History buffs and lovers of all things Old West will find a wealth of intriguing relics from the past in Dayton. Prospectors and settlers were drawn to the fertile valley, located east of Carson City, because of both the Carson River and the promise of gold. In fact, the first discovery of gold in Nevada was found at the mouth of Gold Cañon in what is known today as Old Dayton. The Main Street in Old Dayton follows the original Overland Trail, the road that took thousands of immigrants westward in the 1840s and 1850s. Today, visitors to Old Dayton are charmed by its nostalgic board sidewalks and the shops, dining establishments and homes located in buildings from Dayton’s historic past. Visitors to Dayton can walk the same streets that Pony Express riders traveled, tour the state’s oldest cemetery, stand in a schoolhouse from 1865, visit the infamous Oden Hall & Saloon and see many more interesting and historic places.
When visitors have had their fill of history, they have their pick of modern attractions in Dayton as well. Dayton Valley Golf & Country Club is home to an impressive Arnold Palmer Signature course, while the beautiful Carson River, which winds through the lush Carson Valley, is a popular spot for rafting, canoeing, hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing. The nearby Lahontan State Recreation Area is a lovely place for boating and swimming.
The friendly town also welcomes visitors to its annual Dayton Valley Days, a community celebration complete with a parade, rodeo, car show, pet parade, games, auctions and more.