When ripping through on Interstate 80, it’s pretty much impossible to miss the famed Wendover Will, a 50-foot-tall neon cowboy welcoming you into the city of West Wendover. As the formal greeter, wrangling in road weary travelers, he pretty much sets the tone for any visit to this friendly community. With top-name entertainment lighting up the stage at exciting casinos and its veritable barrage of gaming, dining and lodging, choices, there’s a lot to take advantage of in West Wendover.
Considering West Wendover straddles the Nevada/Utah border, it’s no surprise that the town got its start as a fueling station in the middle of the desert. Originally, a single light bulb towered above the gas station and at the time, was the only light in the surrounding desert landscape for miles upon miles. Wendover then boomed during the war when the Army Air Corps built a bomber training base here, later hosted one of the largest military reserves in the world. Today, visitors can take in some culture at the historic Wendover Airfield Museum. Interestingly, scenes for the movie Independence Day were filmed here too.
The bustling city is home to five casinos, and the Peppermill, Montego Bay, Rainbow, Red Garter and Nugget casino-hotels offer no shortage of slots, games and restaurants. The Peppermill hosts headliner entertainment like Jay Leno, Wynona and Clint Black, while the Montego Bay Spa is just the place for body treatments and massages. Outside of the casinos, the friendly town hosts many community events around holidays as well as car shows, air shows and thrilling speed events at the nearby salt flats too.
Beyond the city life, there are tons of things to keep you busy. Many visitors to West Wendover make the town their home base for exploring the wilds of Nevada and Utah. Some of the most popular activities include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and ATV touring, but there is truly no end to the recreational splendor around these parts.
The nearby Bonneville Salt Flats are a magnet for speed demons, and the site of a top land speed record—set at almost 630 miles per hour! Looking over the salt flats to the east from the top of Three Mile Mountain, it’s also possible to see the curvature of the earth, which is quite an experience. Other sights are nearby Blue Lake, a geothermal-fed lake that accommodates year-round scuba diving, and the West Wendover Trails System, which includes Leppy Hills Trails. There’s amazing fishing in nearby lakes—including the original strain of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout at Pilot Peak, which is also Nevada’s most ultra-prominent mountain.