Wireless internet has become easier to find across Sierra County, however there are no guarantees, especially in the wilderness areas.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park has added WiFi in the main area of the park, meaning you can pick it up everywhere from the Dirt Dam to Lion’s Beach and the RV campgrounds. It was announced in 2019 that the state park’s WiFi will be a paid service.
Wireless is limited in small mountain towns but you’ll find it at Hillsboro’s Community Center, Black Range Vineyards, and the Hillsboro General Store, for starters. Kingston’s Black Range Lodge has wireless throughout. There is a plan to bring fiber optics to Hillsboro and Kingston by the end of 2021 via a partnership agreement between Ethos and Sierra Electric Coop.
Cellphones: for now, signals are weak in mountain towns like Chloride, Hillsboro and Kingston, but you can sometimes get a signal by accessing high ground — you might get lucky at the Hillsboro Cemetery. The closer you are to Interstate 25, the better luck you’ll have. Even in our bigger towns, service varies according to provider. Verizon is generally a safe bet; cellphone users report less success with AT&T.
A tip for when you’re out of range: switching your smartphone to “airplane mode” allows you to continue taking photos while preventing your phone from constantly searching for a signal, which can drain the battery.