Keep an eye out for UFOs when you find yourself traveling the Extraterrestrial Highway (State Route 375); You’re heading for a town as captivating as Area 51 itself: Rachel.
By Eric Cachinero
Every second Saturday in May, citizens of Rachel gather to celebrate the founding of their small town—the closest habitation to the notorious Area 51—by celebrating with a parade, tractor races, and live music, followed by a potluck dinner.
Named for the first child born in the community on February 15, 1977, Rachel celebrates its beginnings by remembering the town’s first access to telephone lines and electricity—in 1978! Pat Travis, 25-year owner and operator of Rachel’s extraterrestrial-themed hotel, restaurant, bar, and giftshop the Little A’Le’Inn, says the town tends to do something new each year for the celebration. “Last year we had a Cajun theme,” she says. “We even flew in and cooked an alligator from Louisiana.”
Aside from the appeal of being situated in a UFO hotspot, a relatively new trend is bringing geocachers from across the nation to Rachel. Geocaching has exploded in the region, causing the E.T. Highway to also become one of the largest geocaching destinations in the West with more than 1,500 geocaches. Sometimes referred to as the “mecca of the geocaching world,” Rachel also incorporates this popular hobby into Rachel Day, hosting special geocaching ventures for people who attend the event.
To experience Rachel Day to the fullest, rooms and RV spaces are available at the Little A’Le’Inn, but be sure to book in advance, as spots are limited. Or, if sleeping under the stars is more your calling, tent camping is free.
Rachel Day, Rachel