Nicknamed the Silver State, Nevada’s past is rooted in mining. In 1849, gold was discovered in a stream near Dayton, which later led to the discovery of silver in the Comstock Lode in 1859. Since then, mining has played a vital role in Nevada’s economy.
Virginia City is perhaps the most famous boomtown in the country as it was known not only for gold but also for its mass production of silver found in the Comstock Lode. Today you can tour the Chollar Mine, once the fifth largest producer of silver, and the Ponderosa Mine takes you into the old Bestand Belcher Mine. In Tonopah, visit the Tonopah Historic Mining Park. The park covers over 100 acres and four mining companies and provides unforgettable underground tours of mine shafts and tunnels.
Opal mines are also common in Nevada and most allow you to hunt for your very own treasure. The Royal Peacock Opal Mine, the Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine, and the Bonanza Opal Mine, all located in the Virgin Valley of northwestern Nevada, allow onsite digging for the colorful gems. Spectacular finds even include the famous Black Fire Opal.
Northern Nevada is home to several gold mines. The Carlin mine is made up of a large area called the Carlin Trend that has over 20 major gold deposits. The Newmont Mining Corporation provides tours of the operations during the summer months. You can also visit the Kinross' Round Mountain Mine north of Tonopah and Barrick’s Ruby Hill Mine in Eureka, both open pit gold mines.
Visit Nevada’s mines, both old and new, and you’ll discover Nevada’s riches. Whether it’s an extraordinary underground tour or a walk through a museum, you will see why mining is an attraction worth exploring.