Nevada January 25, 2017
Ride With E.T. Along This Alien-Themed Road Trip Through Nevada
Nevada is well known as the home of the infamous Area 51, supposedly a place where the remains of U.F.O.’s and alien bodies are kept under top secret military guard. It’s also the home of State Highway 375, the “Extraterrestrial Highway.” Unfortunately as much as many people have tried, you cannot visit Area 51, or even reasonably close to it. Still, with so many alien themes surrounding the state, let’s take an alien-themed journey through Nevada anyway!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Our map covers 442 miles total and driving time is approximately 8 hours and 23 minutes. You can click on the link under the picture for the actual Google Map.
1. E.T. Fresh Jerky (Hiko)
Doing all this driving will take some stamina so it's a good idea to start our journey at the alien-themed E.T. Fresh Jerky shop in Hiko. The shop is located in the middle of the junction of 318 and 93. You can get many different flavors of jerky at the shop, as well as nuts, dried fruit and some free samples! The friendly staff are also happy to fill you in on tales about Area 51 and surrounding parts. They also have a great 100 foot long mural that you are encouraged to take your picture next to as a souvenir of your journey.
2. Alien Research Center (Hiko)
Our next stop is the Alien Research Center, the "Gateway to Area 51." While it's not really a research center, you can find alien-themed merchandise to purchase to delight the nerd in you. The highlight is the giant metal alien sculpture which makes for some great photograph opportunities. Hours for the shop tend to vary so you may want to call ahead to be sure they're open. The Alien Research Center is located at 100 Extraterrestrial Highway (375) in Hiko.
3. The Extraterrestrial Highway
Nevada State Highway 375 aka "The Extraterrestrial Highway, runs for about 98 miles in the middle of the state. The road gets its nickname from its proximity to the Area 51 government base and for many stories over the years about U.F.O.s sited along the highway. The highway begins at State Route 318 by Crystal Springs and ends at U.S. 6 at Warm Springs. In 1996 the state officially designated SR 375 with the name and some of the stars of the movie Independence Day attended the ceremony in order to promote the film which released the same year.
4. Tikaboo Valley and Peak
Tikaboo Peak is one of the only places where you can see the Area 51 site without any legal restrictions although it's from quite a distance. The hike up the peak is only a mile but it's definitely a hike for the more experienced as it's very, very steep and there are many loose rocks and shale to disrupt your footing. You also will need a four-wheel-drive car to get to the trailhead, otherwise you can drive a regular car up til about 1/4 mile away. To reach the peak hike, you'll take a detour off the 375 onto Highway 93 until you reach Old Corn Creek Road. Keep driving for about 8 miles til you reach a fork and go right onto Badger Mountain Road and then go about 20 miles til you hit another fork and Badger Spring parking lot is on the left. Continue going right and drive until you reach the campsite. You can park here if you have a regular car or continue for another 1/4 of a mile with a four-wheel drive. From the top of the peak you'll have a view of the Area 51 facilities as well as Groom Lake, a dry lake bed.
5. The Black Mailbox (Alamo)
Sadly, the original Black Mailbox is no longer in existence as it was stolen in 2015, but it was for many years a famous gathering spot for U.F.O. enthusiasts. The mailbox was actually owned by a local rancher who had to install locks on his box to keep U.F.O. hunters from rifling through his mailing and even shooting the box! Since the time it was stolen, a new one has been put in the same spot though visitors report it's nothing quite like the original. The site is on State Highway 375 near Shadow Wells Road. Please note, while you're near the town of Alamo, it's a good time to stop for gas if you're getting low as there's none at our next stop in the town of Rachel.
As you drive along State Highway 375, you'll hit the tiny town of Rachel, which has less than 100 residents but a definite sense of humor!
The town is primarily a collection of mobile homes and a few businesses and even describes itself on its website as something out of the "Twilight Zone." The town began around the Union Carbide mine nearby but since the mine closed in 1988, most of the residents moved away.
7. Little A'Le'Inn (Rachel)
The most well known business in Rachel is the Little A'Le'Inn, which was once called the Rachel Bar and Grill. The owners changed the name when the realized the area had become a magnet for U.F.O.-seeking tourists. If you want to stay for the night, the Inn has both a motel and trail park options and a restaurant and gift shop where you can, of course, buy alien-themed souvenirs. There's also regular camping sites nearby that are popular in the summer and you may even find campers staying the night outside the Black Mailbox location, hoping for a U.F.O. sighting. The Inn is also the "home base" for the annual
Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight Marathon
where runners head down the highway starting at midnight under the full moon. The Little A'Le'Inn is located on the Extraterrestrial Highway not far from Shadow Wells Road.
8. Area 51 Alien Center and Area 51 Alien Cathouse (Amargosa Valley)
Our next stop is the Area 51 Alien Center where you can gass up your car, use the restroom and grab some more snacks for the road. They also sell a lot of alien-themed souvenirs as well as souvenirs for their brothel next door. The center is on US Route 95 near the town of Amargosa Valley and the State Highway 373 junction.
Situated next door to the Area 51 Alien Center is the
Area 51 Alien Cathouse
which indulges patrons with alien-themed fantasies. Clearly there's something for everyone...on to the next stop!
9. Atomic Inn (Beatty)
Atomic Inn has a fun retro theme reminiscent of Cold War era aesthetics (or Fallout video games, take your pick!) Guests can model for photos next to the yard aliens whose friendly presence greets you when you arrive.
is located in the fun town of Beatty which is the gateway to Death Valley National Park as well as a perfect home base for many different attractions in the area including several ghost towns and the Goldwell Open Air Museum.
10. Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel (Las Vegas)
On the final stop on our journey, for the most alien-themed event of all, you and your loved one can get married with an intergalactic wedding! Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel offers several space-themed packages, including Star Wars and Star Trek themes for that couple who truly loves geek culture and wants Darth Vader to attend their wedding. Visit their
for details on booking. The Chapel is located at 1205 Las Vegas Boulevard South.
Have you taken a drive down the Extraterrestrial Highway? Share in the comments!