The Lone Ranger begins in San Francisco, CA, 1933 with an elderly Tonto retelling his adventures of 1869 to a little boy who idolizes the Lone Ranger.
Tonto and Butch Cavendish arrive in Colby, Texas via the new railroad; under the custody of the Texas Rangers. Butch is to be hanged in the town to celebrate the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Butch’s gang hijacks the train, and sets him free, but they also set the train on a high speed course towards the end of the rail line which will derail it, and presumably kill all the innocent passengers on board.
Attorney John Reid is on that train, and with the help of Tonto, they unhinge the passenger cars from the engine, and save everyone. John then jails Tonto because he was originally under arrest for a reason.
John’s brother, Dan, is a Texas Ranger, and he deputizes John so that they, and six other Rangers can track down Butch’s gang. The men are ambushed along the way, and seven of them are killed. Butch cuts out, and eats Dan’s heart while John helplessly watches before dying himself.
By this time, Tonto has somehow escaped from jail, and comes across the dead men in the desert. As he buries them, a white horse, we’ll call him ‘Silver’, resurrects John from his deadly slumber because he is a ‘spirit walker.’
Tonto helps restore John’s health, and tells that he cannot be killed in battle. John sets out to get justice for his brother’s death along with Tonto who also has a vendetta against the outlaw. Because Butch’s gang thinks everyone is dead, Tonto convinces John to wear a mask to protect his identity, and the two men set out on their quest to nab Butch.
Meanwhile, Butch’s gang has disguised themselves as Comanches and kidnap Dan’s widow, Rebecca, and their son, Danny to make it look like the Comanches have broken a peace treaty, so that the U.S. Calvary will be called in to kill everyone in the tribe.
John and Tonto are captured by the Comanches, and John learns that as a boy, Tonto rescued Butch and another man from death. After they healed he was tricked into showing the men a mountain that contains silver ore. To hide this secret from the world, and keep the silver for themselves, Butch and the other man, kill everyone in Tonto’s tribe except for him.
John and Tonto escape from the Comanche during a Calvary raid against the tribe, and head to the silver mine where they find Butch. Tonto wants to kill Butch, but John wants him to stand trial. He knocks out Tonto, and takes Butch back to town where he learns that the railroad tycoon of Colby, Latham Cole, is Butch’s partner, brother, and the other man with Butch who know about the silver mountain. Cole has also bought/blackmailed the loyalty of the U.S. Calvary captain, Jay Fuller; making him untouchable.
Since Cole is too powerful to be taken out lawfully, John puts his mask back on, and heads to Promontory Summit where a celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad line is about to take place. At the end of this ceremony, Cole attempts a hostile takeover of the railroad from the other tycoons using the silver from the mine he stole to fund his purchase of it, but the takeover isn’t completed because, John and Tonto wage a war against the gang to stop them.
Butch, Cole, and Captain Fuller end up dead, the silver falls to the bottom of a tall ravine, and Rebecca and Danny are rescued for a happy ending. Hi-yo, Silver! Away!!