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Elko is a desert town in northern Nevada that celebrates its history as an important town of the Old West. After becoming a riverside stop along the historic California Trail, the town was officially founded in 1868, when it was established as the eastern terminus of the Central Pacific Railroad. It remains an important hub for gold mining and cattle ranching.
This high desert town sits on a plateau at over 5,000 feet
in altitude. Between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Reno, Nevada, it is the largest
town for hundreds of miles and is surrounded by breathtaking wilderness areas perfect for outdoor adventures with canine companions. In addition to its many awesome parks, there are four veterinary clinics in Elko
to address your pup’s medical needs.
One of the most popular places for pups in Elko is the
21-acre Main City Park. Adjacent to the Northeastern Nevada Museum and some
dog-friendly hotels, the park includes several sports facilities and fields as
well as historic sites and markers. Expansive grassy areas give you room to
roam while tall trees provide shade on hot summer days, making this park a
favorite of local pups and their owners. You will need to keep your dog on a
leash and bring your own waste bags and water.
You’ll want to tip your hat to Elko for how many amazing adventures you can enjoy with your furry friend in this frontier town.
Downtown Elko is a great place to take in historic sites as you stroll the streets with your pup. Architectural landmarks include the Elko County Courthouse and the Pioneer Building, which was originally established as a saloon and hotel in the late nineteenth century and is now home to the Western Folklife Center. You can admire historic trains at the small Railroad Park in the heart of downtown, which also includes a grassy area where you can take a leashed dog for a quick bathroom break. If you get hungry, B.J. Bull, a restaurant that serves sweet and savory pastries, has dog-friendly outdoor seating. Right off of the downtown area, you can walk the two-mile riverside trail maintained by the Humboldt Area River Project (HARP). You will need to keep your dog on a leash and bring your own waste bags and water.
This residential neighborhood just north of downtown is noted for its mature trees and historic homes. On its west side, you’ll find the five-acre Angel Park, a shaded oasis with covered picnic tables, a tennis court, walking trails, and a winter sledding hill. The eastern end of the neighborhood features two larger parks: the eight-acre Johnny Appleseed Park and the aforementioned 21-acre Main City Park. Johnny Appleseed Park includes a playground, covered picnic and barbecue areas, horseshoe pits, and lots of grassy areas where you can play with your pup. You will need to keep your dog on a leash at all parks in the Tree Streets area and bring your own waste bags and water.
One of the best spots in northwest Elko for thirsty pups and their owners is Mattie's Taphouse & Grill. You can bring your pup along as you sample the craft brews they have on tap and enjoy a hearty meal in their outdoor dining area. To the north of Mattie’s, you’ll find the thirty-acre Mountain View Park. The sports fields are great spots for a romp when a game isn’t going on. When the sun is high, you’ll appreciate the numerous areas shaded by mature trees. There are also covered picnic and park areas. Nearly every spot in the park boasts majestic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. You will need to keep your dog on a leash at Mountain View Park and bring your own waste bags and water.
The small town of Spring Creek is just south of Elko, and features many pawsome areas for outdoor explorers. The South Fork State Recreation Area, a popular spot for camping, fishing, and boating, includes the 1,650-acre South Fork Reservoir and the hilly areas, meadows, and wetlands that surround it. There are a few hiking trails along the water’s edge. For more adventurous hikers, the trailhead for the Island Lake Trail can be found at the end of Lamoille Canyon Road (NF-660) on the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway. This trail is 1.9 miles each way and gains nearly 1000 feet in elevation, ending at the wild and scenic Island Lake. It’s a great introductory hike for those wanting to explore the Ruby Mountains. The 36-mile Ruby Crest Trail also has a trailhead nearby. You will need to keep your dog on a leash on all trails and bring your own waste bags and water.
If you follow Nevada State Route 228 an hour south of Elko, you’ll find the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge in nearby Ruby Valley. This huge park features almost 40,000 acres of wetlands and is a great place to go to spot a wide variety of wildlife. A haven for migratory birds including Sandhill Cranes and Trumpeter Swans, it’s also home to other animals including elk, badgers, jackrabbits, and coyotes, as well as several species of frogs and snakes. You can follow a few short walking trails around the park, or take your pup out on a boating adventure. You will need to keep your dog on a leash no longer than six feet and bring your own waste bags and water. Remember to respect the wildlife and pack out anything you bring in.
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