person riding horse

When it comes to grabbing onto a real piece of the American West, search no further than the incredible Cottonwood Guest Ranch. Situated about 70 miles northwest of Wells in the northeastern corner of Nevada, this 7 room, high end guest lodge makes for an unforgettable stay surrounded by some of the state’s most spectacular countryside, without having to rough it.


Though hard to believe, this specific piece of land in the O’Neil Basin has been owned and managed by the Smith Family stretching all the way back to the mid 1800s. Prior to their management, some of the West’s first european were explorers, who trapped and decimated most of the beaver population in this part of Nevada. Once the beaver are no longer part of the story, the landscape changes drastically, considering they’re natural managers of riparian areas— or the landscape found along creekbeds and wetlands. Depending on how cattle is managed and is grazed, they can further decimate riparian areas. When these two environmental changes happen, it can drive even more animals away, who are naturally drawn to and thrive in these habitats. But, that’s why the Smith’s story is so special.

horse at cottenwood ranch

Aside from an incredibly restorative overnights stay, staying at the Cottonwood Guest Ranch means learning about the Smith family’s unconventional land management methods that are so unique, they’ve been recognized for national land management and stewardship awards. Though they’ve always had conservation front of mind throughout the generations, the way they’ve run cattle on their land has restored it, bringing back the beaver, and even several Sage Grouse leks.


cottonwood guest ranch house

Aside from learning about the land you’re staying on, how it’s important to the Nevada story, and the visionaries running the place, an overnighter here is another echelon of relaxation. Though the Cottonwood Guest Ranch is in a very remote section of Nevada, you won’t be going without any modern luxuries on this property. With meticulous craftmanship, the entire lodge was renovated and remodeled in 2003. Each of the 7 rooms are equipped to host a single guest, family, or couple. Enjoy delicious meals prepared by the ranch chef and dine in the picturesque dining room or out on the spacious deck. Bask in the glow of the setting sun in a rocking chair overlooking horses and cattle grazing the vast meadows and pasture. Or you may choose to soothe your tired muscles under the stars in the hot tub or even challenge a friend to a game of pool in our separate recreation room.

inside cottonwood guest ranch house

Though Cottonwood Guest Ranch is a working ranch, the Smiths are focused on making sure you have a relaxing and therapeutic stay at their property. No actual ranching, or horseback riding is part of the deal at this time, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to engage with the real working cowboys who live here and do. For more information on planning your trip to Cottonwood, dial the property directly at (775) 275-0593 or (775) 472-0222.

smiths cottonwood guest ranch

This Location:

Northern Nevada, Nevada




Northern Nevada