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Esmeralda

December 21, 2013

Esmeralda Morning

Esmeralda County, right across the state line from me, is Nevada’s least populated, with fewer than 800 residents, and the second-lowest population density in the Lower 48 states. To most people, even to many fans of Nevada and outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a blank space on the map. It has no National Parks or Monuments, no State Parks, only a couple settlements that qualify as towns even by Nevada’s loose standards, not even much history except for tales of hardscrabble mining, and almost no surface water. There’s really nothing much over there, except for Nevada’s highest mountain, Boundary Peak, and 3,600 empty square miles of absolutely gorgeous mountains, valleys and badlands.

Lone Mountain and Ash Beds

In other words, it’s the kind of place I like.

Red Sky Monte Cristo

There’s an awful lot to explore out here, and I’ve got a big mental list of places I need to revisit in good light. The massive bulk of the White Mountains is a constant presence to the west.

Badlands and Boundary

Monte Cristo Sunrise

Desert Castle

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2013 4:22 pm

    Sounds and looks like a great place to check out. I’m jealous!

    • December 21, 2013 5:25 pm

      Thanks Aaron! Living here is pretty good consolation for my inability to make it up to Idaho these days.

  2. December 21, 2013 7:00 pm

    Fantastic landscapes. A photographer’s dream.

    • December 22, 2013 2:03 pm

      Thanks Andrew! I’m certainly lucky to be here, though there are times when I miss water. For a while I wondered if Esmeralda might be the only U.S. county with no natural streams, but it just barely contains a couple in the northern Whites. But it’s still an awfully dry area, even by the standards of the arid West.

  3. December 24, 2013 4:34 pm

    This isn’t a half-bad backyard (with your front yard being the greater Death Valley area/Sierra/Whites), Jackson. These landscapes rival anything in DVNP, and it’s a real treat to see the Whites from the west.

    • December 24, 2013 6:18 pm

      Thanks Greg! I’ve still only scratched the surface out there, lots more places to look at. As an added bonus, there are hot springs out there too.

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