Lander County is located in central Nevada, about three hours east of Reno. These 5,500 square miles are home to beautiful mountain ranges, a large stretch of the Reese River, and 5,887 individuals (DETR, 2017). Lander is one of the original 11 counties in Nevada, and since 1979, Battle Mountain has served as the county seat. Much of Lander sits well above sea level at around 5,000-6,000 feet, but the peaks of Bunker Hill reach as high as 11,500 feet. Lander County communities are tied heavily to mining, ranching, and an abundance of outdoor opportunities.
Lander, after its founding, came to be known as Nevada’s “mother of counties,” since three other counties went on to be formed from its lands: Elko, Eureka and White Pine. Lander itself formed in 1862 as a result of a mining boom along the Reese River. Battle Mountain has been a part of Lander since 1869. It has a rich history as a settlement that also thrived off the nearby railroad and booming mines. Before that, the surrounding Battle Mountain area was a boundary between the Newe (Shoshone ancestors) and the Northern Paiutes, and in 1917, the Newe colony received official recognition for their lands.
Lander County boasts a number of outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and tourists alike, from the many mountain bike trails near Battle Mountain and Austin to the hot springs and Hickison Petroglyphs in Kingston. For all-terrain vehicle riders, the Shoshone Off-Highway Vehicle Trails System is Nevada’s first professionally designed trail system (Recreation, n.d). Sportsmen will also find many opportunities to hunt everything from mule deer and bighorn sheep to sage grouse and rabbits.
All throughout the county, there is daily activity, whether it be through the hub of the school district, fire department, Sherriff’s office, County Commission or the other organizations that help bring Lander together.
For a more in-depth look at what makes Lander County a community, read the full Lander County Cultural Overview.