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Planning Your Trip

Planning Your Trip to Elko

Here are some tips that will help you get the most from your Gathering experience:

Where We Are
Elko, Nevada is located in the northeastern corner of the state along Interstate 80. (Reno is 290 miles west, Salt Lake City is 230 miles east, Boise is 155 miles northwest, Twin Falls is 168 miles northeast…and Las Vegas is 423 miles southwest of Elko.)


Elko is serviced by SkyWest Airlines (a Delta Connection) from Salt Lake City and by Amtrak. Rental car service in Elko is provided by Enterprise (775-738-2899 or 800-593-0505), Hertz (775-738-3147), and Avis (775-738-4426). Contact El Aero Services for information about chartering a private plane.

How to Get Around Once You're Here
Check out the Map
The main Gathering venues are located a little more than a mile apart. We provide complimentary shuttle service on a fixed route between venues Wednesday through Saturday. These shuttles transport artists and audience alike, and we ask that artists get priority if needed—we wouldn’t want them to be late to a show! Free parking is abundant and Elko does have taxi service (775-738-1400). Some hotels will offer shuttle service for their guests.

In the high desert of the Great Basin at an elevation of 5060 feet, weather in Elko is varied in January and February. Check the weather before you travel and road conditions if you are driving, and come prepared for cold winter weather.

Assisted-listening devices are available in the Elko Convention Center Auditorium and the G Three Bar Theater at the Western Folklife Center. Volunteers will be on call to assist wheelchair users and to guide visitors with disabilities so if you need assistance, please call 775-738-7508 to pre-arrange these services. Wheelchair seating is limited — get your tickets early. Please note, shuttle vans are not equipped with lifts.

Contact the Western Folklife Center

888-880-5885 (toll free) 
Fax: 775-738-2900                                                                    

Western Folklife Center
501 Railroad Street
Elko, NV 89801



Banner image: Jessica Brandi Lifland

First Time at the Gathering? More FAQs

Elko boasts a whopping 35 hotels and motels, with plenty of rooms to choose from during the Gathering. You will find that rooms span a wide price range. Though there will always be available rooms during the Gathering, you might want to book ahead to get one that fits your budget and needs.

We thank the hotels listed below, who offered special deals for the 35th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Baymont Suites
Centre Motel
Days Inn
Gold Country Inn & Casino
High Desert Inn
Home2 Suites
Mid Town Motel
Quality Inn & Suites
Rodeway Inn
Shilo Inns
Thunderbird Motel
TownePlace Suites Elko

And see our sponsoring hotels here.

For further information about available lodging, please contact the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority at 800-248-3556 or 775-738-4091
(, Elko Chamber of Commerce at 775-738-7135 (, or the Western Folklife Center at 775-738-7508 ext 238. 


Whether you’re from Elko or from out of town, you can lend a hand at the Gathering. Volunteers assist with everything from taking tickets to creating stages to helping guests and artists. Over 300 volunteers keep our event successful, so it’s a great way to meet your fellow Gathering-goers. Opportunities are available throughout the week of the Gathering--and earlier. Get involved! Get matched up with a volunteer opportunity by registering here and our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you with more information.


It’s not too early to mark your calendars for the 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 27 – February 1, 2020.