The great Silver State Scavenger Hunt allure | NevadaAppeal.com

The great Silver State Scavenger Hunt allure

Lamoille Canyon is one of 14 stops in Northern Nevada in the first Silver State Scavanger Hunt Offical Destinations.
Chris Moran |

The Silver State great tour begins tomorrow.

It’s not exactly a car tour, but a traveling scavenger hunt to see Nevada up close and a little more personal.

At the end of May, Chris Moran, a public relations specialist with the Nevada Commission on Tourism (TravelNevada for this article), and Communications Specialist Kaitlin Godbey visited Fallon and the LVN office to promote tourism and an in-state travel campaign, a scavenger hunt co-sponsored by both their office and Nevada Magazine.

For a native Nevadan who has traveled to every corner of the Silver State and to many out-of-the-way spots within the Great Basin, this campaign beckons like Homer’s Sirens, beautiful yet dangerous women who lured unknowing sailors with enchanting voices and music to shipwreck on their island. Chris did not cast a spell to lure me to TravelNevada’s latest campaign, but the thought of visiting designated locations did entice me to draw up a plan to loop around Northern Nevada for this weekend by becoming a participant in The Silver State Scavenger Hunt.

The hunt divides the state in half, offering 14 spots in each of the Northern and Southern zones. The object is for the traveler to visit at least 10 of the 14 spots in one zone before the end of July and have a photo taken in front of a historical marker with a copy of the May/June issue of Nevada Magazine in hand.

After persuading a trusty navigator and map reader to accompany me across the state, we picked up a Nevada map, looked at the Northern Zone stops in Nevada Magazine and devised a plan. Additionally, we looked at the weekend weather forecast that forced us to change our route because of the threat of thunderstorms predicted for White Pine County this weekend.

After loading up the Jeep with sleeping bags, food and water, we’ll begin the long scavenger hunt at the Governor’s Mansion shortly after the sun rises over Carson City’s valley floor and then, contrary to what newspaperman Horace Greeley barked, we are headed east — at least for the first day.

The route, though, tends to backtrack, especially in central Nevada. After leaving Carson City, we’ll stop at Unionville, 15 miles off I-80, and the rest stop at Valmy before stopping in Battle Mountain for refueling. Then, it’s south to Stokes Castle near Austin and afterward, east to Eureka and the first-day stop at Ely where we’ll visit the Ward Mining District and Schellbourne and camp out at Cave Rock State Park.

Saturday’s route takes us northeast to see Wendover Will, the huge cowboy symbol that greets visitors to Nevada’s last stop before Utah on Interstate 80. Westward we’ll drive to Wells for lunch and visit of Angel Creek Campgrounds and Angel Lake. For eight years, I lived in Wells, so it will be interesting to revisit the area. Off we go to Lamoille Canyon via a dirt road that skirts the Ruby Mountains before reaching Elko.

The last leg of the trip on Sunday zeroes in on Winnemucca and across the most barren part of Nevada (which also includes the Black Rock Desert) to Gerlach via the Jungo Road. From Gerlach, we begin the last stretch of our journey to the Washoe County Courthouse in Reno, up to Lake Tahoe for a stop at Glenbrook and to the Nevada Appeal office where the trip ends.

Along the way, we’ll send information via Facebook and Twitter and within several weeks look for articles in both the Lahontan Valley News and Nevada Appeal.

Steve Ranson is editor of the LVN.