Carlin is a small city located near the western border of Elko County in northeast Nevada, 23 miles (37 km) west of the city of Elko. It is part of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area. Carlin sits along Interstate 80 at an elevation of approximately 4,900 feet (1,500 m). As of the 2010 census, its population was 2,368, up from 2,161 at the 2000 census. The city was named for Civil War general William Passmore Carlin. Its slogan is "Where the Train Stops...And the Gold Rush Begins".
Carlin is located at 40°42′51″N 116°6′47″W. To the northwest is the Carlin Trend, one of the most productive gold mining areas in the United States. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.0 square kilometres (10.4 sq mi), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,161 people, 792 households, and 579 families residing in the city. The population density was 234.6 people per square mile (90.6/km²). There were 1,014 housing units at an average density of 110.1 per square mile (42.5/km²).