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Extraterrestrial Highway

Basics
Length:
98 miles (157 km)
Time:
An out and back trip can be done in one day, but if you take the entire loop, plan on spending from 2-6 days.

Description

The Extraterrestrial Highway may be a long stretch of 98 miles with only the small town of Rachel along its expanse, but because of its proximity to the famed "Area 51," fans claim it is one of the most "visited" areas in the country. Officially designated in 1996 for the many UFO sightings along the lonely road, the byway now sports a sign posting its speed limit as "Warp 7" and another sign warning of alien encounters for the next 51 miles.

Due to the gradual descent into the valley, the city of Rachel can be seen long before visitors reach it. Once inside the town, take a break from driving and visit the Little A'Le'Inn, a small restaurant that has gotten into the spirit of things. Large painted words on the side of the building scream "Earthlings Welcome" and the restaurant offers a lot of alien merchandise. Tourists and locals claim the food served, including the Alien burger, is "out of this world."

The byway ends at Warm Springs, the intersection of Highway 375 and US 6. Many old mines and ghost towns are scattered along the length of the byway for visiting travelers. Unfortunately, Area 51 is restricted to public access (in fact, doesn't even officially exist), but be prepared; while driving down the highway, visitors and locals alike have often seen strange lights glowing in the night sky... perhaps an unidentified flying object?

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Cedar Pipeline Ranch (NV)

Cedar Pipeline Ranch is located where three large valleysconnect. Here a natural spring offers life to a small stand of trees, forms a couple of small ponds, and makes it the perfect spot for a ranch. The ranch is still privately owned, but, for unknown reasons, abandoned. Most of the buildings are in pretty good condition and are worth exploring. The area has a ghost-like feeling while at the same time offering uncharacteristic shade and water -- an oasis in the surrounding barren landscape. Visitors aren't the only ones in search of shade, cows on the open rangefrequent the area often, so watch your step.

Directions

On Hwy 375 go north. Then turn left on Cedar Road, heading west. Follow the paved road for 8.2 miles, and Cedar Pipeline Ranch will be on your left.

Ghost Town of Reveille (NV)

Reveille was founded in 1866 and grew to include several dozen individual mines within the first year. In 1867, a stamp mill was even built. Unfortunately, the claims proved less than profitable, and by 1880 Reveille was deserted and the town was dead. A few mines were worked on and off until 1945, but today even the mines have been abandoned. "Downtown Reveille," located just past the fork, tells the story of the short-lived mining town. Many stone foundations and one wooden cabin that has mysteriously remained intact cluster in the area. About a mile farther north, "Old Reveille" has some fascinating remains of old mining equipment. In both areas, watch out for vertical mine shafts.

Directions

In Rachel turn left onto Hwy 375 north. After about 37 miles you come to an intersection with a dirt road on the left, and a somewhat faded sign Reveille". Turn left onto the dirt road and head towards the mountains. Keep following the main dirt road.

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Ghost Town of Tybo (NV)

Many ore discoveries were made in the Hot Creek Range in 1866, and the first major discovery in Tybo was made by American Indians in 1870. In 1874 a small camp was established, and by 1875 Tybo Consolidated Mining Company was founded by several of the larger mines. Soon it controlled the whole town, and by 1876 Tybo was booming. The population reached 1,000, and businesses opened, including stores, saloons, restaurants, a hotel, a blacksmith, a school, a post office, a bank, and a newspaper.

The town started out calm, but ran into numerous racial difficulties between the Irish, Cornish, Central Europeans, and Chinese who lived there. In 1880, the mining company failed due to difficulties in ore reduction, and by the end of 1881 the population had dwindled to less than 100 people. Various mining companies tried to reopen the mines, but all failed within a few years.

What remains of Tybo is easily accessible from the road. Some of the buildings are in pretty good condition, especially the old general store. It is a wooden building with a brick front. Most of the mines are scattered across the hillsides and require hikes to reach them. One still has the headworks of a more recent mine, along with several old buildings and mining machinery.

Directions

At the Warm Springs junction turn right onto U.S. 6 east. After 9.7 miles you see the Tybo historic marker on the right side of the highway. On the left side of the highway is a group of buildings and an airstrip. Follow the well-maintained dirt road past

Little A'Le'Inn (NV)

On the Extraterrestrial Highway, the Little A'Le'Inn is an oasis for UFO enthusiasts, or anyone who wants a fun stop. The Little A'Le'Inn is a small diner, bar, and motel in Rachel, NV. It's a modest little inn with a souvenir shop filled with all of the alien memorabilia one could desire. The employees and customers are always ready to chat about the mysterious Area 51 or the latest unidentified sighting. The walls of the Little A'Le'Inn are covered with pictures of UFOs and other bizarre things. Even the parking lot has a sign that invites aliens to visit. The inn itself has a time capsule waiting to be opened in 2050 when the locals believeextraterrestrial travel will be commonplace. After a hard day of traveling, visitors to the Little A'Le'Inn can sit outside and gaze into the skies, trying to catch a glimpse of a UFO near the famed Area 51.

Directions

Located in Rachel, NV, on the Extraterrestrial Highway.

Lunar Crater Volcanic Field (NV)

The Lunar Crater Volcanic Field is located between Toponah and Ely. It is made up of cinder cones, lava flows, and craters. The bizarre landscape formed when molten lava surfaced along a fault line in the very thin crust prevalent in Nevada. The first of three distinct periods of volcanic activity began over two million years ago. The first contained a series of small eruptions. Internal pressure ejected ash and rock, making cinder cones, or smallvolcanoes. Later, molten rock flowed through the vents, cooling to become basalt. Two violent eruptions during this time formed two large, round depressions known today as Easy Chair Crater and Lunar Crater.

Lunar Crater is the area's most outstanding feature. It is almost 4,000 feet across and 430 feet deep. That means more than 400 acres in size! The crater itself is a bowl-shaped depression void of vegetation. It more closely resembles a meteor-impact crater than a volcanic cinder cone that fell in on itself. The name Lunar Crater is very appropriate as it was used in the late 1960s to train astronauts for the Apollo moon missions.

Other features include The Wall, Black Rock Lava Flow, and over 20 other extinct volcanoes.

Directions

At the Warm Springs junction turn right onto US-6 east. After 27.8 miles you see a dirt road and a sign Lunar Crater" on the right. Turn right onto the well-maintained dirt road. After 6.4 miles you get to the upper rim of Lunar Crater.

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Old Tempiute Mine and Ghost Town (NV)

The Old Tempiute Mine is located on the south slope of Tempiute Mountain. In the late 1800s, Old Tempiute was a silver mine. Silver was first discovered in 1865 and a small mining camp was started to take advantage of the find. New discoveries attracted even more miners, and by the end of 1870, the town had reached a population of 50 people. That was enough people to warrant a small post office from 1879 to 1883. Unfortunately, water was scarce and had to be brought into town from the valley. After 1883 most miners abandoned the mine and the camp was practically deserted until tungsten was found in 1916.

Today some interesting remains are left of the mining town. Some foundations of stone cabins dot the land and mine shafts can be seen in various stages of decay. For a wonderful view of both Tikaboo and Sand Spring Valley, take a rather strenuous hike up the road to a ridge.

Directions

Take a dirt road east from the byway at mile marker LN 13.6 towards Tempiute Mountain. After 1.35 miles you come to a fork; keep right. At 2.35 miles from the highway you see the first foundations of old mining cabins. At 2.6 miles you come to a small par

The Mount Irish Petroglyph Site (NV)

Located on 640 acres in the northern Pahranagat Valley, the Mount Irish petroglyph site contains petroglyphs carved by prehistoric American Indians into the area's characteristic soft, reddish rock. The petroglyphs are spread out in an area of about 8 miles from the turnoff. Many of the interesting petroglyphs are within hiking distance from the road.

Directions

Take Hwy. 318 north from the 318/375 fork. After 2.5 miles take Logan Summit Road, a dirt road leading west.

Details

Length:
98 miles (157 km)
Time:
An out and back trip can be done in one day, but if you take the entire loop, plan on spending from 2-6 days.
Main Roads:
NV-375 N/State Hwy 375

Map + Directions

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