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.
Recreation and tourism are active in Esmeralda. Fish Lake Valley pulls visitors with its access to both hot springs and cold views of snowy mountain ranges. Although overlooked, all around Esmeralda are sights to see. 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, rock and gem hunting, horseback riding (and wild horse sighting), off-roading, exploring remote canyons, fishing, exploring ghost towns and hunting. These activities, available for residents and visitors, contribute to the heart of Esmeralda. Both long-time citizens, as well as passers through, speak with pride and awe of this county in the desert.
For a more in-depth look at what makes Esmeralda County a community, read the full Esmeralda County Cultural Overview.