Humboldt Wells


Humboldt Wells

Elko County
  41.11755, -114.9781

"It's no wonder how Wells obtained its name. Quite simple really, and quite catchy too. Whatever the case, I have one more marker to go here on eastbound 80 and then its back to Elko. Yep, doubling back for a hundred miles ... all in the pursuit of some big blue signs. Some might call me crazy, or obsessed, or a completionist. Or just really, really bored. I prefer the word 'thorough, with a dash of passion.'" -- Journal Entry, May 2008

Along Old US 40, 1 mile west of Wells

Original Date Visited: 5/13/09

Signed: No

Notes: This one's been around for a long time and it's still no less hard to find than in past years! According to the SHPO, you can find [45] "along Interstate 80 at the Union Pacific Railroad overpass in Wells." This might prove to be helpful if there wasn't three railroad overpasses in Wells! Oh, and you won't see it from the freeway either. Read up, folks.

- Find this one by leaving the 80 at Exit 351 ("West Wells") and make a left toward Wells from the off-ramp. After a mile you'll come to an intersection. This is the corner of 6th Street (Old US 40) and SR 231. Yes, old US 40 -- Nevada's original lifeline across the state. Here the old highway takes the form of "6th Street" through downtown Wells, but instead of turning right into town make a left turn (west) as if you were to head back out of town. This old blacktop follows a route over an old railroad overpass before reaching the marker a half-mile outside of town. An easier way to get here is by leaving the freeway at Exit 348, "Beverly Hills" - one exit before the "West Wells" off-ramp. Make a right turn onto the frontage road (US 40) and head straight in the direction of Wells. The marker will be on your left as you approach the Wells Tribal Colony. [45] is hidden enough from the road that you probably won't see it until you come right up on its location.

  • Notice the old-style jersey barriers used by NDOT.  One thing is certain: you can
  • Marker 45 plaque
  • Humboldt Wells was another vital watering hole on the road to the goldfields in California
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Exact Description:
These springs, seen as marsh spots and small ponds of water in the meadows here, are the Humboldt Wells, a historic oasis on the California Emigrant Trail. Here, during the period 1845-1870, hundreds of covered wagons each year rested and refitted from their arduous journeys up Raft River, past the City of Rocks, across the Goose Creek Range and down Thousand Springs Valley, and prepared for the grueling 300-mile trek along the Humboldt Valley. Ruts of the old emigrant trail winding down to the springs may yet be seen on the slopes above them and to the northwest.

The City of Wells, first established as the water stop of Humboldt Wells on the Central Pacific Railroad in September, 1869, is named for these springs. Its name was shortened to Wells in 1873.

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