Elko, Nevada - Yosemite - Hiking California


Elko, Nevada is the middle distance overnight on the return from Yosemite National Park in California.



Early departure from Oakdale, California and driving west on Hwy 120 is briefly interrupted by an excellent omelette breakfast at IHOP in Manteca before cruising north on Interstate 5 through Stockton and Sacramento, California, to meet Interstate 80. 

Interstate 80 east passes above 1,645 ft (501 m) deep Lake Tahoe, which makes it the 10th deepest lake in the world, and the 3rd deepest in North America.  Soon we pass skyscraper casinos sporting brilliant neon signs attempting to lure us into Reno, Nevada.


Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Driving east on Interstate 80 through rolling hills and mountains along the beautiful Truckee River


Interstate 80 is a modern highway which crosses the United States on routes dating back to the earliest inhabitants of the continent.  Much of this portion in California and Nevada follows the path of the Truckee River which served as a major transportation corridor in its own right for historical inhabitants and explorers.


Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA


The drive east across Nevada passes through magnificent desert on Interstate 80 aka Dwight D. Eisenhower HighwayNevada has an average state elevation of 5,000 ft (1,524 m) and boasts five mountains over 12,000 ft (3,658 m). 

The Rye Patch State Recreation Area precedes the drive east through Winnemucca and Battle Mountain to end the driving day in Elko, Nevada which is largely hidden but accessible by a side road that parallels Interstate 80.   Elko is much larger than expected and hosts a thoroughly enjoyable late afternoon and overnight stay. 

The Elko Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is closed on arrival but time is taken to tour the grounds and photograph the relocated and refurbished Sherman Station historical structures. 

The State motto, 'Battle Born' is a reminder Nevada became the 36th US State in 1864 during the Civil War.


Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA


The longer than usual search for a place to have supper ends at a main street restaurant called Toki Ona.  The sign tells us it features Basque and American food.  This place is chosen because it is easily accessible and appears, by parking lot size and activity, to be very busy and popular.  The decision is a good one.  As a matter of fact, it becomes one of the best dining experiences of the Yosemite trip and the first visit to a Basque Restaurant. 

Table placement is swift and immediately a large bowl of complementary, thick, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs chicken-rice soup is served.  The restaurant is busy and noisy.  All restaurant staff are working fast and hard, preparing and delivering copious amounts of food.  The Basque Ana Potatoes, served with roast turkey, have a unique and very pleasing flavorAs much as I want dessert, and we always have dessert, there is no room for dessert

Cost is less than expected and the waddle out to the car for return to Elko overnight accommodation occurs beneath a spectacular Nevada sunset.


Elko, Nevada - Yosemite National Park, California, USA


From Elko, the drive proceeds east to Wells, Nevada at an elevation of 5,630 ft (1,716 m) to head north on Hwy 93 via the same route used for leaving CanadaAt Twin Falls, Idaho, the drive splits east on Interstate 84/86 and heads through Pocatello, then north on very familiar I-15 past Idaho Falls and Butte, Montana to overnight in Helena, before crossing the US/Canada border at Sweetgrass/Coutts.

This mission to Yosemite National Park has been an excellent adventure with an interesting array of new hiking experiences. 

Thanks for sharing the journey.








I am looking forward to spending time with customers at Campers Village. You are very right. It is definitely more me. The desert is unique and beautiful terrain. It is blue sky country of brilliant combined with subtle color. It is true the long desolate stretches could be described as monotonous, to some, possibly even tedious. I find it very relaxing. Early and late day sun cast a special blend of shadow and vibrant earth tones. It is just very beautiful, like long vistas of ocean with character. I am also curious where my next adventure will take me. Circumstance will drive the bucket list this year. A couple of possibilities are on the drafting table and decisions may be more spontaneous than usual this year. I am looking forward to your photos out of Arizona. Did you take the opportunity to tour the Bisbee Queen Copper Mine? Fond memories - 1981.

So you are going to be working at Camper's Village. That should be way more up your alley!! Good place to promote your blog too - in passing remarks to customers. Lovely Nevada sunset. I remember LONG drives across the state - some of it interesting, some not so much. I'll be curious to hear where your next adventure will take you. But you're right, there is a lot to see and discover in our own backyard.

<a href="http://www.campers-village.com/store/" title="Campers Village - Calgary, Alberta, Canada" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a>There are a couple of considerations. First, life may get in the way of travelling a bit in the near term. I am going to take a week or two of rest and relaxation. I expect to do some local snowshoeing and hiking throughout the remainder of the winter. There are a lot of hikes I have done in the past which are more than worthy of being repeated and documented in this accidental blog. Then, I am going to begin a new job at Campers Village in Calgary where information exchange will be a mutually beneficial endeavour. I have initiated research on two possible trips but I will wait to disclose until the windows of opportunity open fully. I am going to drop into Banff one day to meet Leslie. We do not need to travel very far to see some of the most beautiful natural wonders on the planet. The Yosemite trip, most recently posted, began in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on September 5 and ended in Calgary on September 19, 2012. I appreciate you taking your valuable time to share our journey. Thank you for your comment, Helen.

I appreciate your kind words, Mel. It would be interesting to sum the total of all the trails we have done, including the 2003 Grand Canyon crossing trip which was prior to my embrace of digital photography and therefore not a part of this blog. We have driven thousands of miles, hiked many long miles of trail and visited a mutitude of incredible places. You are right. The photographs are a poor substitute for being there with full range, 3D vision combined with all the other senses. Maybe our adventures will inspire someone else to take the plunge. The writing may serve us well in later years to revisit great memories and the laughs we have enjoyed talking about stuff that cannot be repeated in the civilized world. Onward and upward.

Yes, where to next? How soon? Exactly how long were you away on this one? Thanks for taking me through Yosemite.

Yes, the trip was a great one and I thank you, Barry, for being a great hiking and traveling partner. Anyone that reads all these different posts can only imagine the sights we have seen. They are all great and you should be proud of the great work you have done on the posts.... Keep up the great work and maybe soon we will have another adventure to post.