Located in a lush valley along the Humboldt River,

Carlin is the oldest community in Elko County and was once the Western Terminus of the Central Pacific Railroad. Chinese culture is an integral part of Carlin’s history; the area was originally called the Chinese Gardens.

Carlin is the gateway to the world’s largest gold mines. Mining became a major employment base in the 1960s. Two open pit operations mine the Carlin Trend, producing three million ounces of ore annually.
The University of Reno, Fire Science Academy – Crisis and Emergency Management Institute opened a campus just outside of Carlin in 1999. The Academy trains employees for mining, transportation, energy, government agencies and the fields of aviation, computers, chemicals and hospitality. Carlin also has both an elementary and a junior senior high school.

Geothermal activity is noted throughout the Humboldt River area south of the city.

Geographic Location

261 miles west of Salt Lake City on I-80, 271 miles northeast of Reno on I-80.


Known as a sportsman’s paradise, Carlin offers a mountainous background for hunting, rock hounding, hiking, and dirt bike riding. The Chinese Garden Nature Study Area offers picnicking and fishing while the nearby ghost towns of Palisades and Alpha are minutes from the area.