'The journey to success has never been one without flair and follies. If at the end of it, you enjoy your success so much that you forget your journey, then your success is probably not well-deserved.' - A Native American Proverb
Esmeralda is one of the most intriguing places in the United States. Although present on paper as a county, for most purposes, it is nothing but a city that has seen the heights of success and depths of failures in equal proportions, so much so that one starts to wonder, after looking at the present state of affairs in Esmeralda, whether the place has become permanently immune and stoic to all shocks and pleasures of life. That's why, a sombre Native American proverb was thought to befit the introduction of this article by us.
The history of Esmeralda is really fascinating to say the least. The county was 'found' by westward exploration of out of work factory workers and chance takers who wanted to make the most of the Homestead Act. A miner from California, going against the wind in the 1860's, decided to explore eastwards, and thus ended up in the vast semi-deserted region that is today known as Esmeralda County. The lack of greenery as far as eye could see prompted him to name what would be his own town 'Esmeralda'. A big part was also played by the fickle Gypsy show-woman in Victor Hugo's classic 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' whose name also happened to be Esmeralda.
The town was set-up, much like in the slot fashion that the Wild West was known for, and in about three decades, the fortunes of the whole county changed for the better as a huge wave of gold prospecting hit the region. Almost every able bodied man gave himself and his family into finding nuggets of gold in the Esmeralda Valley (Mason Valley), and by the end of the first few years of the new century, the money that had come so easily into Esmeralda flew out even more freely. What remained of that transformation was a series of ghost towns and abandoned settlements that still stand today, a part of historic heritage of the United States (recognized by the Federal Govt.).
Cheap Hotels in Esmeralda
One would be forgiven to wonder if it is really worth it to lodge in a county where abandoned mills and ghost towns are the largest identifiers. But don't take our word for it! In 2014 alone, over 2 million people visited Esmeralda County, in a bid to see what the lives and homes of yesteryears appear like. In short, just like the remains of Pompeii, Esmeralda is a burning reminder to the nation to use our resources judiciously!
Coming back to discussing cheap hotels, it should be noted that the best way to find a suitably affordable hotel in Esmeralda is to travel to Tonopah. This is where the bulk of budget hotels in Esmeralda are concentrated.
Economy Inn and Tonopah Station Inn are two among these that can be given a positive nod, considering their overall repute and pricing plans.
From affordable Esmeralda hotels, let's move on to more luxurious and more interesting kind!
Finding Luxury Resorts in Esmeralda
Many would think it impossible, but it is certainly possible to find luxury hotels in Esmeralda, given that you know where to look for them.
While it would appear strange to splurge money in a place which has literally had itself doomed through endless spending, many tourists find the irony appealing. Each to their own, we say!
Unlike cheap hotels, these luxury counterparts require much pondering before one could arrive at a single choice.
In Tonopah, Best Westin High Desert Inn is perhaps the only luxury option. The said hotel is not five star, but only four star. However, in given surroundings, not many people would complain about that one missing star!
Mizpah Hotel (another four star property) in Tonopah can help you get the actual feel of wild west, with its boisterous saloon, card games, casinos and corner grocery shops!
Top Sights to See in Esmeralda
In Esmeralda county, there are few sights to see, but they are all very diverse and interesting, to say the least.
Goldfield is perhaps the most famous of the lot. It is an abandoned district in Esmeralda County. Now in a state of derelict for over a century, the town is visited by over one million people each year. It is typically dusty, hot and sultry, images that most of us would effortlessly associate with Wild Western Frontier. The whole district has now been listed by the National Register of Historic Places.
Inyo National Forest also falls inside the boundaries of Esmeralda County. The highest peak in Nevada and the driest peak in the United States, Boundary Peak, can be visited here, as well.
If you have even more penchant for visiting ghost towns, Palmetto is a perfect choice. Not too far away from Tonopah, Palmetto is rather less popular, but just as surreally spooky, as Goldfield.
Another ghost town that does not even try to hide what would have been written in its fate can interest adventure seekers. It is a town that goes by the name of 'Hardluck' (about 50 km from Tonopah, eastwards).
Sightseeing Tips for Tourists Visiting Esmeralda
If you are visiting Esmeralda, there is one ground rule you must abide by to keep your trip from turning wrong.
Most importantly, you need to be quite sure that you are physically tough enough to tackle the dry heat of Nevada Desert. If not, you should just reconsider your plans.
Getting Around in Esmeralda
That's a tough one! The only way to get around Esmeralda is to travel in your own car, or if not, rent one for the duration of your stay. There are no alternatives to this.
Fortunately, many Esmeralda hotels do provide car rental facilities to their guests at lower tariffs than the ongoing prices in the market.