Nye County

"Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada" overlooks the Nye County Desert
“Lady Desert: The Venus of Nevada” overlooks the Nye County Desert

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.

Rhyolite, Nevada photo by Destination4x4.com
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by Destination4x4.com

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 4×4 Trails

Nye County Area Map

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Nye County Ghost Towns

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