The Nevada portion of US Route 50 is often called “The Loneliest Road in America.”
The origin of The Loneliest Road in America nickname first appeared in 1986 in an article in Life Magazine. In it, the author lamented the lack of things to do and see along the road. In fact, drivers were warned to avoid this portion of Route 50 at all costs unless they had good survival skills!
Today, attitudes are a bit different. What was once seen as a negative has been embraced by the state of Nevada and it’s residents as a good thing, you’ll see why.
What we’re going to do is tell you what you need to know about this portion of US Route 50, The Loneliest Road in America.
US Route 50 Today
Now, things are a bit different. In fact, the state of Nevada has used the nickname for Route 50 as it runs through the state as a fun marketing tactic, making “I Survived” stickers and maps.
That’s not to say there has been a growth in attractions and activities along the side of the road. While there are some, the reality is the attitudes towards wide open spaces have changed over the years. Today, having the ability to drive on a highway surrounded by desert and mountains is something a lot of people want to see.
That could be why Route 50 is seeing a resurgence among road trippers across the country.
What to See
Route 50 approximately 400 miles from Carson City to Baker, Nevada. Your first stop, coming west can be at Lake Tahoe. You might take some time to enjoy the Nevada side of the lake.
From there, head to Fallon. The Overland Hotel and Saloon is a historic hotel that also has a history of being haunted so you won’t want to miss it.
Once you head out of Fallon, keep an eye on your gas tank. There is a long stretch of road, over 100 miles, that features only one gas station, the Historic Middlegate Station. It’s a saloon from back in the days of the Pony Express.
In Austin, Nevada you’ll find the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. It’s a ghost town from the 1890s that you can explore. There are also a few hiking trails and fossil tours here too.
Heading east toward Battle Mountain, you’ll encounter the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area. Stop for a picnic, go on a hike, and see historic petroglyphs.
If you want to see something really unique keep driving to Ely. Here, you’ll find Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park. The town is now abandoned but these giant ovens were built to process silver ore.
Finally, if you want to check one more National Park off your list, stop at Great Basin National Park. Be sure to check out the Lehman Caves; you can take a 90-minute tour.
Enjoy Your Trip
If you’re considering a cross-country road trip and looking for some unique roads, Route 50 might be just the path for you! One thing’s for certain, if you are traveling via a different route, make sure you take a detour and enjoy some of the solitude of The Loneliest Road in America as it winds through Nevada.
If you’re looking for another scenic route through Nevada- check out this road next!