complete. Not intentionally, but perhaps appropriately, we began with Clark County and we end with Washoe, Douglas, and Carson counties. From south to north, east to west, the exploration of our historical and recreational parks has, I hope, been interesting and enticing. I know I learned more about our state parks than I could have imagined, and despite being thwarted by one park (I’m looking at you, Beaver Dam), I would happily do this adventure every year.

Nevada State Parks, Part 5

September-October 2017

Nevada State Parks: Something for Everyone  PART 5: LYON, AND CHURCHILL, AND PERSHING…OH MY. BY MEGG MUELLER While it may not be a solely Nevada trait, the mercurial nature of our weather can truly shift our state parks year to year. Exquisite landscapes are abundant, but the viability of those landscapes is dependent, as we all […]

Nevada State Parks: Part 4

July – August 2017

Nevada State Parks – Something For Everyone PART 4: THE COUNTIES OF WHITE PINE AND ELKO COOK UP A FEW WELL-HYDRATED SECRETS. BY MEGG MUELLER The neighboring counties of White Pine and Elko each have spectacular scenery, extraordinary vacation spots, and a whole lot of space. They both have two state parks, also, and while […]

Nevada State Parks, Part 3

May – June 2017

Visiting every state park requires a bit of forethought and sometimes a bit of luck. There are 21 listed in the official State Park Passport, but technically there are 26 if you split out Elgin Schoolhouse and the individual parks that make up Lake Tahoe State Park. And then there are the two new parks Governor Sandoval announced during his 2017 State of the State address—Tule Springs State Park and Walker River State Recreation Area.

Nevada State Parks, Part 2

March – April 2017

As the second entry in our year-long series, Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park takes center stage, and not just because it’s the only state park in Nye County, but for the immensely important role it plays in Nevada history

Pahrump: An Off-Road Destination

January – February 2017

Ride Into The Wild New Yonder Pahrump’s myriad trails are making a name with OHV enthusiasts BY VERN HEE Climb on an ATV and ride east from Pahrump, and within 30 minutes of the southern town, the desert quickly falls behind as you undulate through mountain trails, checking out the wild horses, deer, or some […]

Nevada State Parks, Part 1

January – February 2017

The National Park Service was established in 1916 as a means to preserve natural and cultural resources so they could be enjoyed for generations to come. Just 100 years later, America’s more than 10,000 parks receive approximately 275 million visitors a year. Nevada’s first state park was established in 1935, and in little more than six decades, we’ve created 23 distinct parks—from a historic schoolhouse to prehistoric rock formations, glacial lakes to charcoal ovens. Whether the adventure is watersports, hiking, camping, or a history lesson, Nevada has it all.

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 6

November – December 2016

  ODYSSEY OF A GHOST TOWN EXPLORER LAST OF SIX-PART SERIES EXAMINES ABANDONED SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHERN NEVADA. PART 6: MILES BY ERIC CACHINERO 5,724 miles. That is the driving distance from Los Angeles to New York City and back again, with about 150 miles to spare. It’s also the distance I have driven within the […]

Great Basin National Park

November – December 2016

  THROUGH THE LENS: Great Basin National Park STORY AND PHOTOS BY KIPPY S. SPILKER I leave Ely at 3:15 a.m. and head to the park in hopes of catching a good sunrise. I am not disappointed. Without traffic and construction, I make it there quicker than anticipated, and am able to photograph Wheeler Peak […]

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 5

September – October 2016

ODYSSEY OF A GHOST TOWN EXPLORER FIFTH OF  SIX-PART  SERIES EXAMINES ABANDONED SETTLEMENTS IN NORTHEASTERN NEVADA. PART  5: THE JARBIDGE  RUNS  THROUGH IT BY ERIC CACHINERO “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of […]

Odyssey Of A Ghost Town Explorer Part 4

July – August 2016

ODYSSEY OF A GHOST TOWN EXPLORER FOURTH OF SIX-PART SERIES EXAMINES ABANDONED SETTLEMENTS OFF THE LONELIEST ROAD IN AMERICA. PART 4: THE ELK OF EBERHARDT BY ERIC CACHINERO I am of the deeply held belief that Rocky Mountain elk are among the most majestic and genuine creatures to walk the earth. I am also of the […]

Belmont Courthouse

May – June 2016

History Restored With the help of friends, Belmont Courthouse celebrates 140 years. BY RICHARD MASSEY Fiddles played, whiskey flowed, and there was dancing in the streets of Belmont on July 4, 1876. Not only was this the 100th birthday of our country, it was a day to celebrate the grand opening of the Belmont Courthouse. […]

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 3

May – June 2016

Odyssey Of A Ghost Town Explorer THIRD OF SIX-PART SERIES EXAMINES ABANDONED SETTLEMENTS OF SOUTHEASTERN NEVADA. PART  3: THE WIDOW MAKER BY ERIC CACHINERO Some trips into the Nevada desert begin on a warm spring morning, with birds chirping, dry roads, and an overwhelming feeling of serenity and comfort. Sometimes the planets seem to align; ghost […]

Odyssey of a Ghost Town Explorer: Part 2

March – April 2016

  ODYSSEY OF A GHOST TOWN EXPLORER SECOND OF SIX-PART SERIES EXAMINES ABANDONED SETTLEMENTS OF SOUTHWESTERN NEVADA. PART 2: ROAD NOT MAINTAINED IN WINTER BY ERIC CACHINERO Sometimes we have the seasons in their regular order, and then again we have winter all the summer, and summer all winter. Consequently, we have never yet come […]

Odyssey Of A Ghost Town Explorer: Part 1

January – February 2016

Odyssey Of A Ghost Town Explorer PART  1: SKELETONS  OF HISTORY BY ERIC CACHINERO Ghost towns are skeletons of history. Though time has withered many away to the point of almost nothingness, even the most seemingly inconsequential heap of rocks and sticks tells a story: stories of hardship, stories of hope, stories that only the […]

The Last Roadhouse

January – February 2016

Middlegate Station balances on the edge of history and extinction. BY LISETTE CHERESSON Driving along Highway 50, even seasoned road-trippers may find themselves a bit of panic. Once they’ve ridden the ghost train in Ely or visited the Eureka Opera House, there’s a kind of nothing that conjures visions of lone cowboys on horseback; the […]

Kingston for a day, or three

November – December 2015

KINGSTON FOR A DAY, OR THREE TINY TOWN SERVES AS A PERFECT BASE FOR MIDDLE-OF-NEVADA ROADTRIP. Day 1 – THE ROAD TO VALHALLA   The drive to Kingston—about 30 miles south of Austin—is much like the town itself; both wide open and intimate. The familiar Highway 50 route beckons, but we’re encouraged to take State Route 722 […]

Hunters and Conservation are a Natural Pair

September – October 2015

  Hunters and Conservation are a Natural Pair NEVADA’S WILDLIFE RELIES ON EFFORTS OF HUNTERS AND NON-HUNTERS ALIKE. BY ERIC CACHINERO Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt, and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul […]

Night in the Country Music Festival

July – August 2015

Night in the Country Music Festival: A First-Timer’s Guide Camping, country tunes, and crazy times rule at annual event. BY CARRIE ROUSSEL If you love country music and you live in Nevada, you’ve probably already heard about northern Nevada’s Night in the Country Music Festival (NITC). For those not yet in the know, hang on […]

Art From the Earth

May – June 2015

Pottery makers draw inspiration from Nevada’s environment, culture. BY JOHN SEELMEYER When she was a schoolgirl, Las Vegas pottery maker Donna Potter persisted in choosing a purple crayon to color mountains despite the urging of adults who tried to convince her that mountains are brown. A native Nevadan, Donna knew better. The ever-changing purple of […]

Mt. Rose: Winter’s Fickle Bloom

March – April 2015

On the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, great backcountry skiing depends on Mother Nature, but always delivers a fun adventure. STORY BY DAVE ZOOK PHOTOS BY MATT BANSAK In mid-December, approaching the summit of Mt. Rose Highway—30 minutes from Reno on State Route 431—the area buzzed with human activity. Hundreds of families played in the […]

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

January – February 2015

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: First-Timer’s Guide Tips to help you get your cowboy on, correctly. BY MEGG MUELLER For 31 years, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (NCPG) in Elko has drawn cowpokes and urban cowboys alike to its lyrical blend of the Wild West, the spoken word, music, and more. Evolved from the earliest storytelling […]

Sloan Canyon

January – February 2015

SLOAN CANYON Petroglyphs paint a glimpse of ancestral southern Nevadans. STORY & PHOTOS BY GREG MCFARLANE It’s hardly a secret that Las Vegas is the definitive destination for gambling and entertainment; not to mention cuisine and nightlife. But…prehistoric rock art? Sloan Canyon—a mere 13 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip—contains one of North America’s […]

A Haunting on The Comstock

September – October 2014

Ghost towns aren’t the only spooky spaces in the Silver State.   BY ERIC CACHINERO Do you believe in ghosts? The spiritual; the spectral; the supernatural? There’s no denying that Nevada is a choice locale for those seeking paranormal pastimes, exemplified by the repeat visits of popular television shows such as “Ghost Adventures” and “Ghost […]

Through The Lens: Cathedral Gorge State Park

July – August 2014

  THROUGH THE LENS CATHEDRAL GORGE STATE PARK Geological wonder has photographers and adventurers flocking to natural beauty. BY ERIC CACHINERO The otherworldly atmosphere of Cathedral Gorge State Park may give visitors the impression that they have stepped foot on—well—another planet. Forged from violent and fiery volcanic activity and wrought by millions of years of […]

Heavenly Hot Springs

May – June 2014

Nevada’s geothermal activity offers serene soaking experiences. BY ERIC CACHINERO There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in a hot bath after a long day hiking or skiing in the Silver State. Though Nevada certainly has its share of luxurious spas offering soothing mineral baths, visiting one of the approximately 300 natural hot springs that essentially […]

Journey To Jarbidge

March – April 2014

JOURNEY TO JARBIDGE One of Nevada’s more unique mining camps holds a past as colorful as the scenery that surrounds it. BY ERIC CACHINERO | MARCH/APRIL 2014 Many Nevada towns owe their origins to a prospector, a pickaxe, and the discovery of gold. Though these elements are certainly entwined in its roots, the story of Jarbidge […]

Eldorado Canyon

January – February 2014

ELDORADO CANYON Nevada’s Wild West roots are encapsulated in this living ghost town. BY ERIC CACHINERO At first glance, Eldorado Canyon visitors may not be aware they’re standing on ground that at one time epitomized the Wild West. A region deluged in riches and plagued by lawlessness, greed, and murder, the history of this Southern […]

Sands Of Time

Sands Of Time

SANDS OF TIME Former Pony Express station is well worth the short Highway 50 detour. STORY & PHOTOS BY GREG MCFARLANE No American institution that lasted a mere year and a half— not Zachary Taylor’s presidency, the Tennessee Oilers, nor the “Da Ali G Show”—is remembered as nostalgically as the Pony Express. The revolutionary service, […]

Fort Churchill

November – December 2013

Fort Churchill State Historic Park offers a glimpse into Nevada’s pre-statehood past. BY GREG MCFARLANE Almost everything about life in mid-1800s Nevada seems difficult to fathom and even more difficult to have endured. We no longer worry about hostile natives, high infant mortality, and taking weeks to cross the desert on horse-drawn wagons, but at […]

Glorified Ghost Towns

September – October 2013

Glorified Ghost Towns A group of off-roaders find treasures in some of southwestern Nevada’s most inconspicuous places. BY ERIC CACHINERO Ghost towns. They practically hide in plain sight in our state’s unbounded wilderness. The phrase ghost town intrigues the mind with its mysterious, timeworn essence. And, with Nevada claiming more than 600 of them, many […]

Falconry Family

May – June 2013

Falconry Family The Moglichs have specialized in avian artistry for three generations. STORY & PHOTOS BY ERIC CACHINERO As the early morning sun paints its colors across the Carson Range, the piercing scream of a hawk slices through the serenity. We slide stealthily past rabbitbrush and sage toward the sound of mallard ducks over the […]

Prospecting in Nevada

March – April 2013

Gold and gemstone enthusiasts dig discovering mineral wealth in the Silver State. PHOTO & STORY BY RICHARD MASSEY With the rising value of gold and increasing popularity of reality TV shows such as “Gold Rush, Alaska” and “Bering Sea Gold,” it seems that everyone is getting gold fever. If you find yourself bitten by the […]

Land Sailing in Nevada

January – February 2013

Nevada has many claims to fame, and you can add one more to the list: land sailing. In fact, I was interested to learn recently that the Silver State is arguably the premier land-sailing destination in the United States.

See all Articles