"Home of Silver and Ammunitions" Hawthorne by DSwede

Hawthorne Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 13 photos

Hawthorne is a community of about 3000 people, on the southern edge of Walker Lake.

Hawthorne was originally a station on the Carson & Colorado Railroad. Being near the lake, it was a prime spot that guaranteed life, despite the remote desert surroundings. The story goes that the mules who were used to build the railroad were let loose to forage and find shelter. They congregated in what is now the downtown area of Hawthorne. The railroad workers accepted the animals' instincts as the best location for food, shelter and water.

But back in 1928, Hawthorne became home to the Hawthorne Army Depot, which boasts as being the largest ammunition storage site in the world [147,000 acres (595 km²), and has 2427 bunkers].
<At the time of this edit, I've personally been to 12 countries that are smaller than this storage site: Guam, Andorra, Palau, Turks & Caicos, Maldives, Cayman Islands, San Marino, Malta, Macau, Gibraltar, Northern Mariana Islands and Monaco.>

From the air, or even the mountains surrounding the valley, you can see the maze of bunkers extending for miles.

Ghost town of Aurora

"In 1860 gold was discovered in Aurora, 30 miles southwest of present day Hawthorne, Nevada. For a while both Nevada and California claimed that the rich gold fields of Aurora belonged in their state. Both states made Aurora the county seat for a new county, Mono County California and Esmeralda County Nevada. This led to great confusion during the next presidential election as citizens could vote at the Nevada polls then walk down the street and vote again at the California polls.
Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain, came to the flourishing town of Aurora to work as a miner and later described his experiences in his book, Roughing It." Check out my tip for directions and photos.

Feel free to visit my Nevada page for my thoughts on my home state.

(for more pictures, feel free to visit my USA Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very friendly, welcoming and helpful locals.
  • Cons:If you're not a rancher or with the military, not much for you here.
  • In a nutshell:A good place for a walk and casual meal.
  • Intro Updated Mar 26, 2012
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Reviews (5)

Comments (3)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Hi, Dave! Thanks for your great stories!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    Aurora is awsome! Too bad I failed to visit!

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2009 at 8:58 PM

    You again managed to find an interesting, little known place to visit. I loved the historical info about both Nevada and California claiming Aurora.


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