GUEST ARTICLE: Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas? Then head off on a day trip towards Rachel, Nevada.
If you like interesting road trips with an odd twist to them, take US Highway 93 North out of Los Angeles and head out to Rachel, Nevada where they filmed part of the movie ‘Independence Day’.
Just remember to fill your gas (petrol) tank on the way out and then fill it coming back (otherwise you will be running on empty). Ash Springs 60 miles south of Rachel is the closest gas station .., there aren’t any other Gas Stations for miles.
Just when you think you are out there in the middle of the desert all alone with miles and miles of nothing to look at you’ll start seeing pockets of lush grass and trees … next thing you know you are passing Lake Pahranagat, a natural spring with a walkway along the spring you can walk along.
People fish here etc because it’s really nice and relaxing. It’s odd to see a spring out here with the contrast of the desert in the background. You can just sit out here and enjoy the quiet or take a lunch and sit at the picnic tables enjoying the scenery.
Keeping on driving North on US Highway 93 and take a left on Nevada Highway 375 (the “Extraterrestrial Highway”). As you head into Rachel, you’ll notice signs on the sides of the road telling you to keep an eye out for free ranging bulls… Where they come from I don’t know?!
Once you get to Rachel, don’t expect a jumping metropolis. It is a very small town and a small population of about 90 people… all the buildings are mobile homes but it is fun all the same…
There you’ll find the the Diner Little A’Le’Inn. The burgers here were delicious and worth just heading out there for a burger in the desert. In the diner you can sit at the tables there or sit at the long counter and enjoy your burger.
You can buy souvenirs in here of UFO’s (not that anyone has seen one), Area 51 or the town of Rachel. As you walk into the diner you see an Alien in the window.
There is a plaque outside given from the movie studio for thanking the town for letting them shoot the movie Independence Day here and UFO Parking Spots on top of a light pole.
If you want to meet a few of the locals – just head over to the row of mailboxes which is where people will congregate and talk whilst getting their mail.
If you are daring you can go down to Area 51, there is apparently security on the hills watching ‘tourists’ to make sure they don’t cross the fence line into government property and ‘apparently’ if you are caught you are given a fine – if you do damage to that property you apparently can go to prison for a year… I find it somewhat amusing… but we chickened out on being that daring…
I hope you enjoyed this little journey to the desert outside of Vegas.
- Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
- Wildlife photos – Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
- Official home page of Rachel, Nevada
- Little A’Le’Inn – Rachel, Nevada
This article has been written by FlissandMike. Fliss is an Australian expat who lives in Florida with her husband Mike. They enjoy Geo-caching and visiting places in the USA which are off the beaten track.
If you’ve travelled somewhere off the beaten track, can write well and have good quality photos I encourage you to contact me and I’ll consider publishing your travel diary here including generous attribution and links back to your website as thanks for your contribution