Elko County is the second-largest county by area in Nevada, and the fourth-largest in the United States. At 17,203 square miles, such an open space provides Elko citizens and passerby a varied landscape of mountains, hills, valleys, ranch and rangeland. The cold season averages between -below 0 º to 25º, while the hot season averages at about 79 º. Midway between Reno and Salt Lake City, and bordering Idaho and Utah, Elko County is seated perfectly for a blend of rural industry, small town life, and a not-so-distant city connection. The Shoshone Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley Reservation occupy 289,819 acres, straddling the Nevada-Idaho border.
History tells us that “Sixty years ago Lowell Thomas called Elko ‘the last real Cowtown in the American West,’ and until about 15 years ago that was still a good thumbnail description.”1 Today agriculture and recreational fishing and hunting is still prevalent in Elko County, although it has decreased in total jobs. Meanwhile mining and oil/gas extraction, along with even retail trade, have offered an increase in jobs in recent years, as well as billions of dollars in gold and silver mining production alone.