Big Smoky Valley

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The Big Smoky Valley is a landform of the Tonopah Basin between the Toiyabe and Toquima mountain ranges. It is about 100 miles (160 km) in length, and is known by other names (some with different spellings): including Great Smoky Valley, Smokey Valley, Smoky Valley, Wen-A-No-Nu-Fee Valley, and Won-A-No-Nu-Fee Valley. The U.S. Geological Survey usually refers to it as "Big Smoky Valley," but the chamber of commerce in the valley calls itself the Greater Smoky Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Approximately 2,500 people live in the valley, which has seven small communities. There is an open-pit gold mine at the southern end of the valley, and local industry includes mining, agriculture, and ranching. The valley traverses three counties: Esmeralda, Nye, and Lander. Average yearly precipitation in most of the valley is less than 10 inches. The North and South Twin Rivers flow into the Railroad Valley (the later at elevation, and it is completely diverted except during periods of high flow).


  • A History of Smoky Valley Nevada, by Robert D. McCracken (1997) (ISBN 0-9652908-2-4)

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