extraterrestrial highway
state route 375

Extraterrestrial Highway

Beam yourself up on an out-of-this-world adventure

Route Distance

100+ miles | Loop from Las Vegas: 470 mi

Suggested Time

2 Days

Welcome to Alien Country. We can neither confirm nor deny the rumors of alien spacecraft, top secret technology, or little green dudes on the payroll. One thing we can promise? When you pilot your vessel along the wide-open roads through this otherworldly wilderness, with that warm wind in your hair (or antennae…), you’ll get why a “visitor” would cross the galaxy to enjoy this slice of the Silver State. Feast your curiosity on alien-themed everything; explore (in)famous Extraterrestrial Highway landmarks, like the Black Mailbox and Little A’Le’Inn; and get ready to meet some friendly humans who don’t need a phone to call these lovably odd locales home.

Highlights

  • Pose with alien murals and savor spacey snacks at E.T. Fresh Jerky
  • Shop for spaced-out souvenirs at the Alien Research Center gift shop
  • Hear locals’ tales over Alien Beers and Saucer Burgers at the Little A’Le’Inn

Blast Off on the Extraterrestrial Highway

One Spaced-Out Trip Through Nevada’s Alien Country

In the wide-open belly of Nevada, there lies a mystery. The Extraterrestrial Highway runs past the Nevada Test and Training Range, including that infamous portion known as Area 51—a top secret part of the base that the government didn’t even admit was real until 2013—where countless strange “UFO” sightings have been reported. So keep those eyes peeled, because you’re guaranteed to see some weird stuff. Up in the sky? Maybe. On the ground: 1000%. If an alien themed jerky shack, a knick-knack packed “research center,” a UFO-motifed bar-café, and spectacular night skies full of stars (and other things?) get your radar beepin’ and treat yourself to an unforgettable voyage along state Route 375.

COMMUNITIES ON THIS TRIP

Alamo, Rachel, Tonopah

Glovebox Essentials

Prepare for Your Adventure

Get ready to come chase some horizons with this handy tool kit. Here, you’ll find all the E.T. Highway road trip essentials, including downloadable directions, maps, and podcasts, and tunes to complement your upcoming adventure.

THE TRUTH IS OUT HERE

Going galactic on the E.T. Highway

The open desert outside Area 51 has long attracted paranormal enthusiasts, die-hard UFOlogists (it’s a thing), and kitsch-inclined road trippers alike. Although you can’t visit the base itself, from spaced-out cafés and curio shops to massive Lunar Crater, our Extraterrestrial Highway road trip promises memories of astronomical proportions.

Leg 1

Getting “Out There”

Blast off from Las Vegas on a course for Crystal Springs. Or, en route, brake for birds at oasis-like Pahranagat and tack on side-trips to other gloriously unusual locales.

Leg 2

The E.T. Highway

Pick up state Route 375—the section of road officially designated the “Extraterrestrial Highway”—in Crystal Springs and get ready for some truly “out there” attractions.

Leg 3

Complete the Orbit—Tonopah, then back to Las Vegas

Instead of day tripping all the way back to civilization, make it a one-night orbit from Las Vegas to Tonopah and back to get the most bang for your alien-adoring buck.

extraterrestrial highway

Leg 1

Las Vegas to the Extraterrestrial Highway

110+ miles

So where is the Extraterrestrial Highway anyway? Answer: what most people would call the middle of nowhere. And that’s what makes it such an iconic road trip. From Vegas, chart a course about 1.75 hours north to Crystal Springs. Some voyagers endeavor to rocket there and back as a day trip, but that’s a bold mission. Instead, we recommend making it a proper road trip, with a night stop in Rachel or Tonopah. Which also earns you time to check out more otherworldy landscapes on your way to the E.T. highway.

Nevada is all about open-road adventures, but please brush up on travel restrictions and safety guidelines before heading for our horizons.

If you’ve got time before you hit Route 375, take it. Pahranagat’s watery grandeur lures thousands of migratory birds from the sky, while these other pockets of central Nevada may make you feel like you’re on Mars.

City, by Michael Heizer

City, by Michael Heizer

Nearest Alamo

Basin and Range National Monument

Basin and Range National Monument

Caliente

Mt. Irish Wilderness Area

Mt. Irish Wilderness Area

ALAMO

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Alamo

View All
extraterrestrial highway sign

Leg 2

Crystal Springs to the tiny town of Rachel and beyond

40 to 225 miles

  • Strike your best “I-come-in-peace” pose at the Extraterrestrial Highway sign
  • Score space swag and taste Alien Tequila at the Alien Research Center
  • Leave a message for other voyagers at the infamous “Black Mailbox”

Tank up in Alamo or Ash Springs (it’s your last chance for 150 miles), then snag snacks at E.T. Fresh Jerky, where you can pose with life-size, mural-ized “out-of-towners” and cross “drop your toxic waste in the cleanest restrooms in Area 51” off the bucket list. Head a mile west to the iconic Extraterrestrial Highway sign, then launch onto state Route 375. Don’t miss the Alien Research Center (thanks to the giant, silver space dude… you can’t), the Black Mailbox, or the Little A’Le’Inn in eccentric Rachel, the only “town” for miles.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

When it comes to Area 51—or any military property—don’t be a space invader. Trespassers will be caught and prosecuted…or worse. No selfie’s worth that headache.

The only place to stay out here is the tiny town of Rachel, home to funky multi-room “units” (AKA spiffed-up portables) and a free VHS library (guess the dominant genre). The next rooms are 110 miles further in Tonopah.

The Mizpah Hotel

The Mizpah Hotel

Tonopah

Jim Butler Inn & Suites

Jim Butler Inn & Suites

Tonopah

The Clown Motel

The Clown Motel

TONOPAH

Best Western Hi-Desert Inn – Tonopah

Best Western Hi-Desert Inn – Tonopah

Tonopah

Tonopah Station Hotel and RV Park

Tonopah Station Hotel and RV Park

Tonopah

Little A’Le’Inn

Little A’Le’Inn

Rachel

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Peruse the Alien Research Center for UFO books and souvenirs “from” Area 51. Stash surprises for future travelers at the Black Mailbox. Then stock up on space-themed swag and snap iconic photos at the Little A’Le’Inn.

Alien Research Center

Alien Research Center

HIKO

E.T. Fresh Jerky

E.T. Fresh Jerky

Hiko

It’s all allegedly terrestrial in origin, but E.T. Fresh Jerky is still pretty out-of-this-world. Dine down the road at Little A’Le’Inn, the closest café to Area 51—which dutifully serves Saucer Burgers and Alien Beers.

Little A’Le’Inn

Little A’Le’Inn

Rachel

E.T. Fresh Jerky

E.T. Fresh Jerky

Hiko

las vegas to tonopah

Leg 3

To Tonopah and Beyond

Up to 210 miles

Whether you’re coming in for a landing from cruising the E.T. Highway, or sticking around for a day in the “Queen of the Silver Camps,” Tonopah offers more to explore. Trade aliens for poltergeists at some “Ghost Adventures”-certified haunts—both of which you can stay the night in. Get a less spectral, hands-on glimpse of history touring a legend-filled museum, a 100-acre mining park, or nearby ghost town (complete with a saloon). Then hit the Free-Range Art Highway for more #WeirdNevada wonderment en route back to Vegas.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Venturing this way via the Free-Range Art Highway? Enjoy your time in Tonopah, then aim for the E.T. Highway via US-6 and follow this trip in reverse.

Keep the paranormal vibes up at luxurious, 1907-built The Mizpah Hotel (watch out for their permanent guest, the Lady in Red), or the infamous Clown Motel—which is exactly what it sounds like, with a bonus cemetery next door.

Best Western Hi-Desert Inn – Tonopah

Best Western Hi-Desert Inn – Tonopah

Tonopah

The Mizpah Hotel

The Mizpah Hotel

Tonopah

Jim Butler Inn & Suites

Jim Butler Inn & Suites

Tonopah

The Clown Motel

The Clown Motel

TONOPAH

Belvada Hotel

Belvada Hotel

Tonopah

Tonopah Station Hotel and RV Park

Tonopah Station Hotel and RV Park

Tonopah

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A 35-mile detour takes you to Lunar Crater, a spot so unearthly that it was used to train Apollo astronauts for moon-like conditions. Then head to town to discover mining history and some of the nation’s best stargazing.

Lunar Crater Backcountry Byway

Lunar Crater Backcountry Byway

TONOPAH

Central Nevada Museum

Central Nevada Museum

Tonopah

Tonopah Historic Mining Park

Tonopah Historic Mining Park

Tonopah

Area 51 Alien Travel Center & Brothel

Area 51 Alien Travel Center & Brothel

Amargosa Valley

Belmont Ghost Town

Belmont Ghost Town

BELMONT

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Brisket and other BBQ staples star alongside fresh craft beers—named after terrestrial-bound riches found around this historic mining camp—at Tonopah Brewing Co., a beloved local smokehouse and on-site brewery.

Tonopah Brewing Company

Tonopah Brewing Company

TONOPAH

BYO telescope or buddy up with an astro pro for celestial celebrations at the Tonopah Stargazing Park. Or get wild with some classic old-school Nevada spirit at the annual Jim Butler Days & Nevada Mining Championships.

Tonopah Star Parties

Tonopah Star Parties

Jim Butler Days & Nevada State Mining Championships

Jim Butler Days & Nevada State Mining Championships

#ETHighway

The truth is out here, and we’ve got the photos to prove it. Tag #ETHighway to share your UFO sightings, otherworldly experiences, and extraterrestrial evidence with the world. 

Flashback Friday to that time we took the wrong highway. Or was it the right highway?👽🛸
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#flashbackfridays #area51 #extraterrestrialhighway #nevada #onlyinnv #travelnevada #explorenevada #dfmi #dontfencemein #getoutside  #goexplore #exploremore #adventuremore #wanderlust #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #travelphotography #travel #travelpic  #traveladdict #travelusa #roadtrip #roadtripusa #usaroadtrip #roadtrippers #roadtripping #usatravel #travellife #locationindependent
🛸🛸🛸 Welcome to Rachel, Nevada. Population: Human: Yes / Alien: ?? 🛸🛸🛸 #rachelNv #rachelnevada #extraterrestrialHighway #EThighway #area51 #ufozone #ufo #ovni #nevada375 #highway375
👽👽👽 ALIEN RESEARCH CENTER 👽👽👽 #area51 #nevada375 #extraterrestrialHighway #EThighway #alienresearchcenter #ovnis #ufos #SearchingForET #roadtripusa #usaroadtrip #quirkyAmerica
Another stop along Route 95 between Vegas and Reno is Tonopah, a mining town with possibly one of the coolest tales of discovery... Back in 1900, prospector Jim Butler was said to go looking for a burro that had wandered off during the night. When he found the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at it in frustration. He noticed the rock was unusually heavy... Turns out he stumbled onto the second richest silver strike in Nevada history.
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#tonopah #miningtown #mininghistory #naturalnevada #travelnevada #dfmi #homemeansNevada #only_in_nevada #optOutside #photographerfocus #wonderful_places
#roamtheplanet #takemoreadventures #n8turephotography
Wind has always been my least favorite element, but is somehow easier to take when it’s rolling off the largest natural crater in the dang state🌪🤓 #howtonevada
When you're feeling a little weird, you roadtrip to explore Nevada and gotta see Area 51👽
When I was on this lonely road in Nevada, the entire length of it was lined with flowers. My theory is that the road accumulates moisture at night which seeps down into the soil for those plants to take advantage of. 
OR, aliens. 👽👽👾👾😂 Whatever the cause, they were part of a visually and perhaps even spiritually satisfying drive to California. .
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#photo #photooftheday #photography #desert #nevada #area51 #ethighway #horizon #skyview #sky #mountains #lonelyroad #roadtrip #bluesky #flowers #explore #journey #freedom
Rachel, Nevava. Right outside Area 51. •
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#astro #astrophotography #nightphotography #milkyway #astrography #stars #nightscape #instatravel #bestnightpix #exploreeverything #darksky #stargazer #stargazing #canon #canon_photos #astronomy #astrography #darkskies #ig_astrophotography #night #nightsky #moodygrams #milkywaychasers #samyang #area51 #usa #roadtrip #nevada #alien #isthereanybodyoutthere
it was pouring rain in #tonopah
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#Nevada #nevadacity #nevadacounty #nevadaphotographer #nevadamurah #nevadaday #nevadashoes #NevadaBusiness #tonapahnevada #nevadalife #nevadaturquoise #nevadasky #nevadadesert #nevadastrong #nevadaskies #nevadahunting #nevadaoutdoors #nevadastate #Nevadab #NevadaArt #NevadaShelters #nevadakids #nevadashopping #nevadagram #nevadaproud #nevadasale #nevadaori #nevadastateparks
The Extraterrestrial Highway runs through central Nevada and the small town of Rachel, the only stop between Tonopah and Ely or Pioche, depending which way you let the light guide you...so what’s so special about this? The highway skirts the parameter of the world famous Area 51, where a stop on the side of the highway or a trip down a dirt road anywhere after Rachel and close enough to the border will earn you a visit from some very official looking gentlemen, prompting you to leave immediately. Our advice? Don’t chance it, just wait to get beamed up instead like andre_shoootzz . Where is your favorite quirky spot in Nevada?
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Tag us or use #naturalnevada to be featured, and look at all the good our parent company is working toward over at naturalunited 
#extraterrestrialhighway #nvmag #howtonevada #travelnevada #dfmi #nevada #homemeansnevada #rachelnevada #wildness #wildnevada #keepitwild #highway #beammeup #aliens #explore #explorenevada #optoutside #adventure #adventurelikeyougiveadamn #offthebeatenpath #instanature #naturalunited #naturephotography
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