Wells, Nevada ~ Gateway To The East Humboldt Mountains!

Wells, Nevada ~ Gateway To The East Humboldt Mountains!

Taking a drive on Interstate Highway 80 in northeast Nevada during the winter season is a great way to enjoy endless views of snow draped desert mountain landscapes.  Highways that traverse the desolate Great Basin Desert offer many miles of scenic splendor with few interruptions.  Only a few signs of civilization dot the landscape along the way. 

It is easy to become mesmerized by the majestic snow covered scenery when traveling, just like being in a dream.  The dreamy snow white desert mountain landscape is so surreal looking, that it is easy to pass up opportunities to take a break from the road.  In a way, it is like being snow blind, because one simply does not want the dreamy white landscape vision to come to an end.   

When signs of civilization appear on the horizon, it is a good time to snap out of the snow blind cruising mode and do a reality check.  Topping off the tank at the gas pumps in a little town along the way is always a good idea in the vast Great Basin Desert expanse.  Grabbing a cup of coffee or hot cocoa helps to warm things up and this can keep a driver alert.  If hunger strikes, a good old fashioned local diner restaurant can usually be found along the main street area.  Of course in Nevada, little towns along the highway also offer casino gambling and comfortable lodging for a reasonable rate.

The town of Wells is one of the few dots on the map that one will see when traveling across northern Nevada on I-80.  Wells, Nevada, is known as the “Gateway To The East Humboldt Mountains.”  Wells is also known as the “Crossroads Of The West” because I-80 and Highway 93 intersect at this place.  

During the peak of winter, the mile high town of Wells is set in a contrast of snow draped mountains with wispy clouds drifting through cobalt blue skies.  When taking the first step out of the car while taking a break from the highway in this little town, one cannot help but to just stand there for a few moments while taking in the views of the scenery.  After one breath of the crisp clean air, it is easy to be content with taking one’s own sweet time while visiting this historic place.

Wells, Nevada has a lot of old west history to offer.  Wells originated as a Shoshone Native American community that evolved into a fur trapper trading post.  This remote trading post community eventually turned into a well known stop for pioneers traveling on the old California Trail.  Later in the 1800’s, the Transcontinental Railroad was routed through this area and this brought plenty of commerce.  Just before the turn of the century, tragedy struck and a big fired burnt this old west town to the ground.  Eventually the age of automobile travel began in the mid 1900’s and Wells turned into a popular wayside destination.  

The East Humboldt Mountain Range is occasionally prone to seismic activity.  Back in 2008, tragedy struck again when a 6.0 earthquake had its epicenter near Wells.  Some damage from the earthquake can still be seen on old neon signs and buildings in this area.  

The town of Wells does have an old historic district that is worth checking out.  This is a great place to stretch the legs after a long drive and take a few photos.  There is plenty of local history to experience at the nearby Emigrant Trail Center, where the Wells Chamber Of Commerce is also located.

During winter, destinations in the Wells area cater to cross country ski enthusiasts, snowmobile enthusiasts and snowshoe hikers.  During the summer, hikers, mountain bikers and those who enjoy primitive camping can head for pristine hidden lakes in the Humboldt Mountains that are nearly untouched by modern man.  The hunting and fishing in this neck of the woods is some of the best in the west and there are plenty of local guides for hire.  Those who tour the west in a “Land Yacht” will be happy to know that there are plenty of RV Park options to choose from.

When touring northern end of the Great Basin Desert, it is well worth taking the time to check out the Wells, Nevada.  This cozy little town sure does have a lot to offer and it is a nice choice for a base camp.  Outdoor enthusiasts and those who just need a break from the road will surely like this destination!


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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