I am writing in regard to posting about Advice On Retreat Locales in Nevada, particularly about the Big Smoky Valley area. I am very familiar with the Big Smoky Valley and surrounding areas, I have camped, hiked, hunted, etc. there. There are numerous hot springs and ghost towns peppered throughout the valleys . The mountains are impressive and Mt. Jefferson is one of my favorite areas.
Now here’s the “but”: as for a retreat area: the area is very remote, everything will have to be brought in. The summers are very hot with range fires every year and the winters are extreme with heavy snow and temperatures plunging to -20 degrees (without the wind).
Water would be a critical issue, as there isn’t very much of it available. There are cattle and mining operations all over the area and I believe that securing any water rights would not be easy. The land is mostly under federal control and is leased out as open range for the cattle operations.
The closest town, Tonopah, is the county seat for Nye County. Tonopah is interesting, but any outsider is treated with suspicion. Law enforcement, both local and state, like to check newcomers and people passing through. Don’t even think of driving over the speed limit within 20 miles of Tonopah, you will receive roadside customer service. The last time I passed through, I was obeying all traffic laws but I was stopped by two state troopers for having mud “obscuring” the rear licenses plate on my truck.
It seems that Tonopah’s last heyday was when the MX Missile system was being developed there in the 1980’s. Since then, the missile project has been cancelled and the stealth fighters and the stealth facilities have moved to Utah and Arizona. There’s even talk of moving the county seat to Pahrump were the majority of the county’s population is located, over 165 miles away. Making any money as a start up business would be difficult, and the jobs don’t pay all that much. Unless you’re a government worker. Even the full service “gentlemen’s clubs” (brothels) have closed up shop. One would have to have enough money put away to last for some time.
Your best bet for remote areas worth looking into in Nevada would most likely be in Elko and White Pine counties, there’s water and the summers are not as hot. The town of Ely, in White Pine County, does have the state’s [only] maximum security prison. Something to keep in mind.
The Big Smoky Valley and surrounding areas are a great place to visit, but life there would be challenging at best. Best Regards, – Desert T