Sports fans should know that heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey started his career here, as a bouncer in the local bars. After strolling around the rough-edged Front Street historic district today, you can imagine how tough that job must've been. The Trail of the '49ers Interpretive Center tells the story of mid-19th-century pioneers on the Emigrant Trail to California.
Southwest of town, scenic byway NV Hwy 231 heads into the mountains, climbing alongside sagebrush, piñon pine and aspen trees past two campgrounds. After 12 miles, the road stops at cobalt-blue Angel Lake (8378ft), a glacial cirque beautifully embedded in the East Humboldt Range. Along NV Hwy 232, further south of Wells, a large natural window near the top of Hole in the Mountain Peak (11,306ft) is visible from the road.