4/7/28 We made a trip out to the desert near Area 51 in search of extraterrestrial sites. Our first stop was Extraterrestrial Highway,
DIRECTIONS: From Las Vegas take I-15 N for 22 miles, at exit 64 take US 93 North, turn left on Hwy. 318 for less than a mile. Take a left onto Hwy. 375. At the intersection you will see the sign "Extraterrestrial Highway". Next to the sign is a parking area where Area 51 workers park their cars and take the bus into Area 51. There is also another sign on the other side of the city of Rachel on Hwy. 375 coming in from the other direction. You could just put Rachel in your GPS and you'll find it on the way. There's only one road going in and out of Rachel. It's a very small town.
There is very little out in this area. If you need gas, there is a gas station in Alamo. You might not see another one, only miles and miles of desert.
big metal alien
Next stop is the Alien Research Center. This is located on the way to the town of Rachel on Hwy. 375, just past the sign for Extraterrestrial Highway. This is basically a gift shop loaded with alien paraphernalia and a giant metal alien out front, which makes for a great selfie.
Keep on driving down Hwy. 375 and you will drive into the town of Rachel, about 39 miles from the start of 375. There's not much to see here but a stop at the Little A'Le'Inn is a must. We had lunch here, typical bar food. There are also various items for sale. There is indeed an Inn, so if you wish, you can spend the night just outside of the boundary of Area 51. It's a great place for stargazing and UFO hunting. There is NO gas in Rachel. For more information on Rachel, Nevada, go to http://www.rachel-nevada.com/. Most of the land around Extraterrestrial Highway is public land. You can camp anywhere you like.
Not far from Rachel, you can glimpse the Back Gate of Area 51. From the Little Ale'Inn turn right onto Hwy. 375 (Extraterrestrial Highway) going towards the black mailbox and Las Vegas, turn right onto the first road. In a few miles you will run right into the back gate. Do not go past the warning signs or we may never hear from you again.
area 51 mailbox
The infamous Black Mailbox can be found on your way back to Vegas by continuing on Hwy. 375 for 20 miles to the intersection of Hwy. 375 and Mailbox Road. This mailbox is a meeting place for alien hunters, many of which camp out here to watch the sky for UFOs. The mailbox used to be white but it appears that one is gone, a black one has taken it's place, although it has always been called The Black Mailbox no matter what color it is. Another gate to Area 51 is located on Groom Lake Road. Turn right on Mailbox Road, about 3.5 miles you will see the road splits three ways, take the middle road for another 0.8 miles until you reach a stop sign. Turn right onto Groom Lake Road. It is about 8.5 miles to the boundary of the base. If you travel down this road DO NOT go past the warning signs. The armed guards will either shoot you or if you are lucky take you to jail. They are not joking.
A hot spot for UFO skywatching is the Powerlines Overlook. This desert location gives you a great view of the Groom Lake airspace and valley below as it is high in elevation. This is a rugged 4x4 trail which starts behind Horney's Rest Stop. You cannot see this rest stop from the road. Coming from the black mailbox heading in the direction of Las Vegas, South on Hwy. 375, look for a dirt road between mile marker 38 and 39 near Hancock Summit on Hwy. 375. Once you are on this dirt road you will be able to see the rest area. You want to go behind the rest stop and take the rugged road going away from Horney's Rest Stop. Keep left at the fork after 0.7 miles. This will lead you along the power lines to the top of the ridge. There should be room for camping here.
It was getting dark by the time we found the road and made our way past the rest stop. The road got really bad quick. We did have four wheel drive but because it was almost lights out in the desert we decided to turn back. GPS Coordinates for Horney's Rest Stop N37 26.372' W115 22.614' and Powerlines Overlook N37 27.541' W115 25.437'
Here is a video of Horney's Rest Stop coming from the dirt road to the main paved road so you can see how far off the road it is and difficult to find.
We have been out in this area many times. The most adventurous trip was when we hiked to the top of Tikaboo Peak, the last public place you can actually see the base of Area 51.