Nye County

Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

Nye County, Nevada was named after James W. Nye and established in 1864. Nye County 4×4 trails offer the explorer the opportunity to explore many remote gold mines and ghost towns.  James W. Nye served as the first governor of the Nevada Territory. Nye county is the largest county in Nevada by area and the county seat is currently held in Tonopah. The largest population center within the county is Pahrump, which is about eighty six percent of the population.

Nye county is sparsely populated.

Nye County History

James W. Nye. Library of Congress description: "Hon. James Warren Nye of Nevada"
James W. Nye. Library of Congress description: “Hon. James Warren Nye of Nevada”

Nye County was established in 1864 during the Civil War. It’s namesake James W. Nye was the first governor of the Nevada Territory, and when Nevada was entered into the Union, served as a U. S. Senator. The cities of Rhyolite and Tonopah hosted gold and silver mine booms in the early 20th century.

After the mining boom subsided around 1910, the population plummeted and the citizens relocated to other areas to increase their opportunities. Today Nye County low population and large distances between towns offer a sense of wonderment and a glimpse of what the country used to be.

Nye County Area Map

Nye County 4×4 Trails

Long Team in front of the Bonnie Claire Mine, Nevada

Bonnie Claire Nevada – A Nye County Ghost Town

Located off highway 267 East of Death Valley National Park Gold, Bonnie Clarie Nevada is a mine site and ghost town that is easy to…
Crowells Mill under construction in Chloride City, CA about 1915

Chloride City California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Chloride City California is located within Death Valley National Park and Inyo County, California. The town arose out of silver discoveries in nearby Chloride Cliff…
Titus Canyon, a narrow canyon drive in Death Valley National Park, CA

Titus Canyon

Titus Canyon has it all, rugged mountains, colorful rock formations, a small ghost town, mines, petroglyphs, wildlife, rare plants and spectacular canyon narrows as a…

Nye County Ghost Towns

Belmont in 1871

Belmont Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Following a silver strike and quartz vein by a Native American in the area, Belmont Nevada was founded in Nye County, Nevada. The silver boom…
Berlin Nevada - 1910

Berlin Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Berlin Nevada - 1910 Berlin Nevada is a ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada and found within the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park some 19 miles…
One of the few remaining structures in Bullfrog, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun

Bullfrog Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

One of the few remaining structures in Bullfrog, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun Located at the northern end of Amargosa Desert, Bullfrog is…

Carrara Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV Carrara Ghost town is a small ghost town and marble mine located about ten…
Crowells Mill under construction in Chloride City, CA about 1915

Chloride City California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Chloride City California is located within Death Valley National Park and Inyo County, California. The town arose out of silver discoveries in nearby Chloride Cliff…
Grantsville Nevada 1886

Grantsville Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Grantsville Nevada 1886 Named for Ulysses S. Grant, Grantsville Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Nye County Nevada. Initial prospecting…
Ione settlement, with Ione Valley in the background, c 1900

Ione Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Ione Nevada is a ghost town, which is located in Nye County, Nevada. In April 1863 a silver stike was made by P. A. Haven…
Manhattan Nevada 1906

Manhattan Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Manhattan Nevada 1906 Located about fifty miles north of Tonopah, Manhattan Nevada is ghost town located at the end of Nevada State Route 377 in…
Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880's

Ophir Canyon Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Ophir Canyon is a ghost town from the 1880s and located about 3.5 miles west of State Route 8A north of State Route 92, in…
The Camp of Pioneer in July 1910 is partially rebuilt after the fire in 1909

Pioneer Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Beginning as a mining camp near the Mayflower, Pioneer Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. The Pioneer gold…
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

Rhyolite Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Rhyolite is a ghost town location just outside of the Eastern edge of Death Valley National monument in Nye country, Nevada.  Founded in 1904 by…

Troy Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

In May 1867, prospector Alexander Beatty worked the the Grant Mountain range when he discovered silver and founded the town site of Troy, in Nye…
Tybo, Nevada - 1881

Tybo Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Tybo Nevada - 1875 Tybo Nevada is a ghost town in Nye County located some 8 miles north west of U.S Route 6 and some…

Historic Markers

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts the program became dormant in 2009.
Nevada State Historic Marker #173 - Beatty - Photo by James L Rathbun

Beatty NSHM Nevada State Historic Marker #173

Beatty NSHM 173 is Nevada State Historical Marker number one hundred and seventy three five and is located just off of highway 95 in the…
Belmont in 1871

Belmont Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Following a silver strike and quartz vein by a Native American in the area, Belmont Nevada was founded in Nye County, Nevada. The silver boom…
Ione Nevada

Ione NSHM – Nevada State Historical Marker #159

Ione NSHM is Nevada State Historical Marker number one hundred fifty nine and is located in the Nye County, Nevada. Nevada State Historical Markers identify…
Manhattan Nevada 1906

Manhattan NSHM Nevada State Historic Marker #97

Manhattan NSHM is Nevada State Historical Marker number ninety seven and is located in Nye County, Nevada. Manhattan Nevada 1906 Nevada State Historical Markers identify…
Wild Burrow photographed in Beatty, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun

Old Boundary (Nevada’s Southern Boundary 1861-1867) NSHM #58

Old Boundary (Nevada's Southern Boundary 1861-1867) is Nevada State Historical Marker number fifty eight located in the Nye County, Nevada. The marker is located about…
Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880's

Ophir Canyon Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Ophir Canyon is a ghost town from the 1880s and located about 3.5 miles west of State Route 8A north of State Route 92, in…
Tybo Nevada - 1875

Tybo NSHM – Nevada State Historical Marker #172

Tybo NSHM is Nevada State Historical Marker number one hundred seventy two and is located in Nye County, Nevada. Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant…

Nye County Personalities

Frank "Shorty" Harris

Frank “Shorty” Harris

Frank Harris was a prospector, desert rat and perhaps the best known character in western mining history. He looked the part, often travelling the desert…
James Crysanthus Phelan

James Crysanthus Phelan – Rhyolite Shopkeeper

James Crysanthus Phelan James Crysanthus Phelan was a business man and early pioneer of the desert southwest, who like many others followed the boom towns…
John S Cook overseeing bars of gold bullion. Photo Goldfield Historical Society

John S Cook

John S Cook overseeing bars of gold bullion. Photo Goldfield Historical Society John S Cook is the founder and builder of the Cook Bank Building…
Walter Scott (1872 - 1954)

Walter Edward Perry Scott – “Death Valley Scotty”

Walter Edward Perry Scott  (September 20, 1872 – January 5, 1954), also known as "Death Valley Scotty", was a miner, prospector and conman who operated…

6 Replies to “Nye County”

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