About the Area...
Geologically, northern Nevada is designated as basin and range. The northeastern corner of the state where Tuscarora is located is classified climatically as high desert. Mountains rise to over 10,000 feet in the ranges surrounding the town and are covered with sage and native grasses, with aspen and cottonwood in the canyons, juniper and pine on the high north faces.
In the valleys ranchers grow vast meadows of hay to feed their cattle in winter. The mountains and canyons are open for hiking and mountain biking, as Tuscarora is surrounded by public lands. Within two hours drive are the alpine wildernesses of Jarbidge and the Ruby Mountains. A large swimming hole on the south end of town offers a pleasant spot to cool off.
Tuscarora was established in 1872 as a mining camp after the discovery of gold and silver, at 6000 feet above sea level at the base of Mount Blitzen. The population boomed to over 3000 by 1880—including a large Chinese population—and the town sported a number of stores and saloons, an opera house, several ore mills, and a marching band. By the turn of the century the ore was running out and the population had dwindled to a few hundred.
Today the year-round population rarely explodes beyond fifteen, with dogs and chickens significantly outnumbering humans.
Elko, 52 miles to the southeast, is the closest commercial center, offering shops, movie theaters, grocery stores, casinos, Big Macs, and bordellos.
Of particular interest is the largest ethnic Basque festival in the United States held annually on the 4th of July weekend, and The Cowboy Poetry Festival held in late January.