They call it “America’s Patriotic Home,” and the red, white and blue streets and American flags blowing in the breeze stand as testament to Hawthorne’s great national pride. Part of that pride is rooted in the Hawthorne Army Depot, an ammunition storage site south of nearby Walker Lake State Recreation Area. Construction began on the facility in 1928 and it served as an ammunition staging area for World War II. It is said to be the largest facility of its kind in the world, covering more than 147,000 acres. Today, the depot employs a large majority of the residents of Hawthorne. Additionally, the historic 1942 USO AKA Hawthorne Convention Center has just been restored and has Mystery Dinner Dramas and other special events of interest to tourists.
The town was established in 1881 on the western side of Nevada in Mineral County. Several mountain ranges surround it, protecting Hawthorne from extreme weather and allowing for mild temperatures and nearly 365 days of sunshine every year. It’s the kind of environment that encourages outdoor enjoyment, and around here, the heart of outdoor recreation is at Walker Lake State Recreation Area. The lake, fed from the north by the Walker River, was once part of the Lahontan Sea, a prehistoric sea that covered much of Nevada. Today, several species of water birds, including loons make it their home, along with the Lahontan cutthroat throat. The pretty lake plays host to regular area events, like fishing derbies, loon festivals and art shows.
Visitors to Hawthorne can get a closer look at some of the old ammo stored here with a trip to the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum. It’s also a great place to see a variety of military uniforms, photos and memorabilia. For those looking for some outdoor adventure, Mineral County has over 1,000 miles of OHV / ATV & four-wheel drive, unfenced dirt roads and trails foryou to explore. And if you’re staying overnight, there are several hotels and motels to choose from, as well as restaurants to suit any craving. The El Capitan Lodge and Casino is the largest stopover, complete with 24-hour Nevada-style gaming, a cocktail bar and lounge, a coffee shop, and RV and truck parking. It is also close to the Walker Lake Golf Club at The Depot. If you want to "Go Green," America's Best Inn & Suites recently installed $400,000 green solar panels above the 51-room motel that includes 12 new expanded suites each with large refrigerator, microwave, sink and hotplate. The motel also has a wonderful pool.