The tiny Nevada town of Austin is more than just another stop along the Loneliest Road in America (HWY 50). It’s a wonderful place that offers some of the best mountain biking, hiking, and otherwise exploring in the state. Its historic Main Street is also a great feature of the town. It has motels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, gas stations, and unique shops that attract locals and visitors alike.

Austin, located in Lander County, was founded in 1862 as part of a silver rush that was triggered by a Pony Express horse when he kicked over a rock. In 1863, Austin and the surrounding Reese River Mining District had a population of more than 10,000 people. Today, this tiny Nevada town has a population of approximately 200.

Austin is home to three beautiful churches: St. Augustine’s Catholic Church ( built in 1866), The Methodist Church (1866) and St. George’s Episcopal Church (1878). St. George’s Episcopal Church is the only church of the three that’s still in regular use.

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The International Hotel was originally built in Virginia City in 1859. In 1863, parts of it were moved to Austin. The hotel no longer rents out rooms, but it still serves meals and drinks. Supposedly, the International Hotel is the oldest hotel in the Silver State.

In 1880, the Nevada Central Railroad was built to connect Austin with the transcontinental railroad at Battle Mountain. Major silver production had ended by 1887, however, high-quality turquoise is still mined in the area.

For a moment, imagine stumbling across a castle in the desert. A popular landmark located on the outskirts of Austin is Stokes Castle. Stokes Castle is a three-story tower that was started during the fall of 1896 and completed in June 1897 by Anson Phelps Stokes, a mine developer and railroad magnate. The tower was initially used as a summer home, and today it remains unoccupied. We can only imagine what it was like living there.

If you’re ever in the Austin area, be sure to stop by and say “Hello!” Everyone is friendly and will treat you as one of their own.

To learn more about Austin, take a look at the video below. Looking for more glorious small towns in Nevada? Check this article out! 

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More to Explore

Tiny Town in Nevada

What are the best small towns in Nevada?

Nevada is so much more than people tend to give it credit for! We're home to lots of lovely small towns that are definitely worth visiting. Some of our favorites include Jackpot, Nevada, which is right on the border of Idaho, and its super-unique views of the Little Salmon River, which on its own is totally worth a day trip. Panaca, Nevada, is quite unique because it's one of just two towns in the state where gambling is outlawed. It's also the only dry spot in the state, so if you're looking to imbibe in some spirits, you'd probably want to look elsewhere. It's awesome for a peace-and-quiet getaway, though, for sure. For more of our favorite small Nevada towns, check out this article!

What is it like to live in Austin, Nevada?

Austin, Nevada, is an intriguing "living ghost town", with a low population of just about 200 people from the last census. They work hard to keep the beautiful, quaint little town as special as it always was. The buildings and homes are quite beautiful and built in classic styles that make every street feel like home. There's a hot spring nearby, too, and plenty more natural wonders in and near the town to keep you in love with it. It's a desert area, and as such, it has very mild weather year-round, though sometimes it can get pretty chilly in the winter. Overall, though, if you're looking for small-town charm, Austin is the place to find it.

What are some unique towns in Nevada?

Nestled in Nevada is a stretch of road known as the "Loneliest Road In Nevada", and along that stretch of road are several quirky and interesting towns just waiting to be explored. For example, Eureka is a gorgeous little mining town on Highway 50 (that lonely road we were talking about) that always welcomes visitors with open arms. It's packed with historic buildings, sites, and natural wonders nearby. Ely, Nevada, is also situated on Highway 50 and is a haven for artists and seekers of natural wonders alike. There's a lot of small towns in Nevada that you'll literally miss if you blink while driving past them, and those two are among our favorites.