There are 8 towns along the 387mile route starting in Carson City on the main Route 50 Highway. Highway 50 is rich in diverse experiences and unexpected adventures that are waiting to be discovered by travelers.
At the start or the end of your trip, Carson City has countless hotels, shopping, dining, and sightseeing activities. And while the city has all the modern amenities a state capital could hope for, its roots are evident nearly everywhere you look, most prominently in its picturesque downtown corridor.
Born as a result of railroad construction, the City of Fernley was established in 1904 and later developed into an agricultural and ranching community. Today, its proximity to Reno has helped the city continue to flourish. Located on Alternate Highway 50, where the Loneliest Road in America intersects with Interstate 80, Fernley offers plenty of roadside motels, casinos, restaurants, and gas stations. Here, travelers can stock up on supplies before heading out onto the
On Highway 50 just east of Carson City is Dayton, a place where history buffs and lovers of all things Old West will enjoy. Prospectors and settlers were drawn to the fertile valley because of both the Carson River and the promise of gold. In fact, the first discovery of gold in Nevada was found in what is known today as Old Town Dayton. Today, visitors to the area are charmed by its nostalgic board sidewalks and the shops, dining establishments, and homes located in buildings from Dayton’s historic past.
Fallon is one of Nevada’s agricultural centers, famous for its delicious “Hearts of Gold” cantaloupes. The region is also one of the state’s premier bird-watching areas. Visitors will find a number of historic attractions and recreational opportunities in the Fallon area:
- Grimes Point/Hidden Cave, 10 miles east of Fallon, is an archaeological site containing prehistoric Native American petroglyphs. They’re right along the trail, so keep your eyes open.
- Sand Mountain, 32 miles east of Fallon, is a two-milelong mound of sand rising several hundred feet that is popular with ATV riders and sandboarders.
Once one of Nevada’s most prosperous mining camps, Austin has managed to retain its 19th century character. Today, Austin is one of central Nevada’s most popular mountainbiking areas and gateway to the Toiyabe Mountains, which offer pristine hiking and overnight camping. Among the reminders of the town’s glorious past:
- Austin’s churches include St. George’s Episcopal Church, consecrated in 1878 and still in use; the former St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, erected in 1866; and the former Methodist Church, also built in 1866.
- Stokes Castle, located at the western edge of town, is an unusual, three-story rock tower (now abandoned) built in 1897 by a member of the family that owned many of the town’s mines.
- Gridley Store was constructed in 1863 by merchant Reuel Gridley, who is best remembered for losing an election bet and carrying a sack of flour through town. He auctioned the sack numerous times to raise money for the Sanitary Fund, forerunner of the Red Cross, eventually raising thousands of dollars.
- Historic Pony Express and Overland Stagecoach sites are located along Highway 50 between Austin and Fallon. Sites can be found at Cold Springs, Middlegate, and Sand Springs.
Few Nevada mining towns have survived the ravages of time as well as Eureka, a mid-19th century silver mining center. Visitors will find dozens of historic sites in one of Nevada’s best preserved mining towns:
- Eureka Opera House, built in 1879, is a picturesque brick structure that has been fully restored and now serves as a convention center and gallery. • Eureka Courthouse, which opened in 1879, has been restored and is still the county courthouse.
- Eureka Sentinel Museum houses a collection of local and regional historic displays and artifacts in the former Eureka Sentinel newspaper offi ces, built in 1879.
- Eureka’s cemeteries, located southeast of the town, include more than a half-dozen burial grounds representing various social organizations, religious, and ethnic groups.
At the eastern end of Highway 50 in Nevada is the tiny hamlet of Baker, offering limited services and accommodations. Baker serves as the entrance to Great Basin National Park, home of Lehman Caves, which contain fascinating limestone formations. The park’s attractions also include Wheeler Peak, site of a permanent glacier, and several groves of Bristlecone pine trees, the world’s oldest living things. Visitors will find developed hiking trails, campgrounds, and an interpretive center.
After 5 amazing days of travel we reached the boarder of Utah, and we can proudly say “WE SURVIVED The Loneliest Highway of America!”