"Copper Mining Town Gone Bust" Top 5 Page for this destination Ely by atufft

Ely Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 48 photos

Junction of US Highways 50, 93, 6, and NV 318

Located in something of a canyon below the mostly barren Humbolt National Forest, within the otherwise largely flat Great Basin of Nevada, Ely is arguably one of the more remote county seats in the USA. It is 134 miles south of the I-80/US 93 junction at Wells, NV, 194 miles west of the I-15/US50 junction in Utah, some 250 miles north of Los Vegas on US93, and 324 miles east of Carson City along US50. It is exactly these distances, and the fact that Ely is the only hamlet of any size in this region, that has attracted movie stars, politicians, and tourists to this boom and bust town.

The town's history dates back to the 1870's when it was a stagecoach stop, and later it became a significant railroad stop as a spur off the first transcontinental railway. Local copper mining and smelting brought the city to prominence during the first half of the 20th century, but during the 1970's the copper mining industry vacated the region, leaving White Pine County economically ruined. Nevertheless, the town is a must stop along an extremely long run either north/south along US93/NV318 or east/west along US50. The town also has a vintage railroad ride, and is the gateway town to Great Basin National Park

  • Last visit to Ely: Dec 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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