If you go Getting there
From BWI, Southwest Airlines and Delta fly non-stop to Salt Lake City. Organize a one-way car rental with drop-off in Reno. Southwest offers non-stop flights from Reno to Baltimore.
When to go
Since the terrain traverses flat desert expanses to cresty, narrow mountain passes, the ideal time to visit is spring and fall, to avoid the extreme weather.
Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall, Ely, Nev., 775-289-6665, hotelnevada.com. Until the 1940s, this six-story structure was the tallest building in Nevada. Once in your Western-style abode, the manager rings you up offering a complimentary margarita. The website advertises "Nice rooms from $35-125."
Jackson House Hotel, 11 S. Main St., Eureka, Nev., 775-237-5577. Refurbished 19th-century hotel with loads of charm and very few amenities. Rooms start at $75 per night.
International Café and Bar, 59 Main St., Austin, Nev., 775-964-1225, internationalcafeandsaloon.com. Classic Western fare in Nevada's oldest hotel, The International, which no longer rents rooms.
The Keyhole Bar, 21 S. Main St., Eureka, Nev., 775-237-5005. Bar fare in a traditional saloon.
Cell Block Steakhouse, 211 5th St., Ely, Nev., 775-289-2833, jailhousecasino.com. Well-regarded steak and ribs served at tables in individual jail cells in the Jail House Casino.
Eureka Opera House, circa 1880, restored building no longer hosts performances but is open to the public for touring. http://www.co.eureka.nv.us/opera/opera01.htm
The Carson Hot Springs, averaging 102 degrees in the wintertime. Go to carsonhotspringsresort.com.