Right in the heart of the Silver State is Nevada’s Big Smoky Valley, home to several hardy, friendly communities that truly embody the spirit and heart of the American West. One of these rural towns is Round Mountain, which came about as a mining town in 1906. All these years later, a modern-day mining community remains, as this portion of Nevada is still highly lucrative in gold mining.
Gold was discovered here in 1906, and in the years following several huge bonanzas began, prompting prospectors, settlers and major mining companies to settle in the area. Six mills would set up shop the following decade, as well as much-needed amenities that ranged from hotels, restaurants, and general stores to lodging houses, banks, a school, hospital and library. Despite the booming gold discoveries and all of the amenities, Round Mountain’s remote location was certainly a factor in low population count.
Today, Big Smoky Valley is home to about 2,000 residents, and most of them can be found in the planned community of Hadley. A subdivision built by the Round Mountain Gold Corporation, the community exists as a result of the continued expansion of the mining operations in Round Mountain. While the Elko area continues to be the emperor of Nevada’s gold belt, Round Mountain is nothing to wince at. Although carved away over time, major mining operations persist in Round Mountain today. Hadley, in the valley below Round Mountain, offers amenities such as a grocery store, community center, library, schools, athletic facilities, several churches, a swimming pool, and the seasonal Round Mountain Golf Course.
If you are traveling in this neck of the woods, spend some time exploring Round Mountain. The area gives travelers a glimpse into the life of a modern day mining community, which is interesting to say the least. The town has many structures left over from its earliest days, but as the open mining pit expands, their fates are uncertain. One thing is for sure—these passports to history wont be here forever, so make sure you see them while you still can.
The ghost towns of Manhattan and Ophir are just around the corner from Round Mountain and are definitely a fascinating way to spend the afternoon. And, if you’re interested in exploring some truly spectacular, untouched wilderness areas, you’re definitely in the right part of the state. Just north of Round Mountain is Arc Dome, Kingston Canyon, and Bunker Hill. And, directly to the east is Mount Jefferson, Nevada’s fourth tallest peak and the Alta-Toquima Wilderness Area. Round Mountain makes the perfect home base to restock on supplies when hiking, hunting or camping in any of these impressive areas. No matter how you spend time here, the Big Smoky Valley is sure to divvy up breathtaking views with its expansive valleys and vibrant sunsets. Both of which are sure to keep you coming back time and time again.