Wells, Nevada

The Central Pacific Railroad established the small town of Wells as far back as 1869, but the history of the region goes back much further. Before the railroad came, the land belonged to the Western Shoshone people, and archaeologists have found human remains in the area that date back more than 10,000 years. Fossils from such incredible prehistoric creatures as the Mammoths have also been discovered here. And while the town is far more modern today, it retains an authentic Wild West flavor. In fact, visitors to Wells can take a walking tour of the 1880s Wild West district and step right into the town’s booming heyday.

Trappers, explorers, pioneers, railroad builders and passengers all passed through Wells at one or another, and visitors can get a look at that too. Though it has remained closed since an earthquake devastated the region in 2008, arrangements can be made to tour the '49er Interpretive Center, a fascinating way to hear the stories of the many people to come through Wells, and even catch a glimpse of preserved wagon wheel ruts. Another way to get a sense of Wells’ rich history is with its line-up of nostalgic events. In addition to the Senior Pro Rodeo, there are fiddler contests, fishing derbies, a holiday craft bazaar, even an annual car show. Wells sits at the junction of I-80 and US 93, two of the nation’s most traveled roads. And that makes this friendly little town a true crossroads of the West.

Beyond exploring the history of the town, Wells offers easy access to other points of interest. Nearby Metropolis is an interesting ghost town, while Angel Lake, tucked away in the East Humboldt mountain range, is a true treasure with its fantastic fishing and stunning scenery. Hunters, hikers and campers are common sights in Wells too, as the land surrounding the town is bursting with game like deer, antelope and fowl, plus a selection of picnic and camping facilities. Backpacking excursions and trips to old-fashioned dude ranches can also be arranged.