Outlying Communities

Paradise Valley

40 miles northeast of Winnemucca
Paradise Valley was first settled in 1863, as a granary and fruit- raising center for the mining camps of central and eastern Nevada and those of the southwest Idaho territory. Today, the town offers picturesque buildings and is a wonderful place to spend a day. Visit the Paradise Valley Bar and Grill for a bite to eat and a refreshing beverage.

Just past Paradise Valley, you will find Hinkey Summit. Mid-summer is the time to find masses of colorful wild flowers!


74 miles North of Winnemucca
McDermitt was established in 1865. The community grew up around an Army fortification. The fort protected the Virginia City – Quinn River Valley – Oregon Road. Lasting 24 years, this was the longest established Army fort in Nevada. Today, the community is a stopover for tourists traveling to Oregon and Idaho and boasts a large and proud Native American population.


44 miles north of Winnemucca
Orovada is known for excellent hunting areas. This community is a small farming and ranching community. Travelers enjoy the breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Mountains.


100 miles northwest of Winnemucca
Denio is a remote ranching community located near the Nevada/Oregon border. It has a lot to offer the adventurous hiker, photographer or day-tripper and is a favorite resting point for many travelers. The valley and nearby mountains are abundant in wildlife, making the area a prime hunting destination. Rock hounds also enjoy visiting the local opal mines. If you continue on Highway 140 at Denio Junction, you will journey into the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.


16 miles southwest of Winnemucca
Golconda’s hot springs were once well-known to western travelers long before the railroad established a station in 1868. The town site was made official in 1897 in conjunction with the development of the Adelaide mine. Several hotels/spas were built due to the hot springs, however not a single one remains and the hot springs have since been filled in. Today, Golconda houses a small population of residents and is known as the gateway to Midas, as well as several large mining operations in the valleys beyond.


60 miles northeast of Winnemucca
In 1907, more than 2,000 prospectors flooded the Midas area after hearing reports of gold strikes. When the ore turned out to be low grade in terms of quality and quantity, most of the people moved on. A cyanide mill caused another boom in 1915 which lasted seven years until the mill burned down. Sporadic mining continued until 1942. In the late 1990s, mining returned to Midas with a large underground gold and silver mine that is currently operational. Today, Midas has a small population of residents and a handful of older buildings remain, one of which – a saloon and café – is open to the public.


Ghost Towns

Northern Nevada was once home to thousands upon thousands of miners, who stared down destitution and even death, long enough to try and quench their thirst for this area’s rich ores. The many ghost towns that dot the local landscape speak to the booms and busts of mining life that were so prevalent between the middle 1800s and the early 1900s. Winnemucca is the perfect jumping off point to conduct your travel into the past. The information provided here is intended only as a starting point to your adventure.

Camp McGarry

11 miles southwest of Denio
Take U.S. Highway 95 north to State Route 140 into Denio, near the Nevada-Oregon border. Camp McGarry was established by the United States Army in 1865 to protect travelers using the trails in northern Nevada. The camp was abandoned three years later and has become a part of the Summit Lake Indian Reservation.

Camp Winfield Scott

4.5 miles northwest of Paradise Valley
Take U.S. Highway 95 north to State Route 290 into Paradise Valley. After many of the first residents of Paradise Valley were driven out by the Indians, Camp Winfield Scott was established in the northern part of the valley to protect them. Paradise Valley is far from a ghost town with about 100 residents, but many of its buildings stand empty.


12 miles west-southwest of State Route 140
The Jumbo Mine was established in 1910 in the Slumbering Hills. A large gold deposit was found there and the population increased quickly. Production continued intermittently until 1951. Some mill foundations and remains of a dance hall and saloon can still be seen today.


62 miles north of Winnemucca
National was one of the richest gold camps in Nevada. Two prospectors made the initial gold discovery in 1907. In 1909, a rich ore vein was found, bringing an incredible $30 per pound for ore that was shipped from there. Miners and gamblers flocked to National by the hundreds. By 1910, the National Mining Company bought the lease on the property, and one-year later, production reached $4 million. The mine continued until 1915, producing nearly $7 million. The mill shell, assay office, and a few wooden buildings remain.


30 miles southeast of Lovelock
Rochester is accessible via the Oreana Exit of Interstate 80. Prospectors from Rochester, New York, started mining the area in the 1860s. However, no major finds were uncovered unil 1912. One year later, 2,300 people lived in the town. There were two newspapers, several hotels, saloons, dance halls and other buildings. The Coeur Rochester Mine, which still mines the same ore through old mining shafts, sits on a mountain overlooking the old Rochester Mining District. Some old town sites have been left undisturbed in the canyon below.


58 miles west of Winnemucca
A Paiute discovered this site in 1869. He led prospectors to the find, expecting a bronco, saddle and blankets in return; he never received them. By 1880, six tons of sulfur a day were mined here. In 1909, the Western Pacific Railway laid tracks through the area and named the station Sulphur. It was a major receiving and shipping point in the early 1920s.


24 miles southwest of Winnemucca
Tungsten was first discovered in 1916 during the World War I boom. At first, there was a mill, offices and housing for the workers. The mine closed in the 1960s and was reopened in the 1980s. Most of the tungsten used in the free world was mined here.


18 miles south of Mill City
Once the seat of Humboldt County, Unionville flourished as a silver mining town in the 1860s. At one point, the population reached 1,500 with two 10-stamp mills and one five-stamp mill, many homes, businesses and a newspaper. Mark Twain lived in Unionville during the winter of 1861-62. The ruins of his stone cabin sit on a hillside in the upper part of the town site. His life in Unionville was depicted in his book Roughin’ It. Most of the mines played out in the 1870s, but a few people still live in the area today. Ruins extend three miles up the length of Buena Vista Canyon.

Willow Point

4 miles southeast of Paradise Valley
This tiny town used to serve travelers on the Winnemucca-Paradise Valley Road during the last part of the 19th century. By 1910, there was a hotel, saloon and livery stable.

The Winnemucca Convention & Visitors Authority asks you to please tread lightly, only take photos, and only leave footprints.



Mining & Rock Hounding

Winnemucca is located in the center of the Great Basin. The basin and range landscape gives way to a vast array of geological wonders. From hot springs to fault lines, geology buffs will find plenty to explore in the areas surrounding Winnemucca.

Please contact our local BLM and Forest Service offices for more information on exploring public lands.

Nevada is the third largest gold producer in the world. But the Virgin Valley Opal Field in Humboldt County just goes to show that all that glitters in Nevada is not gold.

The field, located 140 miles north of Winnemucca, has been an important producer of opals since it was discovered in the 1800’s. Ranchers and cowboys were the first to collect surface opals from the shallow open pits. Those opals were either curiosities to them or were traded in town for liquor.

Around 1905, demand for the precious stones began increasing. In 1917, after the first mines in the valley were begun, the Roebling Opal, a 2,665-carat find, was discovered. That rock now resides in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. along with 14 other outstanding opal specimens from the Virgin Valley.

Several commercial mining operations, as well as, private claims work the valley today, producing both black and fire opals. Even amateur prospectors are invited to try their hand at locating opals.

*Check the mine website for the most current up-to-date information. Prices and operating hours may vary.

Royal Peacock Opal Mines, Inc

Open: May 15 thru Oct 15 (weather permitting)
Mining Hours: 8 am- 4 pm
Bank Digging: $190 per day- per person
Tailings Digging: $75 per day- per person. Chldren 12 and under with a paid
adult dig free in the mine dumps and tailings only.
Location: 140 miles north of Winnemucca and 35 miles west of Denio.
Directions: Take U.S. Highway 95 north out of Winnemucca to State Route 140 and turn left. Proceed to Denio Junction near the Nevada-Oregon border and follow the signs to the Virgin Valley Ranch & Mines. Always call ahead prior to making the trip out.

Mine phone (summer): (775) 941-0374
Off-season phone: (775) 272-3201
Website: www.royalpeacock.com

Bonanza Opal Mines

Open: May thru September (dates vary-weather permitting)
Mining Hours: 8 am- 4 pm, Wednesday-Sunday
Bank Digging: No bank digging.
Tailings Digging: $70 per day- per person. Children, 12 and under with a paid
adult dig free in the mine dumps and tailings only.
Location: 140 miles north of Winnemucca and 25 miles west of Denio.
Directions: Take U.S. Highway 95 north out of Winnemucca to State Route 140 and turn left. Proceed to Denio Junction near the Nevada-Oregon border and follow the signs to the Virgin Valley Ranch & Mines. Always call ahead prior to making the trip out.

Mine phone (summer): (775) 941-0111  
Off-season phone: (775) 375-5955 
Website: www.bonanzaopals.com

Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine

Open: End of May thru mid-September (weather permitting)
Mining Hours: 8 am- 4 pm
Load Fee: $600 with up to two adults
Tailings Digging: $100 per day- per person. Children 10-15 are half price.
Location: 140 miles north of Winnemucca and 35 miles west of Denio.
Directions: Take U.S. Highway 95 north out of Winnemucca to State Route 140 and turn left. Proceed to Denio Junction near the Nevada-Oregon border and follow the signs to the Virgin Valley Ranch & Mines. Denio Junction is the nearest place for groceries, a motel, dining, and gambling.

Mine phone (summer): (775) 941-0270 to make a reservation.
Off-season phone: (541) 312-2679
Website: www.nevadaopal.com



Visit our quaint locally owned shops in the downtown area to find chic clothing, gifts, local products, or timeless antiques. Winnemucca is also home to various hardware, livestock supply, and grocery stores. The friendly hometown hospitality will greet you at every establishment with a willingness to help you find what you need. 



Whatever your definition of camping is, Winnemucca is a sure to fit the bill! Winnemucca is home to several well maintained RV parks and surrounded by vast amounts of public lands. The Bureau of Land Management maintains several campsites across Humboldt County. A local favorite, Water Canyon, lies just east of the city. For more information on public lands camping, contact the local BLM office (775) 623-1500 or visit the BLM Winnemucca Field Office for more information.