Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nevada Beyond the Neon: Jarbidge, Nevada on Labor Day Weekend

Main Street.  Jarbidge, Nevada.
From the nearest Nevada city of Elko it's a
50 mile drive over dirt roads to get here.

         “You in town for the corn feed?”
          It’s not the question we expect as we stop at The Trading Post  in "downtown" Jarbidge, Nevada to pick up maps and supplies.   
         “We could be.  Tell us about it.”
          The weathered, gray-haired owner/operator of The Trading Post went on to explain:
          “We dig a big pit in the ground at The Outdoor Inn, throw in the charcoal and then when it’s good and hot, we toss burlap sacks of corn on top and roast them.  The women in town bring covered-dish sides to add to the feast.”

            We're in luck because we’re staying at The Outdoor Inn and the Corn Feed is tomorrow night.
            “We’ll check it out”, we say.

           The two actual reasons we’ve made the journey to Jarbidge are to fish the Jarbidge River for Redband Trout, and to hike the Jarbidge Wilderness and breathe its pure air.  Remote and isolated, the Jarbidge Wilderness contains a Class 1 Airshed—defined as one of the last few remnants of pristine (non-polluted) air in the nation. 

           Both the fishing and the wilderness experiences don’t disappoint and, although the town is full of weekend visitors, Tim and I are seemingly all alone on our outdoor adventures.              

           Redband Trout jump and dance in the Jarbidge River and Tim catches one after another.  While hiking the Camp Draw Trail in the 176 square-mile wilderness we fill our lungs with the scent of sage and fir and savor the endless views of peaks and valleys. 

The small Jarbidge River holds
a healthy trout population.

All alone in the wilderness.
Rita (red jacket on the right) climbs a rock for a commanding view.

Along Camp Draw Trail in the Jarbidge Wilderness.

          We return to town to find dozens of burlap sacks of corn roasting in the fire pit outside The Outdoor Inn.  Townswomen walk by carrying dishes, platters and baskets.  
          The corn feed has begun!  We join the line and for $6.00 we’re treated to ears of corn, bar-b-cue sandwiches, baked beans, fresh salad and lemon cake.  
          It’s official.  The annual Corn Feed has just become reason number three to visit Jarbidge, Nevada on Labor Day Weekend.

Looks inviting, doesn't it?
A red dog (on porch) waits to be let in to the Red Dog Saloon.


  1. Hi Rita,

    It’s amazing to me that it’s a 50 mile drive over dirt roads from the nearest Nevada city to get to Jarbridge, NV. Wow, that is definitely way beyond the neon! Is that sort of common out West? I can think of nothing comparable here in New England.

    I love the photo captioned as “Along Camp Draw Trail in the Jarbidge Wilderness”, as well as the one captioned “All Alone in the Wilderness”. The scenery is so beautiful, and it is unlike anything we have here in New England.

    Considering the fantastic fishing, the wonderful wilderness experience, and the delectable and quaint Corn Feed, you and Tim certainly had a marvelous experience at Jarbridge.

    I learned something very interesting from this blog posting. I had never heard of a “Class 1 Airshed”. When researching this further, I was astounded to discover that there are two Class 1 Airsheds within a 45 minute drive of my home in Bethlehem, NH. One is the Great Gulf Wilderness, and the other is the Presidential Range/Dry River Wilderness. I often hike at both locations!!


    1. While it's common to drive dirt roads to access many recreation areas in the west, most towns are along paved roads. Because Jarbidge is so far from any paved road I believe it's considered the most remote town in the lower 48 states.

      It's great that there are two Class 1 Airsheds near your home! Wilderness areas are about the only places we can find un-polluted air in the 21st century. Kind of sad.
      But at least you have clean air for your hikes in those locations!

      Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments, John.

  2. I so enjoy the way your photographs and words reveal the state I love, Rita. I've been to Jarbridge, but many, many years ago. It doesn't appear to have changed much, and I'm glad because I liked it. I find it ironic that Nevada, once known for hazy casinos so filled with cigarette smoke your eyes smarted has a pocket of pure air. Let's give thanks for wilderness areas.

    1. I agree, Janet. I suppose it's all a matter of how one defines "wealth", but my opinion is that without our wilderness areas we would be a poorer country in the things that truly matter—pure air, endless vistas, and an abundance of wild plants and animals. So, yes, let's hear it for wilderness!

  3. The corn roast in Jarbriddge sounds yummy! How exciting to add a new fishing/traveling place to your list. Now, I am off to read about redband trout.

    1. Hi Audrey,

      The corn roast was yummy indeed! And Tim was thrilled to add the rare red band trout to the list of trout species he's fished for and caught.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Smoked trout and chilled beer!
    And such pristine locales as the Jarbidge, Rita, don't think you get anything much better in this world.

    Thank you for posting such lovely pics!

    1. You're right, Soumyendu, it doesn't get much better than these remote and relatively untouched places. I do enjoy cities and all the amenities they offer (restaurants, book stores!) but wild places are very restorative—nourishment for the soul.
      Thanks for your comments!