Elko offers some of the finest adventure snowmobiling to be found anywhere on the planet. In true western style, Elko's economy base consists of gold mining, cattle ranching, gaming ... and tourism. That means the locals here know the meaning of western hospitality. You'll find them always friendly, ready to recommend the best restaurant in town or the best place for a snowmobile ride.
The city of Elko features western barbecues, family style Basque cuisine where it's not unusual to order a thick, juicy steak and be served heaping bowls of spaghetti and string beans on the side.
Winter in Elko is a vast and unspoiled opportunity for adventure, where the Ruby Mountains and many National Forests offer miles and miles of pristine trails.
You will not find a single groomed snowmobile trail in the entire state of Nevada but that's one thing that makes snowmobiling here so appealing. Most riding is found on forest service roads and public lands and you'll rarely see more than a dozen sledders during an entire weekend so you can count on zero bumpy trails.
Using Elko as a base camp, sledders can head north and/or south of town to ride. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in northern Nevada features nearly a half-dozen areas to ride -- near Mountain City and Jarbidge, north of Elko, and the Ruby Mountains, south of Elko.
Near Mountain City, you'll find two of the tallest peaks in the state, the Matterhorn (10,839 feet) and Jacks Peak (10,198 feet). In the Jacks Creek/Peak area you have the Independence Mountains, which offer open riding and terrain for riders of all skill levels. Farther to the east, and near Mountain City, are Wild Horse Reservoir, Gold Creek and Merrit Mountain (elev. 8,792 feet) with its miles and miles of open country.
Keep going east and you'll ride the North Fork, Charleston and Jarbidge area, offering much of the same kinds of riding. Closer to Elko is the Adobe Summit (elev. 6,548 feet), where sledders will find big, open meadows and elevations that rise 2,000 feet.
The Ruby Mountains are just southeast of Elko and offer sledders riding from about 6,500 feet right on up to 10,000 feet. Ruby Lake (6,012 feet) gets about four feet of snow a year, but the surrounding mountains get much more.
Southwest of Elko you'll discover shimmering Lammoile Canyon, a rugged canyon abounding with gorgeous scenery. Northwest of Elko is the Adobe Range filled with vast, open meadows that extend for hundreds of acres.
About 65 miles north of Elko, riders exploring the Wild Horse Reservoir, Gold Creek and Merrit Mountain area will discover more terrain to explore than any single visit can exploit.
The North Fork Charleston and Jarbidge recreation area, 55 miles northeast of Elko, typically features up to 30 feet of snow. Although there is a significant amount of off-limits wilderness here, local maps availaable from the U.S. Forest Service are available to show you where you can and cannot ride.
There are many better known western destinations, but when uncrowded, unspoiled vistas and uncounted miles of exploration are on your list, make Elko a candidate for your next western adventure. It's many riding choices, untamed backcountry and hospitality will win you over forever.