Winnemucca, Nevada

Some people call it, Nevada’s friendliest town, and with plenty of visitors coming to Winnemucca for its events and access to endless outdoor activities, the town is certainly not short on hospitality. It’s situated smack dab in the center of northern, Nevada, the halfway point between San Francisco and Salt Lake City. The Cowboy Territory town isn’t the state’s first settlement, but it has been occupied since about 1830, when trappers first arrived in the area on the hunt for fur-bearing animals. In 1863, the town was formally named in honor of Paiute Chief Winnemucca. His daughter, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, became the first American Indian woman to publish a book in the English language.

Today, many of Winnemucca’s locals find employment with area mines and establishments. The town has a rich Basque heritage that’s evident in its four Basque restaurants – a must-have Winnemucca experience. Take your pick and get ready for hearty, family-style dining. Much of the town is best explored on foot, so stop by the Humboldt County Visitors Center for a walking tour map of the area. Before you go, take some time to browse the William Humphreys Big Game Collection, the Buckaroo Hall of Fame and other exhibits that feature mining, historical representations of the Great Basin, American Indian heritage, the Basque culture and the pioneer trail. There are also impressive mineral and rock collections. And when you’re ready to explore the town, Tip’s Western is a must-see, with its custom saddles, leather goods, spurs and other cool items.

Outside of town, there’s no end to the hiking, biking, hunting and off-roading to be enjoyed on thousands of trails. The well-known and daunting Bloody Shins Trail beckons experienced mountain bikers, while hunters flock to the area for some of the best Chukar hunting around.

Winnemucca also has a jam-packed annual events calendar that runs all year long. The Run-A-Mucca motorcycle rally means more than 800 bike enthusiasts rumble through town over Memorial Day Weekend, and it’s the big kick-off to a summer filled with events. The Winnemucca Mule Show and Draft Horse Challenge, Fifties Fever and the Basque Festival follow. Other events include the National Senior Pro Rodeo Finals and the Rand Hand Rodeo Weekend, plus a number of traditional holiday celebrations.

Explore

Winnemucca Sand Dunes
Winnemucca, NV

Sand lovers near Winnemucca bring their off-highway vehicles to the Winnemucca Sand Dunes, a small but scenic playground with no trails but plenty of open riding. Camping is also an option.

Getting There: Located just north of Winnemucca off U.S. 95.

Winnemucca, NV

Memorabilia includes traditional working gear, paintings, sculptures and drawings.

Winnemucca, NV

Winnemucca's Ranch Hand Rodeo is the largest and most exciting in Nevada. Thirty teams compete for bragging rights and prizes.

Humboldt Museum
Winnemucca, NV

The glory days of the true Old West, filled with brave pioneers seeking their fortunes and lone cowboys on the range, live on at the Humboldt Museum in Winnemucca. The extensive collection features relics and artifacts of this historic period and many others too, including the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression and even the Ice Age. Visitors to the Humboldt Museum will find a gargantuan display of castings of mammoth bones discovered in the Black Rock Desert. It’s an awesome sight that invites visitors to imagine a time when these magnificent creatures roamed the region.

Humboldt County Visitor Center
Winnemucca, NV

Visitors passing through the antique wooden doors of the new and improved Humboldt County Visitors Center in Winnemucca are greeted by a wealth of information sharing the past and present of the region. And the best place to start? The friendly and knowledgeable chamber of commerce, who can share fascinating facts and stories about the town of Winnemucca and its surroundings.