The Esmeralda Market in Dyer, Nevada, the nucleus of Fish Lake Valley.

Fish Lake Valley
(elev. 4,400)

N3741" 408'    W118 04"419"'

An unincorporated valley community in western Esmeralda County, 74.2 miles southwest of Tonopah.

"Fish Lake Valley" refers to Dyer and the entire population of Fish Lake Valley. The Fish Lake Valley is a 25-mile long alluvial valley that lies just northwest of Death Valley and borders the southeast, and central-northeast flank of the massif of the White Mountains of California. The valley's southern end lies in eastern Inyo County, California. The valley is sparsely populated with ranchers and indigenous Pauite. Dyer is the small town nucleus of Fish Lake Valley, a wide and remote valley only five air miles east of the California state line. Dyer and the Fish Lake Valley are set directly against the White Mountains, the highest mountain range in the Great Basin and home to the highest point in Nevada! Often times, when people refer to "Fish Lake Valley," they often mean Dyer. Like many rural towns in Nevada, you have to want to find yourself here, and this is no small detour from any direction. Dyer is located in the center of Fish Lake Valley along SR 264. From here, the only connection back to Nevada is on SR 266 at Oasis Junction.

Historically, Fish Lake Valley was settled in 1866 when the "Palmetto Mining District" in Esmeralda County was formed. The settlement (unnamed at the time) in Fish Lake Valley began. During the 1870s, two companies, "Griffing & Nyman's" and "Pacific Borax Works" were located here extracting borax at the dry playa of Fish Lake. The Carson and Columbus Stage Line ran north from Fish Lake Valley to Aurora and Carson City, also connecting with Logsprings, Nevada in the Sylvania Mining District as well as Lida in the Sylvania Mountains. Local ranches supplied food to the freight industry and mining communities such as Fish Lake Valley. A post office opened in Fish Lake Valley in 1881 and was moved to Dyer around 1960.

Like many valley communities in Nevada, "Fish Lake" refers to the entire populace residing in the valley and includes the town of Dyer. The exotic White Mountains, the highest mountain range in the Great Basin (14,252) produces a plentiful water supply, making Fish Lake Valley ideal for ranching and providing irrigation for alfalfa and other crops, The valley's elevation, in excess of 4,000 feet is a serious constraint during the winter, as storms tend to back up behind the Whites and truncate the valley with fierce snowfall. Today a historical marker near the site of the first establishment in the valley (2 miles south of Dyer) commemorates the life of W.O. Harrell, known as "Harrell, the Irrepressible, Citizen Extraordinaire", of Fish Lake Valley in the 1870s.

SR 264 in Fish Lake Valley. From whatever direction you choose, it's a long way here!

Fish Lake Valley, NV. Founded: 1874 (?)
Zip Code: 89010 (Dyer)
Population: 495 (Dyer 293)
Services: Sparse. The only services are in Dyer.
The nearest services MAJOR services are in Tonopah (74 miles).


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