Countless reports of UFO sightings; government secrecies, cover-ups and lies; a sparsely inhabited landscape—these are the most intriguing, sci-fi drama qualities of Nevada State Route 375, otherwise known as the 'Extraterrestrial Highway'.
A road travelled mostly by tourists (from this planet and other ones, as the rumors go), NV SR 375 stretches 98 miles from Crystal Springs, NV to its termination at the junction with US Route 6. A normal two-laned highway in appearance, NV SR 375 traverses the Great Basin Desert, the largest in the US. Although it's notoriety as the Extraterrestrial Highway doesn't come from it's otherworldly desert landscape; the name chiefly comes from it's proximity to Area 51, the supposed real life version of the Men In Black agency.
During the Cold War era of the 1950s, less-populated Nevada and other Southwestern states became the ideal locations for testing facilities—bomb testing sites, rocket and missile testing sites, and of course for flight testing of new jet prototypes. Secret underground labs and government bases were built for homeland security as paranoia of a nuclear war gripped the nation; but the legend behind Area 51 has been that it was always created for security of an intergalactic threat.
The conspiracy theory surrounding Area 51, officially known as the Nevada Test and Training Range and Groom Lake, is that it houses alien spacecraft and beings that have crashed somewhere over the Extraterrestrial Highway in the surrounding Great Basin area.
Through the accusations, the government has remained fiercely tight-lipped about what sort of testing occurs at Area 51; in fact, it was not until October of last year that a US president had ever even acknowledged the existence of the 50+ year-old base. These reports and accusations have come from a series of sources; from UFO eye witnesses, from past Area 51 employees leaking the "truth", from photos and news stories. Yet, since the creation of Area 51 and the lonely highway that takes the average person as close to the base as possible, all that happens there is still speculation and a mystery.
For UFO believers and others intrigued by the paranormal, driving the Extraterrestrial Highway is a fun and bizarre two hour trip into The Twilight Zone. While nothing of Area 51 is visible from the highway, there are plenty of alien-themed photo ops along the route. There's an Alien Research Center, ET Highway rest area, and in the small town of Rachel, NV the famous Little A'Le'Inn, a restaurant/bar/motel/gift shop combo that offers all the excitement in the 54-strong town.
Driving the Extraterrestrial Highway with a group of trekkers is at first exciting; "Why is that car driving so slow?"; "Where is everybody?"; "Why is that car turning around now??"; "Why are all the cars on this road white? Do you think they're aliens?!"; but, after miles and miles of endless rocky desert with not even a bird flying overhead, the return to civilization is welcomed. But we all wondered; what would it be like to drive the Extraterrestrial Highway at night? No people, no street lights, no sounds; at least no earthly disruptions would surely be heard...
The 43 day Grand Trek will take you down the Extraterrestrial Highway - and like we say when it comes to wildlife, no sightings can be guaranteed - the same goes for aliens!