Nipton is fairly remote. Patty and Larry had never heard of it, despite regularly taking the scenic route to Las Vegas. It’s a very sparse settlement – the hotel, general store and diner were the main buildings that we could see. Probably there were spread out houses and other buildings included in the ‘town’. The hotel itself was built around 1904-1910 in ‘adobe’ (although it’s been restored several times since) and was about 50m away from the train tracks. The nights are enlivened by freight trains passing through, sounding their horns. Otherwise it was absolutely silent in the desert – a pretty magical, if basic, place to stay.
As with many settlements, the town came about at the crossing point of two 19th century wagon trails; later, a gold mining encampment was established and the town became a “whistle stop” on the railway. Nipton actually has a connection with Bristol: one Harry Trehearne was a notable resident of the town in the first half of the 20th century and was from Bristol! We didn’t know this before we visited; there were quite a few messages from Bristolians in the guest book (history buffs?) See the Nipton Town website for more.
We were still waking up really early because of the time difference so we decided to get up and watch sunrise. It was pretty chilly, but beautiful. The photos don’t really do it justice!
Our plan for the day was to do a bit of a walk (‘hike’) in the desert and then head to Las Vegas. We took the Teutonia Peak Trail through the world’s largest Joshua Tree forest. They’re odd looking things!
We had a fantastic view from the top at 5755 feet.
Unfortunately the weather turned against us and we had to beat a hasty retreat back to the car and on to Las Vegas!
Please see the gallery for more photos! (NB: click on the photos for larger versions/slideshow.)
The date was 4 November 2011. Next – freight train video.