Nevada State Flag                    (a)

US 50 -- Nevada

Copyright 2012 W. Berg Press

US50 - Nevada: Travel US 50
through Nevada. The Silver State. The capital is Carson City. The state motto is: All for
our Country. Highway 50, Great Basin, Mount Wheeler, Pony Express, Baker, Ely, Eureka,
Austin, Fallon, Silver Springs, Cave Lake, The Loneliest Road, Nevada Northern Railroad,
Carson City, Cold Springs Station, Middlegate Station, Dayton, Virginia City, Carson City,
Spooner Summit, Logan Shoals, Lake Tahoe

Welcome to Nevada - The Silver State.
The capital is Carson City. - State motto is "All for our Country".


    The view of the Great Basin from the National Park is tremendous. The main attractions include the Lehman Caves, Wheeler Peak and Lexington Arch. Mount Wheeler Peak is in the 13,000 feet range. Pure white Snow covers the upper third of the mountain. It looks very impressive. There is no pollution in this area; the air is dry and very clean.

    US 50 follows roughly the path of the Pony Express riders. This famed mail route included places such as Baker, Ely, Eureka, Austin, Fallon, Silver Springs and on to Sacramento. Brave young men carried mail between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. To become a rider, the requirement was-'young, skinny, wiry fellow not over eighteen. Must be expert rider willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.' It took 10 days for a letter to travel the entire 1,800 miles of the Pony Express route.

    In Ely do not miss the opportunity to stay at Cave Lake State Park. The park is at an elevation of 7,300 feet and surrounded by snow-peaked mountains. The camp sites and picnic areas are on a hill among trees adjacent to a small lake.

Loneliest Road in America sign        We'll try to conquer 'The Loneliest Road in America' from Ely to Carson City. It's approximately 300 miles. The first city after Ely is Eureka, about 77 miles away. For this reason, we will have a good breakfast in Ely. Jerry's promises to serve the best pancakes with eggs, sausages and coffee. We also visit the Nevada Northern Railroad. It's an old railroad company that is still in existence, but now only serves the tourists. They have an old steam engine, a depot and all the old equipment. So for the railroad buffs, this might be a winner.

It is time to say good-bye to Route 6.  We have shared the road with US 6 from Delta, Utah.  US 6 will continue on to Long Beach , California.  US 6 started its journey in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

    The historic Lincoln Highway runs from New York to California.  In Nevada it followed US 50 from Ely to the beautiful south shore of Lake Tahoe.

    *Eureka!* a miner is said to have exclaimed in September of 1864, when the discovery of rich ore was made here. And so the town was named. Eureka soon developed the first important lead silver deposits in the nation and during the furious boom of the 80s, had 16 smelters, over 100 saloons, a population of 10,000, and a railrThe Colonnade Hotel - 1880, Eureka, NVoad. By 1878 Eureka was the state's second largest city. Today, Eureka has become a small town on Route 50. It has a colorful past and is proud of its history. If you want to know more about the history, go across the street to the Eureka Opera House and talk to Wally Cushin. He's the director, but he is also a historian.

  The Colonnade Hotel has a new owner and is currently being restored.  This historic 10 room hotel was build in the 1880's.   Next town along the route is Austin. It is an old mining town. On Main Street, the International Hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and proclaims to be the Last Chance Saloon before one leaves town on the journey that will have 110 miles of desert.

        The road stretch between Austin and Fallon is the most isolated of the three we are traveling. Very seldom do we meet an oncoming vehicle and there is virtually nothing along the road. We stop at the 'Cold Springs Station-Pony Express.' to cool of and talk.  Our next stop is 'Middlegate Station-Pony Express'.  Before we arrive we pass the 'Shoe Tree'.  Ben Radin sent me the picture from his travel through Nevada.  The tree has a cousin in Oregon.  Today, Middlegate Station is a bar, a waterhole.  It is an interesting place to stop a short time for picture taking and talking. 

        Fallon is called the Oasis of Nevada.  Names in this town point to its rich heritage which is cattle, stockyards and mining. The road I walk is called Auction Road. I just parked at the back of a place called the Stockmen's Restaurant and Casino. Fallon is a booming town; it is not an isolated town as we had seen at Austin, Eureka and Ely.  Those were frontier mining towns which brings with it the vision of the log cabins that once stood there.  Fallon has farming, cattle, commerce, the Navy Air Base and entertainment.

        Silver Springs is situated at the junction of US Alt50/Alt95 and US 50.  It's a small community consisting mostly of trailer homes with rattan garden furniture, a gas station, a liquor store and a general store.  It is interesting that the junction of these two major arteries is a four-way stop.  This traffic arrangement is very common here and works well.  For the record, we did not stop at Break A Heart Saloon.

        The next town we reach is Dayton, one of Nevada's oldest communities. Dayton emerged as a trading post in 1849. We drive up to the Dayton cemetery. It was founded in 1851 and it's still used today. It is one of the oldest cemeteries that has been continuously used for such a long period of time. There are a lot of young children under the age of 1-year that died and are buried here, which testifies to the ruggedness of living in those days. Now, here is a grave dedicated in 1981, but let me read to you what it says.

'Old Virgini. James Fennimore - 1810-1865. One night when he was dead drunk, some men took him to the cemetery and dug a shallow grave. They left him there. About daylight, he awoke and raising up in the grave, looked around and called out, "The resurrection morning, and I'm the first one up."

        Since we are from Virginia, we must visit the city named by James Finney, nicknamed 'Old Virginny,' in remembrance of his birthplace. From Silver City, we take the old route to Virginia City. It's very curvy and we encounter steep hills. It's worth the drive if you like to see old mining country.

        Next stop is CARSON CITY, Nevada's state capitol. As the saying goes in Nevada, 'public business is ruled by the two large cities, Reno and Las Vegas. And Carson City is prospering by the money to run the state. We are proud, we have completed driving The Loneliest Road in America. We visit the state capitol with its silver dome. The first thing we notice is the open-door policy. We can view the office of the lieutenant governor or the secretary of state and can immediately have contact with the governor's secretary. In the cities out west, crime has not escalated to the point where every person has to be behind a security fence to assure safety.

        As we come down from the Spooner Summit through the tall pine forest, Lake Tahoe emerges among the trees. The lake lies majestically in this basin. At Logan Shoals Vista Point, we stopped and looked at the lake. It's a beautiful place to take pictures and see the magnificent colors in the water. State Line allows gambling and has the casinos.

Lake Tahoe emerges among the trees as seen from Spooner Summit

If you have a quest for hot springs, many along Nevada Route 50, 
I suggest you check out this very interesting website created by Howard Goldbaum


(a) Thanks to Robert Edgar in Bakersfield, California
for sending us a photo of the Nevada road sign from his collection.

go back to US50, Coast to Coast

STOP sign
My book "US 50, Coast to Coast" guides you on this journey in greater details.
To obtain information on ordering a copy of US 50 COAST to COAST, click here