Step Back in Time Itinerary
Step back in time and take a fascinating cultural and historical journey in Virginia City. This itinerary includes the discovery of the richest silver deposit the world has ever known as well as Virginia City’s most revered and historical buildings.
This itinerary begins in Virginia City, Nevada.
From Reno, take I-580 to Highway 341, also known as Geiger Grade, and head east. Virginia City is about a 35-minute drive from downtown Reno. From Carson City, take Highway 50 east to Highway 341. The drive is about 30 minutes from downtown Carson City.
Virginia City Visitors Center
Historic Fourth Ward School & Museum
Guided or unguided. The last standing multi-story wooden school building of its kind in the United States. Sit in original wooden school desks, and learn a brief overview and history of the school. Various exhibits educate on the discovery and development of the Comstock Lode. (45 minutes – elevator available)
Virginia & Truckee Railroad
Learn about the significance and importance of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad to the Comstock at the recently renovated F Street V & T Depot. Known as the ‘Queen of the Short Lines’, your narrated tour will take you to Gold Hill and back, through tunnel Number 4. Fee to ride. (45 minutes)
Comstock Gold Mill
Virginia City’s mining history comes alive with an operating 1860s Joshua Hendy (built in San Francisco) two stamp Gold Mill. See how gold was processed from ore to recovery. This narrated tour is educational and fun. Fee. (30 minutes)
Originally built as the Gold & Curry Mine Office, this historic building became home to John Mackay, king of the Comstock and founder of University of Nevada, Reno. Tour highlights include mining artifacts, the original vault that housed millions in bullion, Tiffany silver and furnishings used by Mackey and his family. Fee. (30 minutes)
Ponderosa Mine Tour
The Best and Belcher Mine Tour is a guided tour featuring more than 300 pieces of historic mining equipment. Located in the Ponderosa Saloon, formerly the Bank of California. Fee. (25 minutes)
Piper’s Opera House
After being destroyed twice by fire, the current building was rebuilt in 1885 by John Piper. The opera house was one of the most significant vintage theaters in the West. Notable entertainers were Lilly Langtry, John Phillip Sousa and Al Jolson. Tour highlights include posters, playbills and historical photographs. Mark Twain returned to Virginia City to lecture on Piper’s original stage in 1866. Fee. (20 minutes – elevator available)