Panaca, Nevada
Main Street in Panaca, 2012
Location within the state of Nevada
Panaca (the United States)
Coordinates: 37°47′28″N 114°23′20″W / 37.79111°N 114.38889°W / 37.79111; -114.38889Coordinates: 37°47′28″N 114°23′20″W / 37.79111°N 114.38889°W / 37.79111; -114.38889
Country United States
State Nevada
 • Total3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
 • Land3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
 • Total963
 • Density290/sq mi (110/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)775
FIPS code32-54200
GNIS feature ID0847542
Reference no.39

Panaca is an unincorporated town[1] in eastern Lincoln County, Nevada, United States, on State Route 319, about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) east of U.S. Route 93, near the border with Utah. Its elevation is 4,729 feet (1,441 meters) above sea level. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 963.[2] It is one of only two cities in Nevada that prohibits gambling, the other being Boulder City.[3]


The Panaca Ward Chapel (1867–1868) is the oldest building in Lincoln County.
The Panaca Ward Chapel (1867–1868) is the oldest building in Lincoln County.
Old Panaca Mercantile, Nevada Historical Marker #93
Old Panaca Mercantile, Nevada Historical Marker #93

The area that was to become the Panaca settlement was explored by Mormons in 1857. Brigham Young dispatched the explorers in order to locate a potential refuge in case of a U.S. military campaign against Utah. The location was selected due to the Meadow Valley oasis at the headwaters of the Muddy River. Mormon scouts began irrigation ditches and started fields, but the site was soon deserted after the feared violence never materialized.[4] Panaca was the first permanent settlement by European Americans in southern Nevada. It was founded as a Mormon colony in 1864.[5] It began as part of Washington County, Utah, but the congressional redrawing of boundaries in 1866 shifted Panaca into Nevada. It is the only community in Nevada to be "dry" (forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages),[6] and the only community in Nevada, besides Boulder City, that prohibits gambling.[3]

Coke ovens here once produced charcoal for the smelters in nearby Bullionville (now a ghost town), but the town's economy is predominantly agricultural.

The name "Panaca" comes from the Southern Paiute word Pan-nuk-ker, which means "metal, money, wealth". William Hamblin, a Mormon missionary to the Paiutes, established the Panacker Ledge (Panaca Claim) silver mine there in 1864.[7]


Panaca Elementary School, 2011
Panaca Elementary School, 2011

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Panaca census-designated place has an area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2), all of it land.[2] Along Nevada State Route 319 it is 19 miles (31 km) east to the Utah state line and from there another 60 miles (97 km) east to Cedar City, Utah. West from Panaca it is 1.0 mile (1.6 km) to U.S. Route 93, at which point it is 11 miles (18 km) north to Pioche and 14 miles (23 km) south to Caliente.


Panaca is near Cathedral Gorge State Park.

The following Nevada historical markers have been placed in Panaca:[8]

Panaca celebrates Pioneer Day on the Saturday closest to July 24. Events include cannon firing at 6 A.M. , games and races, a parade, art displays, and a community dinner. This coincides with the Utah holiday commemorating the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ "Lincoln County Code - Section 1-5-3: Panaca". Sterling Codifiers. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Panaca CDP, Nevada". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Jamie., Jensen (2006-01-01). Road trip USA : cross-country adventures on America's two-lane highways. Avalon Travel. ISBN 9781566917667. OCLC 74323111.
  4. ^ McBride, Terri (December 2002). "Exploration and Early Settlement in Nevada: Historic Context" (PDF). Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  5. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1941). Origin of Place Names: Nevada (PDF). W.P.A. p. 46.
  6. ^ "NABCA list of Wet and Dry Counties" (PDF).
  7. ^ "The town of Panaca". Lincoln Communities Action Team. Archived from the original on 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  8. ^ "Lincoln County, Nevada". Historical Markers. Nevada State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  9. ^ Dave Maxwell (August 5, 2013). "Pioneer Days: Panaca celebrates heritage". Lincoln County Record. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  10. ^ Velotta, Richard N. (July 23, 2014). "Panaca shares sesquicentennial with Nevada". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2014-07-23.

Further reading