Beowawe (/beɪɵˈwɑːwiː/bay-ə-WAH-wee) is a ghost town in Eureka County in northeastern Nevada in the western United States. Beowawe is a PaiuteNative American word meaning "gate", so named for the peculiar shape of the hills close to town which gives the effect of a gateway opening to the valley beyond. The town is located at 40.592°N, 116.476°W, at an elevation of 4695 feet (1431 m). Beowawe is situated on State Route 306 immediately south of Interstate 80. The Humboldt River runs through northern Nevada near Beowawe. At approximately 300 miles (480 km) long, it is the second longest river in the arid Great Basin of North America. It has no outlet to the ocean, but instead empties into the Humboldt Sink.
Beowawe was founded in 1868 with the arrival of the railroad. Gravelly Ford, a noted site on the California Trail, is a few miles east of Beowawe on Pioneer Pass Road. The famous "Maiden's Grave" marker overlooks the ford. A tall cross in the Beowawe cemetery commemorates the burial of Lucinda Duncan, a grandmother who died on the trail in 1863. Workers building the Central Pacific Railroad first noted the grave along the Humboldt River, and in 1906 it was moved to the hillside cemetery when the Union Pacific realigned its tracks. Brown, Randy and Reg P. Duffin. Graves and Sites on the Oregon and California Trails. (Independence, Mo: Oregon-California Trails Association, 1991. Second edition, 1998), 114-15. The town reached its peak around 1881 with a population of 60 people. The town consisted of an elementary school, church, post office, store, and library. In 1909 a power plant was built but, like many ghost towns, the boom had ended by 1916 and many of the residents had moved on. Currently, Beowawe is once again tied to energy production, the home to both a geothermal power plant and a large propane tank farm near the railroad.
Beowawe is also the name of one of two geyser fields located in the region (the other is Steamboat Springs). Geyser activity in both fields was destroyed by the creation of the local dual-flash geothermal power plant in 1985.