fallon nevada


Nestled in the Lahontan Valley just about 60 miles east of Reno, is the downright neighborly community of Fallon. Often referred to as "The Oasis of Nevada,” thanks to the region’s formerly high volume of water, the area is a wonderful host to boundless outdoor activities.

The Oasis of Nevada

Welcome to the Breadbasket of Nevada

They don’t call it “The Oasis of Nevada” for nothin’. Come fall for the friendly farm town of Fallon, home to fresh food, high-octane outdoor action, a singing sand dune playground, bundles of birds to watch, rich cultural history in museums, galleries, and ancient art sites, and plenty of comfortable spots to stay the night, indoors or in your RV—all of it just about an hour away from bustling Reno. And you won’t be the first. The lush greenery surrounding Fallon has long provided welcome respite for American Indians, westbound pioneers, and, most recently, travelers along Nevada’s famous ribbon of Highway 50, dubbed the Loneliest Road in America. If you’re tackling that classic road trip, be sure to pick up your Highway 50 survival guide and kick off the fun with some stamps around Fallon.

fallon nevada map


North Central

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Fallon History

Even if you don’t know much about Fallon, you’ve likely heard about its most famous military installation: Naval Air Station Fallon. The facility located southeast of Fallon was once home to the Navy’s Top Gun fighter pilot training program—yep, that Top Gun. 

By the way, Fallon wasn’t always known as “The Oasis of Nevada.” The entire basin once held prehistoric Lake Lahontan, which stretched west to Pyramid Lake and south to Walker Lake during the Pleistocene epoch. You can often spot the waterline from this ancient lake by looking high on the hillsides of nearby mountains. And yet, the land east of Fallon is an inhospitable desert that posed 40 miles of waterless travel for California Gold Rush emigrants.

grimes point archaeological area
Grimes Point Archaeological Area
stuffed ducks at churchill county museum and archives
Churchill County Museum & Archives

However, ranches began cropping up in the fertile areas of the Lahontan Valley by the mid to late 1800s, and the town of Fallon was incorporated in 1908. In 1903, the federal Bureau of Reclamation authorized the Newlands Project, which led to nearly 70 miles of canals diverting water into the Fallon area, which is the agricultural and ranching heart of the State of Nevada. The nutrient-rich alfalfa grown in Fallon is prized by Nevada and California dairy farmers alike.

You can learn all about Fallon’s diverse history and American Indian heritage at the Churchill County Museum & Archives, which houses a collection of authentic tule duck decoys—Nevada’s official state artifact—as well as up at Grimes Point Archaeological Area, where you can view dozens of petroglyphs and hike up to Hidden Cave.

Things To Do in Fallon Nevada

There’s no shortage of remarkable things to do in and around Fallon, Nevada. In town, historic Maine Street is a charming, walkable district full of cute shops and cafés to peruse. Several blocks east is Oats Park Arts Center, one of Nevada’s hidden gems when it comes to groundbreaking art and performances, housed in an old school building.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Reno and Vegas are all about their fine fresh fare, but Fallon is where the distance from farm-to-fork is the shortest in the state, with so many  sources of produce and meat located right down the street from the tasty cafés serving them. Agrotourists: this is your jam (maybe literally).
neon sign for lariat motel
Oats Park Art Center
dune buggy at stillwater national wildlife refuge
Sand Mountain

The Fallon area also boasts the nearly 80,000-acre Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, a prime destination for more than 250,000 migratory waterfowl each year—and, thus, birdwatchers.Thousands of off-roaders spend their weekends camped out 20 miles east of town at legendary Sand Mountain, a towering 600-foot-tall sand dune that stretches more than two miles long. Meanwhile, racing enthusiasts get their motors running at the Top Gun Dragstrip, northern Nevada’s premier drag strip, located just south of town on Schurz Highway.

Not too far west is Lahontan State Recreation Area, a large reservoir that draws throngs year-round for boating, camping, fishing, birding, and other outdoors activities. Meanwhile the ruins at Fort Churchill State Historic Park and Buckland Station, once an official Pony Express station, remain pristine examples of early American West history.

night sky in fallon parks
Fort Churchill State Historic Park

Fallon Restaurants

Culinary enthusiasts embrace Fallon’s farm-fresh vibes at a number of tasty destinations. Leading the charge are Lattin Farms, a fifth-generation organic “field-to-fork” growery, which also hosts many seasonal family events, and Frey Ranch Farmers + Distillers, Nevada’s first (and one of few on Earth) distilleries that grows their own ingredients for their award-winning spirits. 

courtyard cafe and bakery fallon nevada
The Courtyard Café & Bakery
frey ranch farmers and distillers fallon nevada
Frey Ranch Farmers + Distillers

Some of our favorite Fallon restaurants? The Courtyard Café & Bakery for scrumptious breakfasts, specialty sandwiches, burgers, quiche, and pasta. The Slanted Porch for artisan burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, and upscale salads. Stone Cabin Coffee for excellent espresso, frappes, and baked goods; and Telegraph Coffee & Tap for coffeehouse flavors with a side of craft beer and cocktails. Azteca Grill & Bakery for Mexican treats and Fallon’s famous “Super Burrito.” And, of course, 40 minutes east, Middlegate Station for roadhouse classics, including the (in)famous Middlegate Monster burger challenge.

Fallon Hotels & Accommodations

Adventurers weary from a hard day’s play in the Lahontan Valley and visitors alike can find enjoyable respite throughout Fallon’s Highway 50 corridor. Cool down with a dip in the indoor pool at the Holiday Inn Express Fallon, a pet-friendly hotel that opened on Commercial Way in 1997. The smoke-free Best Western Fallon Inn & Suites on West Williams Avenue is newly renovated, along with the Quality Inn & Suites are located a short distance from NAS Fallon. RVers, meanwhile, can find full hookups at Bonanza RV Park & Casino

entrance to holiday inn express in fallon
Holiday Inn Express – Fallon

Fallon Events

Plan your trip to Fallon to coincide with one of its popular annual events to really experience the town’s hospitality and spirit. For foodie fun, hit up the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival in August, Nevada’s longest-running food and drink festival, celebrating the famously juicy Hearts of Gold melon. Bird-nerd it up in May at the Spring Wings Bird Festival to celebrate the prolific waterfowl and migratory birds that flock to Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

two race cars at top gun raceway drag racing series
Top Gun Dragstrip Drag Racing Series
yellow bird
Spring Wings Bird Festival

Kick things up a notch with the Top Gun Dragstrip Drag Racing Series from May to September, as well as at OctaneFest, a weeklong racing event held each summer at Rattlesnake Raceway. Or have a blast at the World Cowboy Fast Draw Championship, the ultimate event following dozens of regional and state competitions around the country.


Whether you’re chowing down on fresh fare, spotting migratory birds at Stillwater, or cheering on a race, tag your pics with #TravelNevada for a shot at being featured right here.

Adventure... awaits 💙 #travelnevada #grimespoint #fallonnv
“All I want to do is do hood rat things with my friends.”
Fighter Fact: It’s rare that we fly in a division (3-4 aircraft) because it just isn’t practical or required the majority of the time, but it makes for nice photos.
Fallon, Nevada, America
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#fallon #nevada #america #fighterfact #fighterpilot #fighterjet #lowlife #military #aviation #jetlife #jeeplife #instagram #instapic #photooftheday #picoftheday #yourshotphotographer #apple #iphone #iphone11 #lr_cooltones
Churchill Arts Council has some can't-miss, must-see events coming to Oats Park Art Center this season. Start planning your art excursion in Fallon at churchillarts.org
My wife loves birding, and we I have never been out to Stillwater wildlife refuge, so we took the whole family that lives in the area and headed out there yesterday. It made for a long day, I'm not going to lie! But boy it was pretty epic. At first I didn't think we were seeing enough wildlife to justify the trip, but then we hit the jackpot. It got a little bit scary because the wind kicked up huge clouds of alkali dust off the dry lake beds and sent them blasting towards us at high speed, but we got into the car in time so it was okay.
Playing in the #sand #sandmountain #canamx3turbo #dunes
Fallon in Love with Fallon, let's show some hometown pride!
Photo by sunshineandsagebrushshop
The Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge is home to a broad diversity of plants and animals, found right in the heart of rural Nevada. Explore more of Stillwater Refuge, and other outdoor activities, at the link in bio.
Just desert things

#playas #dirttherapy #trails #highdesert #desertvibes #forceofnature #optoutside #womenmtb #seejaneride #dfmi #travelnevada #naturalnevada #fallon #pyga
Go fish! 🎣  No really, you won't find a better fishing spot in the middle of the desert than around Fallon, so you better practice your cast!