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What do you need to have with you before traveling along the “Loneliest Road in America“? Water, for sure, and enough gas too, and maybe a big bowl of spicy hot chili!

Nevada State Highway 50 crosses the center of state and was named The Loneliest Road in America by Life magazine in July 1986.  The route is historic due to its origins as a Pony Express trail. The 287 mile stretch is named this due to its passage through several large desert valleys and lack of civilization. There are some signs of life while passing through the historical towns of Fernley, Fallon, Austin, Eureka, and Ely.

Our first stop was in Middlegate Junction, a lone building that houses a restaurant/bar/gas station. We stopped for cool drinks and to rest up a little.

Next stop was Austin for lunch. This town was founded by Pony Express riders but then became a silver mining boomtown. For some reason, even though it was very hot out, I decided to have a bowl of chili at the Toiyabe Cafe.

We took a long break in the town of Eureka, and explored the Eureka Opera House, which was built in the year 1880, and still used today. The courthouse across the street (photo below) is a historical building as well.

This road is isolated in places. There were times we did not see another vehicle for miles. The elevation is 6,000 feet in the valleys and up to 10,000 feet for the surrounding peaks. The scenery was beautiful in its starkness and the miles of road stretched before and after us.

When we made it to Ely, we could say we “survived” Hwy 50. In fact, you can get a Hwy 50 Survival Guide and have it validated at each community along the route. Once it has been stamped, you mail it in to the Nevada Commission on Tourism and get a certificate to commemorate your successful journey across “The Loneliest Road in America“. I am waiting on mine!


"Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.” Mark Twain

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