Is Nevada’s ‘Loneliest Road in America’ also one of the scariest?

Photo via Getty Images.

By Aleza Freeman

August 10, 2023

The Loneliest Road in America is getting some extra attention.

The 370-mile stretch of US Route 50—from Dayton, NV to Baker, NV—was recently named the 5th most feared route in the country in a QuestionPro survey of 3,000 people, commissioned by Gunther Mitsubishi in Florida.

US 50 (which was coined the “Loneliest Road in America” by Life magazine in 1986) ranked No. 5 on the QuestionPro survey in June based on the long distances between towns, limited services, and the potential risks of breaking down.

While the road is indeed wide open and services are few and far between, Nevada’s tourism bureau, Travel Nevada, ensures the loneliest road is far from lonely or scary, teasing several adventures along the way:

  • Middlegate Station: You may be lonely but you won’t be hungry, and you may even score a free shirt if you finish the triple-decker Monster Burger at Middlegate Station, one hour east of Fallon. It’s made with 1 ⅓ pounds of Angus beef on a sourdough bun with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, cheese, peppers, olives, and onion rings, plus a side of fries.
  • Shoe Tree: Keep an eye out for the Shoe Tree on the North side of the highway between Middlegate and Cold Springs. Though not the original shoe tree (that one was cut down by an unknown vandal) the current tree blooms with shoes year round. You can even add your own pair.
  • Frey Ranch: A family-owned distillery, Frey Ranch in Fallon grows sustainable whiskey grains on its 1,500-acre farm and makes ground-to-glass whiskey. Tastings and tours are on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park: Peruse an abundant collection of fossils of ancient marine reptiles known as Ichthyosaurs, which swam in the ocean in Central Nevada 225 million years ago, at this state park. You can also see a ghost town from slightly more recent times, 1890.
  • Jason’s Art Gallery: Buy souvenirs handmade from locally-sourced turquoise like money clips, bolo ties, earrings, necklaces, and rings on Austin’s historic main street.
  • Spencer Hot Springs: Take a dip in the cluster of steamy natural springs on public land, including three man-made pools and one with a natural bottom, about 30 minutes from Austin.
  • Garnet Hill: Break out your rock hammer and channel your inner rockhound by collecting garnets. The ruby red semi-precious gems are typically attached to the area’s rhyolite rock but sometimes they’re found on the ground.
  • Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park: Used to process silver ore by prospectors in the late 1800s, these six beehive-shaped kilns, 30 miles south of Ely, are fun to explore and perfect for photographs.
  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | LOCAL CULTURE

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