There is a place in West Wendover, Nevada that on a clear day, you can see the curvature of the earth. Think about that. Called the Horizon Viewpoint, it is unlike any view you can find in the Rocky Mountain west. Looking out from the southeast, the magnitude of the view is as unique as the city of West Wendover itself. Which means one thing: If you are on the Great American Roadtrip, West Wendover is one of those uncommon stops that makes destination travel so rewarding.
This community is the gateway to the Bonneville Salt Flats, but it provides so much more. There is an exciting array of downtown activities, rural recreation, and natural wonders. About seven hours from both Yellowstone and Yosemite, West Wendover is a perfect stop when traveling between these two parks. If you want to truly experience what Nevada has to offer, I can think of no better place than West Wendover.
Bonneville Salt Flats
In West Wendover, the first thing I wanted to do was walk out onto the glistening surface of the Bonneville Salt Flats. I don’t know what it would be like to walk on the moon. After walking on the Bonneville Salt Flats, I feel like I have a pretty good idea. Located 4 miles to the east, the textures resemble lunar craters, and the salt forms a hard crust on the surface. It is surreal and profound. It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on the planet. As a photographer, I’ve witnessed hundreds of sunrises, yet none of them have ever looked anything like the one I saw here. Along with admiring the sheer beauty of the flats, you might just catch one of the races that are held out here. Race cars and motorcycles regularly compete on the speedway to attempt to break land speed records.Recently, during the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association World Of Speed, the wheel driven land speed record was broken. How fast do you have to go to break the record? 483 m.p.h. That’s the distance of two football fields in a second. And it can only happen here.
A Night on the Streets
Another aspect of West Wendover that makes it stand out from most towns is the unique architecture and culture. When coming into town from the flats, the first thing you’ll see is a big glass bridge over the road. This skybridge connects two different casinos and is a must see for anyone. It is an uncommon piece of architecture, and the experience of walking so far above the busy street is just another example of what makes this town so worth a visit.When entering from the other direction, Wendover Will is ready to greet you into town. This friendly giant is incredibly unique and makes for a great place to stop and take a picture. Billed as not just a West Wendover icon, but a “Nevada State icon and an icon to many people from around the world”. The City of West Wendover hosts a webpage where visitors who have passed beneath his friendly wave have stopped and taken pictures of this one-of-a kind example 0f Americana. Have a selfie with Wendover Will you would like to share with the world? Check out the page. One of the most eventful spots in town is the Peppermill Concert Hall. The hall regularly hosts a diverse array of performers. The great thing about the concert hall is that every seat in the house…is the best seat in the house. Every seat is within 88 feet of the stage. The concert hall brings in exceptional talent from all over the world. The hall hosts everything from Tracey Lawerence to The Temptations to The Fab Four Beatles tribute band. The night I was in town, famous comedian Gabriel Iglesias was performing!
Mountains and Aviation
Another awesome stop in West Wendover is the Wendover Historic Airfield. You’ll be able to see the museum, climb to the top of a World War 2 control tower, or take a guided tour of the entire airfield. I also had fun exploring the inside of a C-124 transport plane that was used in Con Air.In this same direction, you’ll find the road leading out to the Goshute Mountains. These mountains are full of fun trails, such as the hike up Goshute Peak. The Goshute Mountains are also home of one of the largest hawk migration routes in the nation. Goshute Mountains Hawk Watch is a well-known and popular migration site with hundreds of people visiting each fall. The site is not only open to visitors, participation is encouraged to help count migratory raptors as they pass overhead. A variety of raptors from Vulture, Eagles, Hawks and Falcons pass this site. The best times to visit are mid-august through November as the raptors migrate to warmer climes further south.
A Hidden Gem
West Wendover is certainly a hidden gem of northern Nevada. No matter what catches your interest, you’ll have no problem finding something incredible in this town. They have everything from world class concerts, a myriad of festivals, the chance to see vehicles break the land speed record to one of the most important migratory sites for raptors in the lower 48. I wish I could have spent more time exploring this area. But that’s the great thing about West Wendover, you’re always made to feel like you’re home. And Wendover Will is always ready to welcome you back.This story has been created in partnership with West Wendover City, Nevada.