Tonopah, Nevada

Situated nearly smack dab between Reno and Las Vegas, the former home of one of the biggest mining booms in the entire state has another feather in its cap. Tonopah sits under the darkest skies in the United States, making this remote old mining town the best stargazing spot in the country. That’s according to USA Today, although the locals will tell you the same, because on a clear night they can look up and see the Milky Way and literally thousands of sparkling stars.

Like many Silver State towns, Tonopah is rooted in mining. Known as the Queen of the Silver Camps, Tonopah sprang into existence following the 1900 discovery of a huge silver deposit. The boom lasted until the 1920s and Tonopah became a large city during those two decades. Remnants of the town’s proud mining past can be explored at the Tonopah Historic Mining Park, which is located on the site of the original claim made by rancher Jim Butler, and the Central, Nevada Museum, which highlights Tonopah’s rugged history. There are also various murals and outdoor sculptures depicting the town’s early days, plus the downtown highlight, the circa-1907 Mizpah Hotel which some still insist is still haunted by “The Lady in Red.”

Besides stargazing and exploring the town’s mining history, there’s quite a bit of wilderness to explore near Tonopah. Geology buffs flock to the natural formations at Monte Cristo’s Castle and the Crescent Sand Dunes are a great spot for off-roaders. There’s also plenty of hiking, camping, hunting, biking and wildlife viewing to be had, and Tonopah hosts quite a few annual events too. Jim Butler Days, every Memorial Day Weekend, is a grand celebration of the first silver strike, and there are also off-road races at the Tonopah Speedway, fishing derbies, farmers’ markets and traditional holiday celebrations like Independence Day and the Christmas Stroll.

Explore

Courthouse from side view with Belmont in background
Belmont, NV

Built in 1876, the Belmont Courthouse was the seat of Nye County government until 1905.

Best Western Exterior in Tonopah
Tonopah, NV
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Holding Trip Advisor's Certificate of Exellence of 2014 award, the Best Western Hi-Desert Inn is conveniently adjacent to the downtown area's casinos and museum. Offering amazing hospitality and affordable rates, this pet-friendly accomodation includes a seasonal pool & spa, and shuttle service to one of Central Nevada's many nearby sights and attractions. You've heard about all the incredible attractions in this region, Tonopah's expansive night sky being one of them, so there is no better time for an adventure!

Clown Motel in Tonopah
Tonopah, NV

Located on the north end of Tonopah, the spacious Clown Motel offers guests clean, comfortable accommodations and thoughtful luxuries including a complimentary continental breakfast, wireless high speed internet, and your choice of a smoking or non-smoking abode.  Offering extremely reasonable personal room rates, the Clown Motel also will cater to your group and four-legged friend's needs!

Jim Butler close up of sign
Tonopah, NV
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With repeat visitors from all over the world rave about the unique, comfortable and homey rooms, the Jim Butler Motel is the answer to your traveling needs. At the Jim Butler, their mission is to ensure guests feel comfortable and welcome, demonstrating exemplary customer service and spotless amenities, working to create a restorative atomosphere. The staff will ensure visitors will be able to take full advantage of the Jim Butler's central location in the heart of downtown Tonopah, and will offer boundless information about the area and exciting activities that last 15 minutes or 15 days.

Tonopah, NV
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With its friendly, competent staff, great rates and clean, comfortable rooms, the National 9 Inn offers guests exceptional value. Enjoy a complimentary Continental breakfast and your choice of smoking and non-smoking rooms.