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Population: 14Elevation: 8500 feet
Jarbidge is the most isolated of all Nevada's prominent mining ghosts, and
it occupies the most beautiful setting. A visit here is a must for the
Complete Nevada Traveler, but you'll drive 102 miles north from Elko,
only 55 them on pavement. Be sure you want to make this trip, and then
outfit yourself for the wild. Water, food, shovel, jack,
chains, blankets--all of it. Then take Nevada 225 north to 4-1/2 miles
beyond North Fork where a dirt road leads east. At the turnoff to Cole
Canyon and the North Fork Campground, turn east. 48 miles of dirt road
later you'll be in Jarbidge.|
A gold strike in 1909 prompted a rush the following spring when reports of the region's spectacular richness appeared in the press. Some 1,500 miners reached the deep canyon to stake claims on the snowdrifts covering the ground as deep as 18 feet, but when the snow melted it exposed the exaggeration of the newspaper reports, and most of the claims melted away with the snow.
Further discoveries were made in 1910, however, and by the end of the year, Jarbidge was a long, narrow community of several hundred residents connected by stagecoach with its nearest neighbor, Rogerson, Idaho, some 65 miles away. The population rose to about 1,200 the following year and then began a fluctuating decline which continued despite the large scale mining which commenced in 1918, when the Guggenheim interests acquired the Jarbidge mines, and lasted until 1932. A dozen permanent residents remain at Jarbidge, which has a store, a gas pump, two bars, a post office and the very welcome (and welcoming) Outdoor Inn.
The last stagecoach robbery in the West took place at the outskirts of Jarbidge during a December blizzard in 1916.
The Jarbidge River, splashing through the canyon in which the town is wedged, eventually squirms its way to the Snake, the Columbia and the sea. The wilderness area to the east is as God and nature made it. One July visitor counted more than 60 varieties of wildflowers in bloom on the way to Jarbidge and in the tightly woven maze of mountain canyons.
Come during bow and arrow hunting season, when Jarbidge is filled with deerstalkers. During the day they flit silently through the wilderness on their deadly business, but after sundown they are merrier than Robin's men as they fill Jarbidge's remaining saloons with loud talk and laughter. Winter comes early to this isolated place, and it stays a long, long time. You'll never regret checking with the Sheriff's Office in Elko about road conditions before you set out.
Calendar of Annual Events
Welcome to Jarbidge