Race the Rails pits riders against a steam engine train. 

A portion of the trail the mountain bike riders will take during the race.

A new and unique experience is on the horizon. Ely is home to one of the nation’s largest time capsules, the Nevada Northern Railway. Here you will find coal-fired steam engines that are more than 100 years old still billowing their plumes of steam as they lumber down the track. Now add beautiful mountain trails and the Loneliest Highway in America—Highway 50—and you have the makings of an epic exhibition bike race that is fun for the whole family.

On Sept. 9, both road and mountain bike racers will get the chance to see if they have the steam to beat the train in the first-ever Race the Rails bike race.

Road bikers will begin with a short ride to the entrance of the Robinson Nevada copper mine where they will circle a 240-ton haul truck. On their descent toward Ely, they will find themselves side-by-side with the giant iron horse. The road bike course spans approximately 25 miles with an elevation gain of 820 feet.

Mountain bikers will ride more than 11 miles on single and double track trails with an elevation gain of 1400 feet.

Entrance fee is $75. All racers will receive a race shirt, finisher’s medal, swag bag, barbecue ticket, and train ride voucher which may be used to get the racer and their bike to the start line (bike spaces are limited) or on one of the regular train excursions scheduled throughout the weekend.

The barbecue will take place at the depot beginning at 1 p.m. and extra tickets for family and friends are available. A variety of vendors will be open at the depot starting at 10 a.m. There will be a small triathlon for kids beginning at 11:30 a.m.

While you are in the area you won’t want to miss visiting some of the other area attractions. Great Basin National Park and the Lehman Caves, located approximately 68 miles southeast, offers beautiful scenic drives and hikes, cave tours, and amazing night time sky presentations. Hike, fish, kayak, or just relax 13 miles outside of town at Cave Lake State Park or take your time and explore our outdoor murals, Renaissance Village, Ely Art Bank, White Pine Public Museum, or the McGill Historical Drug Store. Come join us for a great time for the whole family!

Submitted by Meg Rhoades


To register for the race, or for more information on the area visit elynevada.net

Bristlecone Convention Center
150 Sixth St. Ely, NV