IT’S TIME TO VISIT YERINGTON, NEVADA
Celebrate the Arts, Explore The Outdoors, Soak Up Some History & Have Fun!
by Lisa D. Smith & Nancy J. Reid
South of Reno and east of Yosemite National Park, Yerington is located in western Nevada, just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and on the California National Historic Trail.
Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with shops, restaurants and casinos, and its surrounding Mason Valley and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farm lands that stretch out to natural areas encompassing rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and vibrant meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. From hearty farm-style breakfasts to decadent baked goodies, sumptuous pizza and mouth-watering steak dinners, there’s a variety of dining options to whet your appetite!
Celebrate The Arts
The Yerington Theatre for The Arts is housed in the beautifully restored historic Yerington Grammar School No. 9, within the Jeanne Dini Cultural Center in downtown Yerington. It’s a great place to stop for a lunch bite at the café, or to enjoy a performance or cultural heritage event, and view one of the many visual art exhibitions. The center also runs educational programs, and is host to the Yerington Farmers Market. Tel: (775) 463-1783
Explore The Outdoors
The greater Yerington region is an outdoor paradise for nature lovers, bird watchers, geocachers and hikers. Walker River, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon are nearby outdoor destinations to explore on foot, and great places for a relaxed picnic lunch. The greater Yerington area is also a hub for geocachers who come from across the country and around the world to search for cache treasures along the numerous geocaching trails.
If you love bird watching, the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area is just a few minutes from Yerington, and is home to a series of wetlands that are a habitat to a variety of wildlife and birds that range from tundra swans in the winter to over 21 species of duck, pelicans, California quail, ring-necked pheasants, magpies, and osprey. Nesting species of raptors in the area include great horned owl, short-eared owl, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, Swainson’s hawk and northern harrier. Other species include bald eagles, golden eagles, prairie falcons, Peregrine falcons, and merlins. Songbirds that regularly nest include common yellowthroats, horned larks, marsh wrens, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds, Savannah sparrows, and song sparrows. Other less common are blue grosbeak, ash-throated flycatcher, black phoebe, and western bluebird.
Soak Up Some History
Spend a few hours or even a full day touring Fort Churchill and Buckland Station State Historic Parks. A 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington, Fort Churchill was built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, and hike the 1.6 mile interpretive nature trail that runs from the Fort, along the Carson River to historic Buckland Station. Keep your eyes peeled for beaver, fox, mule deer, wild turkey and Canadian geese. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail. Tel: (775) 577-2345
Explore Lyon County Museum in historic downtown Yerington. From local Native American culture to the pioneers, miners, farmers and ranchers who developed the land, the museum features eight buildings of artifacts and exhibits that preserve and showcases the region’s diverse history and heritage. You’ll see an impressive array of artifacts that range from a human hair embroidered picture to a nickel slot machine, dental tools to a gomphothere mandible, and more. Tel: 775-463-6576
Cha-Ching! It’s Time for Fun!
Main Street in downtown Yerington offers the temptation of luck with three different casinos including Dini’s Lucky Club Restaurant & Casino, which happens to be the longest family owned and operated casino in Nevada. Have fun playing the slots and various games of chance like keno and bingo, enjoy your favorite libation, grab a bite, and let the good times roll! And as luck will have it, all three casinos are within a short walking distance from the Yerington Inn.
If you’re looking for an authentic yet unique “Small Town America” experience, put Yerington on your travel list!