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In 1946, two men battled for power in Las Vegas. Bugsy Siegel stole Billy Wilkerson's dream of a luxury hotel in the desert, and died in a hail of bullets.    

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Pioche, Nevada : Information & Photographs

Downtown Pioche, Nevada
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Pioche is a small but interesting town in eastern Nevada. Located on US Highway 93 and twenty-five miles north of Caliente, Pioche has a unique history. Pioche is also the starting point for numerous outdoor recreation opportunities in the area, including Spring Valley State Park, Echo Canyon State Park and the Mt. Wilson Backcountry Byway Scenic Drive.

Pioche, like so many other towns in Nevada, began its life as a silver mining boomtown. By the early 1870’s it was one of the most important silver mining areas in the state. Yet the blossoming of the town did little to temper the frontier atmosphere of Pioche. Local history has it that more than seventy people were killed in the mining camp before the first “natural cause” death happened!

Today, Pioche isn’t nearly as rough and tumble. Yet unlike many small Nevada mining towns, Pioche has managed to survive the economic swings of the mining industry. As the county seat of Lincoln County, Pioche maintains a busy and very nice downtown core.

In addition to having many historic buildings in the downtown area, Picohe is home to what I think is one of the neatest historical “displays” in Nevada. When driving into Pioche on US Highway 93, the passing motorist can’t miss what looks like a gondola running across the road and up into the hills above town. This is the Pioche Aerial Tramway. This tramway, though, wasn’t built to shuttle tourists. Instead, the Aerial Tramway was built in the 1920’s to move ore down from the mine above town to the railroad below. Although the mine disappeared during the 1930’s, the tramway, the tower, the cables and the ore cars remain.

The Pioche Aerial Tramway
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The weather in Pioche is generally quite nice. With an elevation of over 6000 feet, the weather is quite cool even during the hottest days of summer. As such, Pioche and the surrounding area is an excellent place to come to escape the high heat of the deserts of southern Nevada.

Pioche is also a gateway to many excellent outdoor activities. In particular, the 81 mile Mt. Wilson Backcountry Byway Scenic Drive begins right outside of town and heads into the remote and forested Wilscon Creek Range. Additionally, two very nice state park, Echo Canyon and Spring Valley, are found not too far from town.

Overall, anyone passing by on US Highway 93 should make a point of taking some time to visit Pioche. It’s a unique town and fun to visit.

Photos of Pioche

Ore Car on the Aerial Tramway Engine #279 in Pioche Downtown Pioche

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Map of Pioche & Vicinity


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Suggested Books

Benchmark Nevada Road & Recreation Atlas : This topographic map book shows ALL roads in Nevada. This book is a mandatory requirement if you'll be venturing off the main highways shown on the tourist map. Additionally, this book shows many historical sites, points of interest and recreation areas.

More Info at Amazon

Where to Stay in Pioche

There are no hotels available for online booking in Pioche. However, there are a few locally owned motels in town. Down the road in Caliente there are also a few small hotels, too. Pioche, however, is surrounded by federal land and state parks. Thus, camping - both primitive and developed - is readily available.

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