The oldest surviving town in eastern Nevada, Panaca began as a quaint Mormon farming community that today remains largely unchanged from its early roots. Many of the town’s current residents can actually trace their ancestry to the town’s original settlers. Panaca was originally settled as part of Utah, but Nevada can thank congressional boundary reclassifications in 1886 for making it part of the Silver State. Today, Panaca is a charming town full of 19th-century architecture. The well-preserved, historic structures are a sight to see, but the town has preserved much more than that. Panaca is a “dry” municipality, making it the only in the entire state that forbids the sale of alcoholic beverages – a clear throwback to its early Mormon roots. It is also the only community in Nevada, with the single exception of Boulder City, that prohibits gaming.
Most visitors passing through Panaca are traveling to the spectacular Cathedral Gorge State Park, a magnificent park known for its great camping, picnicking, hiking trails and incredible scenery in all directions. Another beautiful and nearby spot to explore is Echo Canyon State Park. And then there are the historic charcoal kilns at Panaca Summit, an amazing sight that no one in the area should miss. Also within easy driving distance of Panaca are a number of interesting ghost towns. But don’t forget to spend some time in the welcoming town of Panaca. You’ll be glad you did.