“Get your ticket to the end of the line.” Steam trains have shuttled passengers throughout the west for over a century. So has the bicycle! That glorious era of engineering is alive and well in Ely, Nevada at the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Monument. Trains run daily, Spring through Fall, and carry passengers on the same routes as it did 110 years ago. Now you can enjoy having you and your bike shuttled to the end of the line during any regularly scheduled train and ride one of many routes back to town at your own pace with the brand new “Trains and Trails Ticket”. Either direction the train goes, riders will have options ranging from 6 miles all the way up to 20 miles or more back to town. Routes consist of rolling dirt roads that go past historic mining, railroad, and ranching sites, garnet collection areas, and gorgeous mountain views in all directions. Routes are suitable for families with kids who want to have a fun, unique experience, but also offers the option to extend your ride up to distances that will make the most experienced cyclists sweat.
Ely currently has over 40 miles of mountain bike singletrack in an ever-expanding trail system that leaves right from downtown. The county also boasts hundreds of miles of mountain roads for gravel exploration, but it is one of the only places in the country where you can use a historic train to shuttle you to these recreation opportunities. Ely is a year-round mountain town situated at the eastern end of Nevada’s Loneliest Road, Highway 50, and intersects with Highway 93.
Home to two state parks and Nevada’s only national park, vast recreation opportunities are an easy drive from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, or Reno. Ely is a place where history, arts, and the outdoors have come together for over 150 years to define this remote community that has played a major role in Nevada and the American story. In true frontier spirit, Race the Rails is an annual event in September where cyclist load their bikes on the steam train for a ride to the historic mining town of Ruth. After a pleasant 45 minute trip through time, participants then unload, line up, and race the train back to town either on pavement or dirt where music and a banquet await.
An experience that was limited to only once a year is now available anytime with the “Trains and Trails Ticket” at the Nevada Northern Railway. Go to www.ElyNevada.net for more information or www.NNRY.com for tickets.