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Stay in Searchlight, Nevada

Updated on September 25, 2014

Searchlight, Nevada is a bump in the road

US 95 on the California side is a long empty road. From Interstate 40, you make a left turn and head north. In Calfiornia, it is a two-lane highway that travels for miles in the open desert. Once you hit the Nevada border, it is a four-land divided highway that still runs through miles of open desert. Off in the distance, there is a flashing red light at the top of a hill. When you finally crest the hill you will find a Casino/Gas Station with a McDonald's. Welcome to Searchlight.

All the photos are mine except for the one that have a specific link.

What you will find in Searchlight, Nevada

Searchlight may be best known today as the hometown of U.S. Senator Harry Reid and the designer Edith Head. In the late 1800's to the early 1900s is was larger than Las Vegas with the gold and silver mines but declined in the 1920s. More than half of the residents are retirees. The remainder are small business owners, ranchers,and miners.

A lot of the population is jack rabbits that like to dart out in front of cars so driving slowly is recommended. There are also bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes (who are rather loud), and burros.

Cottonwood Cove Road is the entrance to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It is a favorite spot for boating, water skiing, and swimming. There are numerous places for camping. Cottonwood Cove is considered one of the best large-mouth bass fisheries in the West.

  1. The historic museum is located in the Community Center on Cottonwood Cove Drive. Although the museum is small, there is a lot of information about the mining that put the town on the map and lots of artifacts to check out.

    The Community Center also houses the library.

  2. The Senior Citizens Center is located on Highway 95
  3. The post office is located two blocks from Highway 95 off of Main Street
  4. The newer Harry Reid (senator) Elementary School in on Cottonwood Cove Road
  5. There are two churches, one on Highway 95
  6. The Nugget Casino and Terrible's are on Highway 95

Searchlight, Nevada and Cottonwood Cove

Las Vegas and Henderson are north of Searchlight. Henderson is about a half an hour away while it's about an hour to Vegas. Boulder City is south of Searchlight and a little to the east and Laughlin is not far from that.

Searchlight, Nevada

get directions

The El Rey Motel and the Nugget Casino

Both of them are owned by the same family. The motel is old but well maintained with extremely clean rooms and upgraded air conditioning/heating units. They have better television service than I have at home so we enjoyed what little time we had playing with all the channels. Marie runs the motel and is very helpful. It is on Highway 95 and not hard to find. That may be an understatement because nothing is hard to find in Searchlight. It's not very big.

The Nugget Casino is also small but I did win a tiny bit of money. The restaurant serves really good food. I got hooked on the High Desert breakfast special. If you are watching fat and cholesterol, it's not for you but if you want a taste treat, go for it! It is one of the older recipes on the menu (of so says the cook). It is a large corn muffin with sausage links baked in. It's then covered with an egg and smothered in gravy. You get a side of hash brown or country potatoes and your choice of toast. Yummy!

Photo Credit:

The El Rey Motel where we stayed

Interesting sights in Searchlight

Cottonwood Cove

Cottonwood Cove is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area on beautiful Lake Mohave. Boating, camping, water sports, and fishing are big here and it can get very crowded. There are places for eating and any amenities one could wish for.

It is 14 miles east of Searchlight.

Photo Credit:

Thank you Searchlight!

Searchlight is not a bump in the road to us

On March 3, 2012, my brother-in-law (my husband's brother) died in a solo rollover accident on Cottonwood Cove Road. He and his wife live at the Cove and he was on his way home.

We raced to Searchlight to join family and friends. We had made arrangements to stay at the El Rey Motel on Highway 95, 14 miles from the Cove. The Cove lodging does not allow pets but the El Rey was gracious enough to allow us to bring the dog. We did not have time to make arrangements for her care in our rush to get there.

Searchlight is a small town and seems pretty closed to outsiders. They are all friendly but had we gone there for any other reason, we might not have seen the real people of the town. My brother-in-law was well liked so a good many of the town folk knew him. What we found was a town full of people who were giving and kind. It's not so much that they are standoffish but that so many people come through, it is hard to get to know them.

My thanks go out to Verlie and Reggie, the owners of the Nugget Casino and the El Rey Motel. They bent over backwards to accommodate us and the other family and friends who stayed at the motel. They made sure that our visit to the motel was not only comfortable but free. They made sure that my sister-in-law had what she needed to put together the memorial service. My thanks to Marie who manages the motel. She is very sweet and very supportive. I also want to thank the staff at the motel. Searchlight may be a bump in the road to many but to us, the bump was smoothed over by the kindness shown by the people of Searchlight, not only to the family but to all of those who will miss Rodger.

Cottonwood Cove is not only beautiful but a great spot for water sports. Searchlight has a lot to offer the casual traveler. We will continue to go there and enjoy the area. Who needs Vegas?

Have you been to Searchlight, Nevada?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ya, I live here and Searchlight is NOT a BUMP in the road. The picture that you took of an old house well, that belons to Chuck Yager who as you know was the first test piolet who broke the sound b. "back in the day" as the kids say. This is a very interesting town and nice in it's own way. Rabbits anywhere have no common sense they look at the lights on the vehicles and OOPS!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've been through but not stayed there. We camped in Cottonwood Cove years ago. I've lived in Las Vegas since 1972. Every part of Nevada is beautiful to me. Thanks for sharing. Blessed


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