Elko County is the second-largest county by area in Nevada and the fourth-largest in the United States. At 17,203 square miles, such an open space provides Elko citizens and passersby with a varied landscape of mountains, hills, valleys, ranch and rangeland. The cold season averages between below zero to 25 F, while the hot season averages 79 F. Midway between Reno and Salt Lake City, and bordering Idaho and Utah, Elko County is seated perfectly for a blend of rural industry, small-town life and a not-so-distant city connection. The Shoshone Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation occupy 289,819 acres, straddling the Nevada-Idaho border.
Culture is alive in Elko County. Every year, for thirty-six years now, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place in Elko. The gathering embraces its role as a “pilgrimage destination for thousands of ranch folk and others who love the West and come to learn and experience art that grows from a connection to the rhythms of earth and sky.”5 Throughout the rest of the year, the Western Folklife Center also hosts private events, dances, and art exhibits.
This rural county, growing in population, represents the type of small-town life that balances the community and the individual, and business and recreation.
For a more in-depth look at what makes Elko County a community, read the full Elko County Cultural Overview.