About WinnemuccaThousands of pioneers passed through Winnemucca on their way to California and Oregon. In 1845 children in a wagon train bound for California played a game of tossing pebbles into blue buckets hanging from the wagons. The “pebbles” were later identified as gold nuggets, and although many have searched, the “Blue Bucket Mine” never has been found.
The infamous Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were said to have left their mark on Winnemucca. In 1900 they purportedly celebrated their robbery of the First National Bank by sending the bank president a studio portrait of themselves.
The town also is home to one of the largest Basque populations in North America. The early Basque immigrants found the open range of the Great Basin suitable for raising sheep. Today their customs, food and language flourish in Winnemucca. The Basque Festival, held in June, celebrates this heritage.
Humboldt Museum, at Maple Avenue and Jungo Road, chronicles the region's history with antiques and memorabilia, including a collection of vintage cars and Native American artifacts. The excavation of a 13,000-year-old mammoth from nearby Black Rock Desert is chronicled in the ice age exhibit; phone (775) 623-2912. Minerals found in the area include gold, silver, tungsten, barite and mercury, in addition to opals and turquoise.
Visitor Centers Winnemucca Convention and Visitor Authority 50 W. Winnemucca Blvd. Winnemucca, NV 89445. Phone:(775)623-5071 or (800)962-2638
Self-guiding ToursWalking tour maps highlighting Western and Basque history are available at the visitor authority.
In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.