Steptoe Valley

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Coordinates: 39°23′24″N 114°48′58″W / 39.390°N 114.816°W / 39.390; -114.816

View north down Steptoe Valley from US 6/50/93 southeast of Ely
Location of Steptoe Valley within Nevada

The Steptoe Valley is a long basin located in White Pine County, in northeastern Nevada in the western United States. From the historic community of Currie, the valley runs south for approximately 100 miles (160 km). To the west are the high Egan Range and the Cherry Creek Range, while to the east is the even higher Schell Creek Range. U.S. Route 93 passes through much of the northern section of the valley, past the historic mining town of Cherry Creek and the communities of McGill and Ely, before crossing the Schell Creek Range at Connors Pass. Also found in this valley are the Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, the Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area, and Cave Lake State Park. At Egan Canyon and Schellbourne Pass (near Cherry Creek), the Overland Stage Line and the subsequent Pony Express and Transcontinental Telegraph made their way through the mountains of central Nevada in the 1860s.

The valley is named after Colonel Edward Steptoe, who explored the region in 1854.[citation needed]

The White Pine Energy Station and the Ely Energy Center, proposed in 2004 and 2006,[1][2] were planned coal-fired power plants that were to be built in Steptoe Valley,[2][3] but both projects were delayed in 2009.[4][5]


  1. ^ Edwards, John G. (February 17, 2004). "Ely area tapped as site to develop electric power plant: Project would cost between $600 million and $1 billion and employ 100 workers". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on March 6, 2004.
  2. ^ a b Edwards, John G. (January 10, 2006). "Nevada Utilities: $5 billion project in works - Sierra Pacific says center will lower reliance on natural gas". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on January 12, 2006.
  3. ^ "Proposed power plant permits to be completed next year". The Ely Times. June 3, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2017 – via NewsLibrary.
  4. ^ Edwards, John G. (February 9, 2009). "NV Energy postpones plans for Ely plant". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Robison, Jennifer (March 5, 2009). "Construction of White Pine Energy Station near Ely postponed". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved September 22, 2017.