Nevada State Route 375
Rachel, NV 89001
Type: Day Trips
Start your adventure by driving north on Interstate Highway 15 in the direction of Utah and importantly, be sure to top off your tank at the last gas exit-64 before you proceed to turn off onto the Great Basin Highway 93.
The turn off brings an exciting anticipation as the drive feels like around 30 minutes of desolation before you suddenly see over yonder to the left what appears to be a bright green strange structure of some sort and getting closer you realize it's not an alien but a smiling dinosaur and a food stop (THE best bet for delicious sandwiches, munchies & drinks (Lots of drinks a must) also there is gas there (good to top off unless your in a Prius or similar).
Driving off you'll see a tad more of life, some homes and a lovely contrast of blue skies, colorful dancing hills against a scenic lake and as that gets further behind, it's onto Highway 375 also known as The Extraterrestrial Highway.
Some of the clearest skies and a genuine Southwest rocky landscape changes to a view of one of the most vast, longest, and perhaps emptiest roads in the U.S.A. as what appears to look like you just got dropped off on Mars. A pull to the side of the road for a moment to listen. No sound, not even a pin drop. Yup, your not on your daily city commute highway or for that matter anything that faintly resembles a metropolis highway and in fact you may not pass another car for miles and miles. This eerie beauty of nothingness gives off a sense of rebel curiosity to keep going north or should considering turning back be an option. Don't worry as long as you have enough gas to speed away from any aliens who by chance pick you to abduct that day, well then your in good shape. A Pack of strange cows stare you down in the brush to the right, with a lingering question of where in the world did they come from? Watching the cows could be a distraction if your looking for the small but infamous Area 51 black box (now white) to your left. Drive too fast and pass that as speeding in the car never seems more attractive not to mention the ride starts to feel slightly long and drawn.
The Pilgrimage for alien viewing IS alien central better known as the town of Rachel, NV. A small sign to your right will let you know your there as this don't-drive-too-fast-or-you-will-pass-it-by spot will draw you towards the one and only, world famous Little A'Le'Inn. for photo-ops and curious conversations with the owner of this quirky establishment. The town's landscapes have been featured in the sci-fi movie, Independence Day. If you haven't downloaded a map of the area they have them for offering. Pebbled roads to the Area 51 gate are long and gas consuming.
Continuing up the Extraterrestrial Highway and on to US Route 6 bearing left and in about an hour your in the bustling mining town of Tonapah. From that point you can head south on 95 for the 3 1/2 hour trek back to Las Vegas or if your continuing north on 95 to Reno. Next is gas and a possible food and loo stop. If your a lover of Turquoise, stop at The Royston Turquoise shop. The owner of the store, Mr. Otteson mines all the turquoise in the back and gives tours. The turquoise is extremely unique, gorgeous and is considered by experienced gemstone experts to be some of the best and most sought after turquoise going and Mr. Otteson is a very lovely and easy person to talk with as well as his wife makes a tasty homemade soup. Temptation awaits you as speeding along the remote roads seem natural, try to stay 80mph as I did encounter a policeman and got pulled over but nicely was not cited.
Approaching to the left is a rustic stand with antique treasures and your in the mining town of Goldfield. Mining minerals was and still is a part of Nevada and it's just fun to stop, rummage and chat with the stand's owner. If it's still light out, along the way you can make a short stop at the historic mining ghost town of Rhyolite on the edge to the gateway of Death Valley. Finishing the tour As the sunsets over the mountain horizons and offers you a spectacular show of desert colors, a wonderful finish to a truly unique one of a kind drive around the remote and unspoiled nature not including the test sites of Nevada.
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