This is day three of a four-day guide to the Nevada Route 50 road trip. Today, the journey will take you through some iconic landscapes and state parks all with warm and friendly people to meet and greet in every location from Eureka to Baker. You can navigate the other days from our Nevada Route 50 itinerary (otherwise known as ‘The Loneliest Road in America’) below:
- Day 1: Carson City to Austin
- Day 2: Austin to Eureka
- Day 4: Exploring Great Basin National Park
- Overview: Route 50: Nevada’s Hidden Gem for Adventure Seekers – 4 Day Road Trip
See Nevada’s Route 50 in motion – bring Route 50 to life and watch how we experienced this iconic road trip:
Table of Contents
Day 3 – Eureka to Baker
Day 3 on Nevada’s Route 50 is actually your last day of driving Route 50 itself, before exploring Great Basin National Park on Day 4, so you’ll really get to make the most of the desert landscapes changing and wide-open roads. As you’re heading into more alpine landscapes toward the end of this day, you’ll really be aware of how the landscape has changed from previous days. You’ll likely be fairly amazed at just how green and lush some sections of the drive on day 3 feel, and you’ll actually get to drive through Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in some sections too.
On this day travelling The Loneliest Road in America, you’ll get to enjoy the historical center of Eureka before heading off to lively Ely – one of the friendliest places we visited on the whole road trip. You’ll then head on to Cave Lake and Ward Charcoal Ovens Historic State Park, which is a certain highlight and fascinating to look around. When you’ve finished, you’ll continue your drive to our finish point, Baker, where you’ll stay in preparation to explore Great Basin National Park on your last day.
Things to do in Eureka before Departure
Considering it is a pretty small place, there is actually quite a lot to do in Eureka, Nevada before continuing along Route 50. Set in the Diamond Mountains, it has been dubbed ‘the friendliest town on the loneliest road’ and we’d say it lives up to that name! The town is carved out by history too, and mining played a large part in the town being settled by silver prospectors in 1864. You’ll really feel a sense of old, wild west charm to Eureka and there are some key areas you’ll want to check out before you depart for the rest of your day. Below, you’ll find some of the key highlights to explore.
Eureka Opera House
This magnificent building was built in 1880 and its Victorian feel twins beautifully with the wild west charm of the area. For generations, it was used for dances, masquerade balls and operas, but now you can explore this incredible building, or even see one of the live performances that still happen at selected times. Once inside, you can take a self-guided tour around various areas such as the stage curtains dating back to the 1920’s, art collections and autographs. You’ll generally want to spend some time just taking in the building also. It’s free to visit and the Eureka Opera House is open from Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, though it’s best to call ahead to check your planned visit on +1 775 237 6006.
Address: Eureka County Opera House, 21 S Main Street, Eureka, NV 89316.
Eureka Sentinel Museum
Just across the road from Eureka Opera House is the Eureka Sentinel Museum, holding the remnants in place from Eureka Sentinel Newspaper, which ran from 1879-1960. Many museums move items to present them, but this museum encases exactly how things were left from the end of the newspaper’s run, which is fascinating to see. Again, the Sentinel Museum is a real fixture of Eureka’s wild west charm. You’ll see press on the walls, layout boards, typewriters, linotype machines and all sorts of other equipment in place. There are also other locally preserved relics from the area, such as historic photographs and uniforms dating back to the first and second world wars. The museum is free to visit, but donations are greatly accepted to help with upkeep. It’s open from Tuesday – Saturday from 8am to 4pm.
Address: 10 North Monroe Street, Eureka, NV 89316.
Eureka Historical Walking Tour
You can also take a self-guided walking tour through Eureka’s fascinating streets, and if you’re going to visit the Sentinel Museum and the Opera House listed above, you can combine them within this tour. You can see the walking tour brochure here, to help you plan where you’ll visit, and it’s well worth taking the time to check this out. Even if you just spend an hour walking around town and taking in the locations above as well as the general sights, you’ll get a great feel for this wild west town.
Here are some of the key stops along the way of this self-guided tour:
- Main street and buildings through downtown
- Eureka Opera House
- Eureka Underground Tunnels
- Jackson House Hotel
- Urban Cowboy Bar & Grill
- Stone Church Lodge
- Eureka Sentinel Museum
Eureka Historical Ghost Tour
If you stayed at the Jackson House Hotel on Day 2 of your journey through Nevada’s Route 50, you’re likely well aware of the ghost and haunting stories that surround the site. Whilst we didn’t see any ghosts on our visit, it did have an eerie, wild west feel. However, if you want to take that one step further, you could take part in the Eureka Historical Ghost Tour. These are run on Friday’s and Saturday’s usually, at 8pm, so this may be something to plan for your previous night’s stay.
They are run by a small local group, so day tours are also possible too, but you’ll need to enquire in advance. The tour takes in downtown Eureka, with information on history, the mysteries surrounding the area and folklore too. It is payable, and you’ll need to call in advance to arrange and confirm prices on +1 775 230 2232.
First Stop: Ely
From Eureka, the next stop on the Route 50 drive of significance is Ely. After the last few days on Route 50, you’ll notice that Ely is the biggest populated area you’ll have travelled through. In fact, it’s the largest city in White Pine County, Nevada. Ely is also full of history, and you’ll spend some time exploring various areas in this charming place. Ely was originally a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route.
1906 saw copper being discovered and a boom to the area. The railroads connecting the area to the mines have been removed but you can still see a preserved railroad and railway in the Nevada Northern Railway, which is also known as the Ghost town of Ely. Aside from that, Ely has a lot to check out and the general ambience of the city is warm, friendly, wild west and extremely Americana in places.
It takes roughly 1 hour 14 minutes to drive from Eureka to Ely via Route 50, and is roughly 78 miles/125 km. As you leave Eureka, you’ll be amazed by how green the scenery is becoming and as you travel through the mountains leaving Eureka, you’ll see some of the most stunning, and unique vistas of the route so far. Along the way, be sure to check in distant Woodpeckers Peak, Prospect Peak and Leader Mountain in the distance. You may even get to see some old signs for the Pony Express Route along your way as there are a few of them dotted around.
Generally, the road conditions are much the same on this section of the drive along Route 50 that you’ll be used to from the other days on your road trip so far. However, this section does go up steeper passes through the mountains, especially coming out of Eureka, and there are a few more bends. This only makes for more dramatic scenery! There are plenty of spots along the route where you could pull in (where safe) and take pictures of the vistas opening before you. As you get to the highest points of the road, you’ll get some beautiful views in front of you of what’s to come.
Ely is a place in Nevada that has a lot going for it. As soon as you step out of the car, you’ll see that it’s fairly buzzing and certainly doesn’t feel so much like a ghost town like some of the other charming places you’ll come across on your Nevada Route 50 road trip. It’s actually the biggest town (or city) you’ll have seen in days and will certainly feel so. It’s well worth spending some time checking out Ely, and it makes a great stop for lunch on route, or even just to grab a coffee or traditional, old-fashioned soda.
Things to Do and See in Ely
There is quite a bit to see and do in Ely, and the chances are you won’t have time to do all of these things on your whistle stop tour, but the great thing is, there is something to keep everyone fascinated. If you do nothing else, it’s well worth getting an old-fashioned soda from Economy Drug on the main street. Here are some suggestions of places you’ll want to consider when passing through Ely, Nevada on the Loneliest Road in America.
Nevada Northern Railway Museum
Named ‘The Ghost Town of Ely’ the Nevada Northern Railway Museum has preserved various trains and locomotives and takes you on a museum experience through the workings of a 1900’s railyard. It’s amazing how the trains and experience has been preserved, and it’s now possible to take excursions and themed train rides. It’s also possible to get hands on experience of the trains as well as tours that give you a better overview of the history in the area and the significance of the railway.
The various experiences range in time needed, but you’ll roughly want to put aside 90 minutes if you want to explore the Nevada Northern Railway Museum in more detail. You’ll need to pay for your ticket, and you can book them online here, alternatively, you can book in person, but it’s advised to book in advance where possible.
Address: 110 Ave A, Ely, NV 89301.
Get an Old-Fashioned Soda at Economy Drug
Without a doubt, Economy Drug and their old-fashioned soda bar are a highlight of a visit to Ely. Set inside a functioning pharmacy is a true Americana style soda bar reminiscent of the 1950’s. Here you’ll be able to get iconic favorites such as a Lime Rickey, which is made of lime juice, syrup, and carbonated water (the staff are also able to make this one with stevia, for a less sweet drink if you prefer). They also serve deli style sandwiches with options suitable for vegetarians as well as meat eaters. You’ll likely see some locals enjoying too – as this place is well loved by the local community. Visit their website for up-to-date opening times.
Address: 696 Aultman Street, Ely, NV 89301.
Garnet Hill is well known by the locals in and around Ely for the red garnets that are found pretty easily here. You can spend some time being a ‘rockhound’ which refers to digging with a rock hammer to find these free gemstones. That said, you can also find many on the surface that don’t require any digging. Of course, exploring responsibly is important here, and you should only take small mementoes.
Address: Garnet Hill, Ely, NV 89301.
Ely Renaissance Village
Spend a few moments in Ely and you’ll realise just how much history there is here. Ely Renaissance Village is no different and gives you a clear eye into the past. In the late 1990’s, the Ely Renaissance Society formed and was put in place to protect and preserve the historic buildings built in Ely during the copper rush. Now the miners’ cabins and homes have been repurposed to create a village that shows the various ethnic groups living areas who came from around the world as well as the US. Here you’ll find homes decorated in an array of cultural tastes, from Japanese style homes to German and Basque as well as many more. You’ll also notice the murals around town that can be combined with the Renaissance Village to get a real rounded view of who passed through and lived here.
Address: 400 Ely Street, Ely, NV 89301
White Pine Public Museum
Continuing from the historical nature of many of the places you may have explored in Ely by this point, it’s also worth checking out the White Pine Public Museum. The museum holds some fascinating stories, artifacts and much more that presents the Pony Express history of the area, the native heritage, alongside much more in great detail. It’s a really well-rounded museum and well worth a visit, even if just for a short time. It costs $5 to enter the museum and free for children under 12. It’s open daily from 10am – 4pm, though it’s best to check the museum’s website for up-to-date information on fees and opening times here.
Address: 2000 East Aultman Street, Ely, NV 89301
Where to Eat in Ely, Nevada
Ely has a buzzing cultural scene, and alongside that, a good array of restaurants and cafes that will cater to all tastes, from traditional American cuisine, through to Mexican, Thai and many more. Below are some particular places of note that you will want to check out on your visit to Ely:
- La Fiesta: 700 Ave H, Ely. Serving Mexican food such as burritos, tacos and much more. Can easily adapt burritos for vegetarian and vegan by omitting ingredients.
- Happy Garden: 558 E Aultman Street, Ely. Serving traditional Chinese food, in large portions. Has vegetarian and vegan options/menu can be adapted to suit.
- Ginos Restaurant & Bar: 501 E Aultman Street, Ely. Italian favorites with an American twist.
- Economy Drug and Soda Fountain: 696 Aultman Street, Ely. Serving deli sandwiches and old-fashioned soda fountain drinks.
- Flower Basket & Espresso Depot: 445 E 11th Street, Ely. Serving brilliant, barista espresso-based drinks, pastries, and sweet treats. Has dairy free alternatives to milk for coffee, decaffeinated espresso and sugar free syrups.
- Bruno’s Sandwich Bar: 1113 US-93, Ely. Deli style sandwiches popular with locals. Can adapt and omit and can offer vegetarian sandwiches.
Cave Lake State Park
Sitting just 5 miles/8km outside of Ely is Cave Lake State Park, a really popular spot with the locals. The state park itself sits at 7,300 ft./2,200m in elevation and presents a unique alpine setting. It’s open all year and is home to an abundance of wildlife. In the summer, you can expect swimming, hiking, and camping as well as mountain biking. Because of its altitude, in winter you can expect ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing as well as skating.
It’s well worth checking out Cave Lake State Park and given there is so much to do in the area, you could easily extend your trip, staying in Ely for an extra day and allowing yourself some time to spend in this vast natural resource. If you’re shorter on time, you can also just take in the views on a whistle stop tour too. Below, we’ve outlined some of the key activities on offer in Cave Lake State Park for visitors. It’s $5 or $10 for non-NV plate vehicles per day and be sure to bring cash to pay.
Cave Lake State Park is an oasis of nature-based attractions, and the high desert location of the park gives it a wealth of activities. You can expect star gazing, hiking trails, biking, scenic drives and more here. Here are some of the main highlights.
Cave Lake itself is a 32-acre reservoir, a serene setting and namesake within Cave Laker State Park. From here, you’ll have stunning views of the mountains surrounding – such as the Schell Creek Range and the Humboldt National Forest. The lake itself is pretty significant for the area’s wildlife – seeing birds of prey like hawks, eagles Mountain Bluebirds waterfowl, songbirds and magpies as well as a large array of fish and water-based creatures. In terms of recreational activities, the lake is one of the main attractions with opportunities for swimming, paddleboarding, fishing and tubing in the summer. In the winter, fishing, cross country skiing, ice-skating, and snowmobiling are also popular.
Currently, at time of publishing, access to the shoreline is closed as construction is underway to restore the dam. Though hiking trails, campgrounds and other non-water-based activities are available. Be sure to check out the Nevada State Park’s website for more up to date information and reopening.
There is a lot to do at Cave Lake State Park all year round and if you’re interested in adventure, you will love the lake: the mountainous backdrop and the high-altitude alpine environment will feel lush and positively green as a comparison to some of the areas you have experienced on the last couple of days of your Nevada Route 50 road trip. Below, we’ve outlined some of the main activities you can enjoy at Cave Lake State Park in more detail.
You can fish and boat 24 hours a day, but you’ll have to get a license if you want to fish – you can buy this online here. You’ll have great access for fishing from both the shore and by boat. However, you can simply enjoy getting out on a boat. The best place to start from is Cave Lake Marina. At present, at the time of publishing, shore access isn’t permitted whilst repair work happens on the dam, and this of course applies to boats too. You’ll need to check the state park website for up-to-date information and reopening.
Hiking & Biking
There are various hiking and biking trails to take advantage of in Cave Lake State Park, and set amongst a high-altitude desert, but alpine landscape, you’ll get to see some stunning views of the surrounding mountains – it really feels like an oasis away from it all. Popular trails for biking include the Twisted Pines trail, a 6.3km trail with 99m ascent and 238m descent. It’s a fast trail and certainly one to try out. There are numerous hiking trails for a range of difficulties and experience levels, which can be found here. The Cave Lake Overlook Trail is particularly popular and starts at the east of the lake.
It’s possible to swim at Cave Lake, head down to the lake shore and here you’ll find some of the best spots for a refreshing swim in the water. Always be mindful that the water is likely to be cold and stay away from boat traffic. If you’re planning to swim out to any depth, wear a visibility device, such as a tow float to make yourself more visible. At the time of publishing, the lake is drained, and lake access isn’t possible whilst work on the dam continues, which does of course remove the option for swimming. However, it’s advised to check out the State Park’s website for reopening times and schedules as the work progresses.
There are two campgrounds at Cave Lake State Park, and if you’d like to stay in the area longer and spend some more time in nature before moving onto your next spot along Nevada’s Route 50, this could be a good spot for you. Elk Flat Campground and Lake View Campground are both on a first come first served bases, meaning they are non-reservable, and the campgrounds can become busy during peak season. You’re also limited to seven days stay within a 30-day period. You’re not allowed to save sites, so a tip for securing a spot during peak season would be to arrive as early as you can to reserve your spot. Your entry fee to the park covers camping.
The campsites have a fire pit with grill, table, and parking next to where you’ll pitch. There are also flush toilets and showers.
Seasonal Events & Activities
Depending on the season you visit Cave Lake State Park, there are lots of events and other things happening. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy:
- White Pine Fire & Ice Show: in winter, the Fire and Ice Winter Festival is on, usually in January and celebrates all White Pine County has to give its visitors in the winter. You can expect to see fireworks, ice sculptures, and a friendly atmosphere as well as many events throughout the days it’s on. For more information on dates, times, and events, be sure to check out the website here.
- Stargazing: Alongside Ward Charcoal Ovens, one of the best spots in the area is Cave Lake. You can take advantage of trails such as Success Loop to see the night sky amongst the mountains. Star gazing is also possible from the Elk Flat Campground and Lake View Campground within the park. The best times to visit for stargazing are when you are most likely to have clear night skies – toward the end of September through to November present this in profusion. However, if you’re looking to see the Milky Way, you’ll want to head out between June and September. Keep in mind the moon’s location/direction and phase too, as not having the moon visible in shot will give you the darkest skies. Generally full moons kick out a lot of light.
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park is a real gem just outside of Ely, about 18 miles away and a 36-minute drive. We were not expecting to be so captivated by the six-beehive like structures at the State Park and they’re well worth exploring – especially since you can go inside them and really get a sense of them up close and personal. They are of great historical importance and were used for charcoal and in operation from 1876 – 79.
They’ve spent longer being preserved and are now a highlight as a recreational destination in Nevada for history, hiking, camping and stargazing. Don’t skip this spot! Below are some of the key factors to take into consideration when visiting this area, such as fees, what to do and the importance of them historically and culturally. As always, be sure to recreate responsibly here – the Charcoal Ovens have been preserved extremely well – let’s keep them that way. Be sure to check out the Nevada State Park’s website for the rules and considerations to consider for your visit and to have the least impact.
Origins of the Ovens
The Charcoal Ovens themselves were created and used in operation from 1876 to 1879. They were used in the process of silver discovered in the area, which, at the time was in boom. Given their short use for this purpose, when they were ‘decommissioned’ so to speak, they became popular with stagecoach bandits as a hideout. The Ovens themselves were built from quartz latitude welded tuff and were designed in the beehive shape to create an efficient version of the open pit system used at the time. They primarily prepared charcoal and these ovens are some of the best preserved in the region.
Transition to a Park
Until 1956, the area was under private ownership. However, at that point, the Nevada State Park Commission were brought in to protect the ovens and keep them preserved for years to come. In 1968 and 1969, 160 acres of land were moved to the State Park system to create the monument that is known now as Ward Charcoal Ovens Historic State Park. In 1994, they were highlighted for recreational use and enjoyment in the way they’re witnessed today with their offerings of camping, trails, hiking and riding, amongst others.
Opening Times and Cost
The Ward Charcoal Ovens are open all the time, 24 hours a day (and can be great for night-time star gazing and getting shots of the Ovens against a starry backdrop. The entrance fee to look around the Ovens and use the Park is $5 and $10 for Nov-NV plate vehicles. You’ll need to pay this in cash, as you cannot pay on card. So, you will need to bring cash before you enter the park (a good idea is to pick this up in Ely before you leave). For further information about the Charcoal Ovens, you can contact the park on +1 775 289 1693 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s always wise to check out the Nevada State Parks website before your visit for any current and further information that may affect your visit.
Exploring the Ovens
It’s really simple to explore the six beehive-shaped ovens and the surrounding area at your own place as once you’ve been past the fee area, there is a walkway that takes you past every single one of them. There are information signs around, so you can learn more about the Ovens as you go. Once you get to the Ovens themselves, you’re able to step inside and take a different perspective; they really are impressive to look at. There are also other trails nearby and if this appeals, you can find a map of the routes here. Expect to spend about 30 minutes to an hour exploring this area to do it justice and take them in. Of course, you can take things at your own place and spend longer, or even less time here if you’d prefer. The Charcoal Ovens are also wheelchair accessible. Pets are also allowed so long as they’re on a leash.
The Charcoal Ovens really do present something beautiful against a unique backdrop. You’ll want to make sure you bring a wide-angle lens for your camera to capture the ovens next to each other. You can also get a bit creative and make use of the desert flowers and colors which surround them by using depth of field to focus in on the ovens and framing them with the foreground scrub and bush.
You can of course also go inside the ovens, and whilst they’re very dark, if you have an ultra-wide lens, you can get some good shots of them from the inside. If you fancy sticking around, you can get some great long exposure shots of the Ward Charcoal Ovens against a clear, starry night sky, which looks incredibly impressive. Be sure to take in some of the other canyons and mountains surrounding as well – the whole area is breath-taking!
Final Stop of the Day: Baker
Your final stop on the Route 50 road trip through Nevada brings you to Baker, a small community just outside of Great Basin National Park where you’ll spend day 4 of your trip. Outwardly, Baker doesn’t really have a lot – it really is small, but it’s also charming and the locals in places like the Bristlecone General Store are extremely friendly and want to chat to everyone who comes by the find out where they’re from. There isn’t really anything to see and do as such in Baker itself, and it’s really used as a base for the National Park, but it also gives you a few lovely food and accommodation options, as listed below. You’ll be ready for a rest after the last few days of driving, and Baker is the perfect place to do that.
Places to Stay in Baker, Nevada
Baker is a very small community, so there are not that many places to stay here, and in fact, two options currently present themselves. In many ways, this gives you an indication of the visitor numbers themselves to Great Basin National Park. We’ve listed the main accommodation options below, but aside from those, and if you have your gear with you, you may consider camping in a number of the recognised sites just outside of Baker itself. For example, Wheeler Peak Campground is available in Great Basin National Park. There’s also Lower and Upper Lehman Creek Campgrounds too. Baker Creek Campground presents another option as well as Grey Cliffs Campground and Snake Creek Campground. These can be booked through the NPS website for Great Basin National Park and their recreation.gov plugin.
In terms of hotels/motels, here is an overview of the main hotel and motel options you’ll find in Baker.
Hidden Canyon Retreat
Hidden Canyon Retreat is a real oasis tucked away down a private canyon road just outside of Baker and makes a perfect backdrop for your stay in the area. As you drive to the canyon from Baker, you’ll be amazed at the stunning scenery you see, and driving down the hill is a real spectacle in its own right. The Hidden Canyon Retreat is set up for wellness first and foremost and has a variety of lodging options. Their motel style accommodation is where we stayed, and we’d highly recommend.
The site has an outdoor swimming pool, which has stunning views of the canyons and mountains around you as well as a hot tub/jacuzzi that can be used by guests for that spa style experience. The rooms have a small kitchenette, including toaster oven and small hob, and are really well equipped to make meals. The Hidden Canyon Retreat also has a shop selling all manner of foods to make meals including fresh produce, healthier options and gluten free, vegan and vegetarian meals and ingredients. The Hidden Canyon Retreat puts you in a great location for exploring Great Basin National Park and takes roughly 35 minutes to reach the park from the site (roughly 20 miles). You’ll likely see turkey, deer and other animals here too, and the site has walks you can do right from your front door. You can book to stay through their website here.
Hotels in Baker, Nevada
There are not so many accommodation options in Baker, Nevada as it is such a small place, and except for the Hidden Canyon Retreat listed above, your only other real option is The Whispering Elm. The motel includes wood clad rooms, has a barbeque that guest can make use of as well as air conditioning, TV and a fridge in each room. You can book to stay in The Whispering Elms Motel here. The motel puts you a short 7 minute/4.9-mile drive from Great Basin National Park’s entrance.
Address: 120 Baker Avenue, Baker, NV 89311.
Where to Eat in Baker, Nevada
As above, given that Baker is such a small community, there aren’t that many options of places to eat in Baker. However, the options that are available offer great food:
- Sugar, Salt & Malt Restaurant: 70 Baker Avenue, Baker. Serving various burgers and more in the evening and sandwiches and quiche at lunch as well as pastries earlier in the morning. Has a vegan burger, that can be customised from vegetarian in the evening.
- Bristlecone General Store: 115 South Baker Avenue, Baker. Technically not a restaurant, but this well stocked general store has a wide selection of food on offer such as take out sandwiches, snacks and microwave/whole food options too. They have a small café bar serving coffee and hot drinks as well as a wide selection of local craft beer, kombucha and other health drinks. The perfect place to pick up the items to make a picnic for hiking in Great Basin National Park.
- 487 Grill at Whispering Elms Motel: 120 Baker Avenue, Baker. Serving burgers and American grill with a laid-back atmosphere.
- Sandra’s Mexican Food: NV-487 & Pioche Street, Nevada. Serving traditional Mexican food such as torta, burrito, tostada, taco. Has veggie tacos and burritos that can be made vegan.
Day 3 of the Route 50 road trip is jam packed with interesting things, and with so much variance, you’ll be ready for bed by the time you get to your accommodation! The key consideration we’d say to keep in mind for day 3, is to make sure you have cash in advance for Ward Charcoal Ovens Historical State Park (entry costs outlined above). You cannot pay with card, and if you forget, you’ll have to head back to Ely to get some or give it a miss (which would be a real shame). There is so much to take in within this area that you could even extend this section of your trip and stay a night in Ely, perhaps spending more time checking out the cultural interests in Ely itself, or around Cave Lake (and there are plenty of accommodation options in Ely itself).
That said, if you are shorter on time, we’d recommend simply checking out Eureka a little more, doing a quick tour around Ely (and having an old-fashioned soda) before checking out the Ward Charcoal Ovens. Day 3 really is your last day of driving from A – B (apart from your short drive into Great Basin National Park on day 4) so take in the sights and sounds along the way and savor every moment.