Monday, April 7, 2014
A Senior Citizen's Guide to Elko
BY JIM BECKER
When senior citizens discover Elko, population 34,000, you quickly see why this truly is the “Great American West.” Elko, located in northeastern Nevada, was crowned the title “The Best Small Town in America” in an issue of Time Magazine.
Elko had its birth in 1868 during the building of the transcontinental railroad. Legend has it that a rail superintendent fond of animals added an “o” to Elk to give the town its name. The city of Elko sits at an elevation of 5,060 feet.
This high desert community on Interstate 80 experiences four mild annual seasons. Fall is spectacular, heralding in warm days and cool evenings. Winter months bring average high temperatures between 37-43 degrees with lows averaging between 25-31 degrees.
Spring months bring warmer temperatures accompanied by cool nights. During the warm summer months the average high falls between 80-90 degrees. After this past winter season, senior citizens will enjoy Elko.
SENIORS ENJOY UNSPOILED WEST
The city was founded as a stop on the transcontinental railroad. In 1869, it became the seat of the newly created Elko County and soon became an important center of commerce for surrounding mines and ranches. Elko is probably best known as the headquarters for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Elko County abounds in beauty. The raw majesty of Elko County’s Ruby Mountains and the rugged canyon streams will let you discover the unspoiled drama of the West.
Elko’s scenic landscape and recreational opportunities are matched by its excellent quality of life. Health care services are the best in the region, education is highly prized, and job growth is consistently positive.
The diverse economy includes gold mining and cattle ranching, and the newer thriving tourism and service industries. The arts and culture scene also finds plenty of supporters in Elko. The Cowboy Poetry Gathering draws the finest examples of the art from throughout the West and as far away as Ireland and Australia.
THE RUBIES: THE CROWN JEWEL
The highlight of visiting Elko comes with the opportunity to explore some of the wildest and most beautiful country in the entire state.
The crown jewel of Nevada is the Ruby Mountains. The Rubies bear over 40 year-round streams and host more than a dozen mountain tarns in a mountain range that has been nicknamed “The Nevada Alps” and “The Sierra Nevada of the Great Basin.”
For horse lovers, The J.M. Capriola Saddle Company is based in downtown Elko, and is one of the oldest saddle-making companies in America. You will find many fun things to see and do in and around Elko.
Today, Elko is living on gold, supported by the massive Getchell Mine, the largest gold producing operation in the United States. Set your sights on Elko the on your next trip to Nevada.