Ely and the Great Basin

Hollywood stars such as Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart used to stop off in Ely – also on America’s Loneliest Road – on their way to skiing vacations in the mountains. Reminders of the past – huge old charcoal ovens, a steam train, an old gambling hall and a historical village – are still dotted around the Ely area. Ely is also the gateway to Nevada’s only national park, the Great Basin, a fabulously wild and isolated desert landscape famed for its rugged mountain terrain scattered with tumbling streams and fragrant pine groves.

Located at the eastern end of U.S. Highway 50 the town began life as a post office and stagecoach station, but grew rapidly with the discovery of copper in 1906. Ely continued to grow with the railroad, and visitors can see the story of the town’s past on the giant murals that decorate buildings throughout Ely. For a closer look at the town’s history, visitors can also tour the Renaissance Village and see homes and stores decorated the way they were in the 1900s. The homes are furnished and decorated to represent Spanish, Italian, English, French, Slavic, Asian and Greek ethnicities.