Esmeralda is one of the original nine counties in Nevada established in 1861. Comprised of mountain ranges and long stretches of flatland between the rangeland and farmland, Esmeralda is home to plenty of sights, such as the 375-foot cinder cone extinct volcano or the 13,147-foot Boundary Peak, the highest point in Nevada. Meanwhile, Esmeralda’s rich mining history, which led to its initial boom at the turn of the century, has remained with the county to this day, and the mines are a major resource for lithium and other minerals.
In the summer, Esmeralda’s July high is around 93 F. In the winter, the January low is 20 F. Snow averages 6 inches per year, and 290 days per year are sunny. The county proves its variety by its different natural and man-made attractions. In addition to Boundary Peak, there is Fish Lake Valley nearby, which is home to hot springs, views and business. In Goldfield, there’s The International Car Forest, which is an outdoor art installation drawing travelers from states over. Then there’s the Hard Luck Castle and Mine, located further south in the county, as well as Clayton Valley, Montezuma Range, and the dozens of preserved and abandoned historical buildings located throughout the county that speak to Esmeralda’s rich history.
In Goldfield, the Esmeralda County seat, the community’s activity is seen in its growing number of private businesses, including the restaurants The Dinky Diner, Rebel Roadhouse and The Hoist House Bar & Grill, which is also known by some as Mozart Club and which drivers-through recommend for its fun events and good times. Culture thrives in the tight-knit community, and businesses including the Barbarossa and Bear serve to promote Goldfield’s history and solidarity.
Outside of Goldfield and into the rest of the county, recreation and tourism are active. Fish Lake Valley pulls visitors with its access to both hot springs and cold views of snowy mountain ranges. The Esmeralda Market, RV Park and Cabins is an oasis gateway to White Mountain Peak, Boundary Peak, The White Mountains, Horse Thief Canyon, the Fishing Trail Canyon Reservoir and more. The Fish Lake Valley Heritage Center brings it all together, with the buildings constructed from timbers salvaged from historical points around the area, dating back to the early 20th century. Outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, hunting, rock and gem hunting, horseback riding (and wild horse sighting), off-roading, remote canyon exploring and ghost town exploring, including Gemfield, Gold Point, Lida, Culprite, Diamondfield, to name a few of the dozen.
These activities, available for both residents and visitors, contribute to the heart of Esmeralda. Both long-time citizens and passers-through speak with pride and awe of this county in the desert.