Walker Lake outside of Hawthorne, Nevada (NV) may be best known as the western gateway to Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but this typical western Nevada community has unsurpassed scenery, small town atmosphere, unique dining and a unique history steeped in perseverance. Located on the main highway to Reno and Las Vegas, Hawthorne makes an ideal retirement community because of its mild climate, (average summer temperature, 77), and 360 days of sunny weather.
The surrounding mountain ranges protect the areas from the fierce Pacific storms. At an elevation of 4255 ft, this high desert location was once a stopping off point for the Carson & Colorado Railroad during the great mining explosion with the discovery of the Comstock Lode. When in the late 1880s, the railroad was moved north of Walker Lake, the town declined. Then during World War II, the United States army built the world’s largest ammunition depot on the outskirts of town. While it is now privately owned, the depot is the largest employer in Hawthorne today.
Tourism has grown in popularity since the town is a convenient stopping place for travelers headed to the popular destinations of Reno and Las Vegas. Investment property is being developed around Walker Lake to encourage investors to relocate. Outdoorsmen have made this destination popular and mountain real estate sales have grown consistently.
Homeowners enjoy camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing in the nearby mountains. As more buyers purchase lakefront properties, Walker Lake is becoming popular for water sports such as boating, sailing, water skiing, and jet skis. Residents of Hawthorne are a hardy bunch that seems to thrive in this high desert region welcoming visitors and newly relocated families alike as the town enjoys a renaissance on Walker Lake.