Getting down—and maybe dirty—in the hills of Nevada is one of the easiest, least expensive, and most rewarding pastimes you’ll ever find. Hunting for gems and minerals can be an easy day trip from many towns, including Fallon, Ely, and Mesquite.
Sometimes, to know the heart of a town, you need to look from the outside in. Staring down into the town of Ely, located in the state’s northeastern region, I see the requisite historical buildings that dot Nevada. I see the intense landscape that flanks the area, mostly the verdant and hardy scrub brush that thrives in the clear, dry air, and the towering Egan and Schell Creek mountain ranges that soar high above the town which itself sits at more than 6,500 feet elevation.