For a truly “out of this world” adventure, your vacation in Las Vegas should include a drive down the Extraterrestrial Highway. To skeptics, the boring stretch of blacktop is simply Nevada State Road 375. To believers, the ET Highway charts a course that leads directly to an otherworldly place. Snaking northwest across 98 lonely miles just a few hours from Las Vegas, the road connects US-93 (southeast) to US-6 (northwest). The Extraterrestrial Highway remains one of the most deserted stretches of pavement in the nation. The barren landscape along this desolate route conjures up images of being on another planet.
Take an Alien Drive On The Extraterrestrial Highway
Towering arid mountains will surround you on this Las Vegas desert adventure as you travel along this scenic drive covering three desert valleys: Tikaboo Valley, Sand Spring Valley and Railroad Valley. The ET Highway is open range, so watch out for cattle or deer crossing the road. Remember to fill up your tank because there is no gas station to be found along the entire route of the two-lane blacktop. For years, visitors and locals alike have contended that strange lights have appeared glowing in the night sky.
The Nevada Commission on Tourism sought to rename State Road 375 after reports of many UFO sightings. Drawing inspiration from alien lore, the road was dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996. To this day, locals claim that the ET Highway has more UFO sightings than any other road in the nation. For the safety of all “intergalactic visitors,” the unofficial speed limit is Warp 7. The renaming of the highway conveniently coincided with the release of the blockbuster movie, “Independence Day.” Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and the rest of the cast and crew were on hand at the unveiling, a shrewd marketing move that created buzz for the movie and kick started the success of this budding new tourist attraction.
The highway lures in visitors curious about Area 51, the top-secret U.S. government base located alongside the road. Since the military base opened in the late 1950’s, UFO believers and skeptics alike have traveled the road in search of answers. Many people believe that Area 51 houses captured UFO’s and alien bodies that were recovered from the Roswell, New Mexico flying saucers crash. UFO enthusiasts enraptured by the tales of alien and mysterious UFO sightings flock to the nearby town of Rachel, Nevada, the only settled town off the highway.
In Rachel, you can feast on an “Alien Burger” while you down a “Beam Me Up, Scotty” cocktail at Little A’Le’Inn (pronounced “little alien”). This small café and motel serves as a UFO information center complete with a sign on the side of the building that says “Earthlings Welcome.” Locals claim the food is “out of this world.” The Inn, with seven rooms for lodging, also houses a library with more than 150 volumes on the subject of “UFOlogy.” If you plan on staying overnight at the Little A’Le’Inn or camping nearby, be sure to take a peak at the piercing night sky in amazement.
An average of just over 200 cars drive on the highway daily, making it one of Nevada’s least traveled routes. If you are planning other things to do in Nevada during your vacation, you can connect to Yosemite National Park in the west and the Grand Canyon in the east. A ride down the Extraterrestrial Highway can also serve as the perfect day-trip during your vacation in Las Vegas.