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“Beautiful Desert Scenery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Loneliest Highway in America (Hwy. 50)

Loneliest Highway in America (Hwy. 50)
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Activities: Driving
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San Rafael, CA
Level Contributor
61 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Beautiful Desert Scenery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

We were rather apprehensive about driving from Ely, Nevada to San Francisco in one day, since we did not know what to expect on the long stretch from Ely to Reno. It is actually quite spectacular in an understated way - long stretches of road straight as a ribbon through wide valleys interspersed with climbs over several mountain ranges, with the expansive views found only in the West. The road was good and the drive not boring, even though we didn't take time to visit any of the little mining towns and other sights along the way. (This was our last day of a three week road trip and everyone was anxious to get home before dark.) I would like to take this route on another trip and take a day to explore. The only complaint I have - Nevada, build some rest stops with picnic tables along this road! The few rest stops we saw had bathroom facilities and a viewing area, but nowhere to have lunch.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
171 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“An Opportunity to Experience the Magnificence of the Open West”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

Life Magazine coined the phrase “The Loneliest Road in America” in a 1986 article, a snide commentary on U.S. Highway 50 across southern Nevada. The article backfired, as the name stuck but in a positive slant. Tourism agencies jumped on the name, and have successfully and wisely used it as a clever marketing banner.

We’ve wanted to drive the highway for years, and to visit the remote small town of Ely. We finally did so in May of 2012.

Our journey from Carson City to Ely covered about 320 miles, and took just under 7 hours. The time went fast actually, and while there were several stretches without traffic for miles, it really wasn’t that lonely. The road travels through areas with towering 10,000 foot peaks, and barren desert.

The mountains and deserts are in their original, pristine environment. Small towns such as Austin and Eureka remind us that humans have indeed settled, and worked hard, in this area over the decades. The Pony Express used this route during its short existence, and later the road became part of the transcontinental Lincoln Highway.

For those who seek the solitude of the open road and the opportunity see vast expanses of America untouched by development, this is the trip for you!

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
at sea
Level Contributor
159 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“It's anything but lonely”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

We drove Hwy 50 from Fallon, NV to Baker, NV (Great Basin NP) and really enjoyed it. We picked up a "Survival Guide to Rte 50" put out by the Nevada Tourism Bureau. The little guide provided info about the little mining towns and sights along the way and off the beaten path including the Shoe Tree, Austin, Eureka and Ely. We stopped in each place, got the "passport" stamped and were greeted warmly. Each town had brochures and self-guided walking tours of the town, historic buildings and offered some insight into the mining history.

We expected desolate desert scenery, but the serpentine road was very scenic, climbing and traversing about 12 pass summits between Fallon and Baker.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Hwy 50 through Nevada offered more than I expected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2007

I traveled Hwy 50 with my family from East to West. We started at Great Basin Nat'l Park and toured the Lehman Caves. A magical place that offers unusual formations that have been forming for thousands of years. If you have young ones and some time, have them give the Jr. Ranger program a try. It took my 11 year old a couple of hours and the cave tour to earn a badge. From there we stayed in Ely for the night. We visited the Ward Charcoal Ovens and then the abandoned mine. The mine was filled with debris and there was old junk all over the ground. The building was fun to explore, just a little creepy. Unfortunatly we ended up with a flat tire on the long gravel road. Not to worry, put on the flat and found a tire store in town that fixed it likity-split. The ovens were interesting if you are into old west history. We also picked up a "Hwy 50 Survival Guide" at the museum and had it stamped. You need 5 stamps from certain towns along the Hwy. Next stop, Eureka for a stamp. We went to the Oprah House and gave ourselves a quick self tour. We were on a time cruch because of the flat. Off to Austin for our stamp before the Chamber of Commerce closed. We also visited a jewelry shop called Little Bluebird Mine. Great people, beautiful merchandise and friendly dog, Jake. We had dinner at the Silver State Cafe...alone. The waitress said they get most of the travelers coming through at lunch. We made it to the Shoe Tree just before dark and added a few more. The drive has been much more scenic than I thought. You travel over mountain range, valley, mountain range, valley, etc. Our next overnight stop was in Fallon. I was told this was the home of Top Gun. Sure enough the next morning while visiting the petrogliphs (spelling) at Grimes Point we were able to watch the jets take off and land at the navel airbase. We took the gravel road farther back to a gravel pit where my husband and daughter found "wonder stones". Don't ask me...they were happy with their finds though. We got our "survival guide" stamped and headed to Carson City for a couple of nights. Even though it's not part of the "guide". We did drive over to get the final stamp in Fernly, not much else for us there. I would travel Hwy 50 again, just not in the near future.

Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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