"Contact" refers to an 1870s former mining camp in extreme northern Elko County. The name "Contact" is thought to have three meanings: one being the name of Contact Canyon and another referring to the presence, or "contact" of minerals in the area. The third is the most boisterous and thought to have been named by a drunken miner who was able to make "contact" with his bottle. By whichever origin, this town sits right on top of a mineral-rich granite intrusion that has influenced the establishment of at least six mines nearby. It first made headlines when a five-ton smelter ceased functioning after only three test runs!

With the renewal of mining in 1905, Contact was laid out below the older camp in a more favorable location near the Salmon Falls River. In 1908, the town boasted a population of 300 residents along with a hotel, several saloons, a store, and a weekly newspaper, The Contact Miner, that provided a voice in 1913. With prospects high a new townsite was laid out in 1930, but the transition came too late. By this time, the community was once again in decline. A devastating fire in 1942 effectively turned it into a near-ghost town. Even so, people still stuck around during World War II when large amounts of copper were taken out of two active mines.

  • Welcome to Contact, Nevada
  • Contact, Nevada (c) Summitpost

Today one of the main presences in Contact is a Nevada Department of Transportation maintenance station. Contact still has an active population up the canyon and although the town is open to the public, tourists don't come this way very often. The turnoff to Contact is distinguishable by the NDOT Maintenance Station (turn west onto the dirt road into the canyon). The population here consists of about a dozen families that still maintain an active influence in the area. They are very good caretakers of the town so tread lightly and politely! Wave a jolly "hello," take only pictures, and please respect any "private property" signs you may see posted.


Status: Unincorporated Town/Locale
Population: 26 (2012)
Founded: 1870

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A small settlement and former mining camp in northern Elko County, 8 miles south of Jackpot.