What You Should Know About Driving Along The Loneliest Road In America

lone car driving along the The Loneliest Road in America
lone car driving along the The Loneliest Road in America

Imagine a road so isolated and desolate that it has earned the nickname “The Loneliest Road in America.” This is more than a slogan; it’s a call to adventurous souls who want raw nature, silence, and the chance to experience a slice of untouched America.

U.S. Route 50 is a transcontinental stretch carving through Nevada. As it winds its way through the Nevada desert for more than 400 miles, the Loneliest Road carries with it the ghosts of bygone telegraph lines and the Pony Express. Before you set your GPS and begin your road trip, there are a few things every traveler should know about this uniquely solitary route.

Getting Ready for the Loneliest Road

First, let’s talk logistics. When they say “lonely,” they mean it. There are stretches of more than 100 miles without a gas station, a town, or even a cell phone signal, so preparation is essential. Ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape, and pack plenty of water, snacks, and any essential road trip safety items. It’s also wise to inform someone of your travel plans, just in case.

Most importantly, embrace the solitude. There’s something profoundly peaceful about being the only car in sight, with only the hum of the road beneath your tires and the vast, open sky above. Take time to stop and soak in the views, the silence, and the sheer scale of the landscape. U.S. Route 50 is where you can shout into the void and hear your echo bounce off the distant mountains.

Discover the Unexpected

U.S. 50, Fallon, Nevada, USA
Photo credit: Intricate Explorer

While the road might be lonely, it’s far from boring. Scattered along Route 50 are remnants of the Old West. You will spot quirky small towns and unexpected attractions. Eureka and Ely are historic towns where you can explore relics of the silver mining era. Meanwhile, spots like the Great Basin National Park offer natural wonders, including ancient bristlecone pines and stunning limestone caves.

Don’t miss the “Shoe Tree” near Middlegate—a bizarre local landmark where travelers have hung their shoes for decades. If you’re into stargazing, you’re in for a treat. The Loneliest Road runs through some of the darkest skies in the United States, offering one-of-a-kind views of the Milky Way.

Safety and Etiquette

While you might not see many cars on the road, that doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind. Observe speed limits, watch for wildlife, and be mindful of the few locals and fellow travelers you might encounter. It’s important to remember that this route crosses through lands that are sacred to Native American tribes. Respect the culture and the land by staying on designated roads and trails, not removing artifacts, and being a mindful visitor.