et highway, extraterrestrial highway, rachel nevada, rachel nv

Rachel

The small, remote, and delightfully oddball community of Rachel, Nevada is a must-stop dock for your adventure vessel along the (in)famous Extraterrestrial Highway. Scarf an Alien Burger, clink Alien Amber Ales, stock up on all manner of ET-themed swag, or spend the night trying to spot UFOs. Whatever you do, be sure to talk to some locals; the closest population to Area 51 knows: THE TRUTH IS OUT HERE.

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The UFO Capital of the World Awaits

Rachel, Nevada: The Closest Town to Area 51

Where is Rachel, Nevada? For quite some time, only hardscrabble ranchers, folks looking to live far from civilization, and top-secret government officials knew of this tiny town near Area 51, the most mysterious section of the Nevada Test and Training Range. OK, to be fair, “town” is probably an astronomical stretch. This Lincoln County community (population: circa 70) is the only one in remote Sand Springs Valley—and is the polar opposite of the bustling metropolis of Las Vegas, located 2.25 hours south. Today, Rachel is a must-experience destination for road trippers, real-deal UFOlgists (yep, real word), lovers of offbeat attractions, and combinations thereof. And it all centers around the one-stop, alien-themed everything shop that is the beautifully named Little A’Le’Inn.

Region

Central

Average Temperatures

Summer

92°F

33°C

54°F

12°C

Fall

72°F

22°C

35°F

C

Winter

48°F

C

18°F

-8°C

Spring

68°F

20°C

34°F

C

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AREA 51: Don’t Be A Space Invader. Area 51 does exist (officially now). It’s also part of an active military base, patrolled and guarded some of the heaviest security on Earth—or anywhere else. That means what it’s NOT is a tourist attraction. If you find yourself close-by, obey all posted signs and don’t even think about trespassing. You will be caught and you will be prosecuted. And let’s be real: no selfie is worth that kind of headache. 

History of Rachel, Nevada

Rachel, Nevada—originally named Tempiute Village and, later, Sand Springs—was first developed by an alfalfa farmer in the 1970s. After agriculture, other settlers were drawn to the community to work at a mine opening nearby, swelling the population to a whopping few hundred. Within a few short years, the first baby to be born in town came along—Rachel—and the town was renamed a third time in her honor. By 1980, the mine shut down, and the town shrank precipitously.

In the 1990s, decades of rumors about UFO sightings within the close proximity of mysteriously secretive Area 51 (which the government now admits does exist) finally reached the mainstream, prompting the publication of countless books and on-screen references, and even drawing in reporters like Larry King to suss out people’s experiences. 

Extraterrestrial Highway
Welcome to Rachel, NV

In 1996, Twentieth Century Fox jumped on the bandwagon, filming parts of the blockbuster alien invasion flick Independence Day in Rachel. (Look for the time capsule-housing ID4 monument in front of the Little A’Le’Inn.) Then some pretty clever folks (ahem, we) seized the moment and somehow convinced the Nevada DOT to embrace the hype and officially name the stretch of highway between Alamo and Tonopah the “Extraterrestrial Highway,” securing—and publicizing—Rachel’s title as the UFO Capital of the World forever.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

We don’t know what UFOs run on, but if you’re piloting an Earth-made vehicle, be sure to plot out your refueling stops. Gas is available in Rachel, Alamo and Ash Springs 45 mi east, and Tonopah 110 mi west. If your vessel requires electricity, charge up in Las Vegas, Alamo, or Tonopah.
Alien Cowpoke Gasoline & General Store

Things to Do In and Around Rachel, Nevada

You’ll know when you hit Rachel, located smack-dab in the center of the Extraterrestrial Highway (NV-375). From the east, you’ll first spot the Alien Cowpoke Gas & General Store. From the west, it’ll probably be the Extraterrestrial Highway Sign (photo-op!) and the tow truck tending to a broke-down UFO in front of the Little A’Le’Inn. 

Little A’Le’Inn

In Rachel itself, all the action is at the Little A’Le’Inn. Outside, fun photo-ops abound. Inside, get ready for alien-themed everything: one-of-a-kind souvenirs galore; walls lined with alien sighting articles, photographic “evidence,” and memorabilia; a themed café menu that fits the whole bill; and plenty of locals full of tales. For gas, snacks, and more souvenirs, hit up the Alien Cowpoke Gas & General Store a half-mile east. 

Alien Research Center

For more alien action, check out our Extraterrestrial Highway road trip itinerary to discover the Alien Research Center, the mysterious Black Mailbox, the E.T. Fresh Jerky shop, and even wild, wide-open Basin and Range National Monument, where the landscapes are as vast as the star-studded skies. (Keep your eyes peeled for mysterious phenomena up above.) If you’re into geocaching, study up before you leave service; there are hundreds of caches along what this treasure-hunting community has designated an official Geocaching Mega-Trail.

The Little A’Le’Inn—Rachel, Nevada’s Hotel & Café

“EARTHLINGS WELCOME.” Naturally, the joint closest to Area 51 is alien-themed—in every possible way. Originally opened in 1989 as Joe and Pat’s Bar and Grill, Rachel’s—and the entire Extraterrestrial Highway’s—sole restaurant and motel became the Little A’Le’Inn in 1991, as a gesture to the number of UFO hunters who were increasingly spending their time there. 

Alien Beer at Little A’Le’Inn
Little A’Le’Inn

Today, the iconic Little A’Le’Inn serves up out-of-this-world-famous Alien Burgers (don’t worry, it’s Earth beef…we think), Alien Amber Ales (brewed, appropriately, in Roswell, NM), galaxy wraps, and a classic mom-and-pop menu offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

If you are looking to make a night of it, you can space out in one of several funky, multi-room “units” (AKA spiffed-up portables; rent a whole unit if you want your own bathroom). This very affordable Nevada Uncommon Overnighter gives you access to a free, mostly-VHS library—stocked, both overwhelmingly and fittingly, with alien invasion flicks—and permission to roam the grounds under dark skies full of stars…and maybe a few other things.

#TravelNevada

Whether you’ve encountered a UFO, an Alien Beer, or one of the best wide-open road shots you may ever discover, tag your snaps #TravelNevada so we can follow—and share—your voyage right here.

💚👽We come in peace👽💚

✨Things to do in Vegas✨

Okay... it’s not IN Vegas. It’s outside of Vegas, and a bit of a trek away; but it’s pretty cool, especially if you believe that we get visited by other life forms. 

🛸State Route 375 is an actual highway in Nevada but its close proximity to Area 51 and stories from travelers of UFOs and alien activities prompted the NV gov’t to designate it the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996. It’s about 2 hours from the city to reach the start of the highway and another half hour to get to Rachel, the closest town to the highly classified Air Force base.

Things to see on the way to or on the Extraterrestrial Highway:

👽 The Rock Art in Ash Springs.
These are typical Native American petroglyphs but because of its location, people associate it with aliens 😄
🛸 Three businesses along the highway cater to alien tourism- ET Fresh Jerky and the Alien Research Center in Crystal Springs and the Little A’Le’Inn motel, bar, and restaurant in Rachel
🛣 There are two Extraterrestrial Highway signs for photo ops. One at the beginning in Crystal Springs and one when you reach Rachel
📪 The Black Mailbox- this is a legit mailbox for a local rancher but because it’s seemingly mysterious location in the middle of nowhere near Area 51, fanatics have linked it to aliens 😂
🚀Some scenes from the movie Independence Day were filmed in Rachel and the producers gifted the town a time capsule slated to be opened in 2050. You can see it outside the inn
🪐Look up and take high speed pictures! People have captured all kinds of unexplainable aerial activity

💫There are tours out of Vegas that will take the driving out of your hands, take you to even more sites, and tell you stories and facts along the way

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#visitnevada #extraterrestrialhighway #aliensarereal #ufosighting #alienabduction #aliensighting #alienmakeup #aliens #outofthisworld #doyoubelieve #travelnevada #vegasroadtrip #vegaslocals #lasvegasfamily #vegasfamily #lasvegaslocals #vegasbaby #vegasborn
🚫❌👽! Llegamos y táchamos nuevamente algo de nuestra lista❣️! 
#world #area51 #rachel #nevadadesert #nevada #usa🇺🇸 #dream #vida #peliculas
Rachel and the Extraterrestrial Highway, NV - as featured in the movie Paul

1 - The Little A’Le’Inn, Rachel
2 & 3 - ET Fresh Jerky, Crystal Springs
4 - The Black Mailbox, SR-375

#nevada #nevadadesert #nevadaphotographer #nevadaart #usroadtrip #roadtrip #roadtripusa #travelnevada #extraterrestrial #extraterrestrialhighway #area51 #aliens #roadsideamerica #ufo #roadslikethese #rachelnv #littlealeinn
Well, we didn’t get abducted by aliens 👽 but I can see why’d they choose Nevada. 

We drove down the Extraterrestrial Highway, stopped at the Alien Research Center and Little A’le’inn. We camped in Rachel, NV, not far from Area 51. We didn’t see any aliens, but Nevada certainly felt otherworldly. 
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#weirdroadtripthings #nevadadesert #rachelnevada #area51 #alienhunting #extraterrestrialhighway #vanlifediaries
We Come in Peace✌
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Throw back when we stayed the night along the ET Highway at this otherworldly spot in the middle of nowhere. Swipe⬅️⬅️ 📸📸
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Rachel, Nevada is the closest community to Area 51 and has a population of only 96...some of which may or may not be extraterrestrials.👽
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The Little A'Le'Inn is not only the most popular gathering place around, but also the only business around. 
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It was great evening hanging out with the cool locals and filling up on alien burgers and beer.
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We completed the night by watching old VHS tapes of alien sightings in our accommodation, a cozy old single wide trailer out back, that we had all to ourselves. 
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That night was surely out of this world!
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👽🖖🛸👨‍🚀🌌🌚📡🚀🌎☄️👾⭐🔭🤖 
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#littlealeinn #rachelnevada #area51 #ufos #ethighway #extraterrestrial #aliens #rachel #earthlings #roadtrippin #visitnevada #weirdnevada #beammeupscotty #desert #wecomeinpeace #stateroute375 #america #thetruthisoutthere #usa #wherearethealiens #extraterrestrialhighway #adventuretime #intergalactichighway #ufology #bucketlist #roadsideattraction #awesomeplacestovisit #thexfiles #desertroadtrip
In honor of the spookiest season... our spookiest campsite! Right down the road from Area 51 👽 

We took the Extraterrestrial Highway across Nevada looking for something otherworldly. No aliens, unfortunately, but we had some beautiful skies and surreal landscapes. 

We still wore our tinfoil hats... just in case 🛸 
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#spookyseason #extraterrestrial #extraterrestrialhighway #nevada #area51 #nevadadesert #alienencounter #otherworldly #roadtriptips #usaroadtrip #vanlifeusa #rampromaster #promastercampervan #diycampervan #vanlifestyle #vanlifeadventures #optoutside #promastervanconversion #ufosightings #ethighway #aliensarereal
The #littlealeinn in Rachel is owned by Pat ( has owned it for over 25 years) and offers food and lodging. 
Hours as on website ( 11/15/21) 
👽8 a.m. to 8 p.m. SUNDAY thru THURSDAY
Kitchen closes at 7 p.m.
👽8 a.m. to 10 p.m. FRIDAY and SATURDAY
Kitchen closes at 8 p.m.
They have signature
The Little A Le Inn in Rachel NV has been the local watering hole since 1989 has doubled as a tourist attraction for fans of UFOs and nearby top secret Area 51

It's a must stop at along the #ExtraterrestrialHighway

#TravelNevada #EThighway  

In partnership with @TravelNevada https://t.co/gqNcj7v6AH
My friends and I found the Black Mailbox on the Extraterrestrial Highway near Area 51.

#extraterrestrial #aliens #theblackmailbox #ethighway #extraterrestrialhighway #highway375 #area51 #nevada #theyreoutthere #littlegreenmen #desert
April 9, 2013. Rachel, NV. everything about that trip was off the hook & for the record, the Little A'Le'Inn has the best chicken fried steak ever. #rachelnevada #thetruthisoutthere #extraterrestrial #nogasformiles #extraterrestrialhighway #groomlake #inthemiddleofnowhere #aliens #nogas #hovercraft #earthlings #nevadadesert #area51
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