Lonely Planet Writer

Search for UFOs and aliens on a three-day road trip around Area 51 in Nevada

Convinced that the truth is out there? There’s no better place to find out than Nevada, the home of Area 51.

The Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada is on a new road trip itinerary. Image by Steve / CC BY-SA 2.0

In fact, TravelNevada is hoping that travellers – from this world and beyond – will come for an alien-themed road trip around the state. The state tourism board has designed a southern Nevada road trip loop geared towards travellers from this world and made “specifically for our extraterrestrial visitors”.

The Little A’Le’Inn restaurant in Nevada. Image by Airwolfhound / CC BY-SA 2.0

Following reports that the US Defense Department spent $22 million on the “Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program”, investigating reports of “unidentified flying objects”, the tourism board is welcoming back any travellers from out of this world, explaining that “Nevada offers a plethora of activities and attractions for an advanced, time-traveling species”. In fact, the state has promoted the “Extraterrestrial Highway” – or State Route 375 – as a tourist attraction since the 1990s. The road runs close to the Nellis Air Force Range, home to Area 51, and people have claimed to have noticed strange activities in the area.

If this has you considering seeking out other life forms on Earth, then the three-day itinerary will take travellers on a loop from Las Vegas north to Tonopah and back again – and yes, it covers the Extraterrestrial Highway. The first day of the new itinerary encourages travellers to view the city from the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas or the Egyptian pyramid at the Luxor. Then, to get a taste of Mars on Earth, heading to Valley of Fire State Park, where scenes from 1994’s “Star Trek: Generations” and 1990’s “Total Recall” were filmed.

Rhyolite, Nevada. Image by el-toro / CC BY 2.0

The second day takes travellers up the Extraterrestrial Highway. After leaving Las Vegas, travellers can head about 108 miles to the eastern end of the ET Highway at Crystal Spring, where they can grab snacks at E.T. Fresh Jerky, see the ET Highway sign, and shop for souvenirs at the Alien Research Center. Heading west to Rachel, visitors can stop at the Little A’Le’Inn restaurant before heading to Tonopah. There they can admire the night skies from the town of 2400 with little light pollution.

International Car Forest of the Last Church art installation. Image by Wes Dickinson / CC BY-ND 2.0

Day three takes travellers to spots like the International Car Forest of the Last Church art installation, where half-buried vehicles create a sort of Stonehenge-meets-Mad-Max construction. Then, head to the ghost town of Rhyolite and the Goldwell Open Air Museum, before driving to Pahrump, where Martians land in the 1996 film “Mars Attacks!” Then it’s time to head back to Vegas.

See the full suggested itinerary here.