Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway: Best Stops, History & Tips

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They don’t call State Route 375 the “Extraterrestrial Highway” or “Alien Country” for nothing. For decades, this 98.443-mile-long highway has been luring in alien conspiracy theorists, paranormal enthusiasts, and tourists hoping to see some strange extraterrestrial activity. 

Honestly, we can’t deny or confirm the rumors of top-secret, state-of-the-art technology, little green, big-eyed dudes, or alien spacecraft in the area. 

However, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a blast piloting your vehicle along the wide-open and ruggedly beautiful roads on this out-of-this-world highway. Settled in the middle of nowhere, this highway wows visitors with its desert landscapes that seem to stretch endlessly. 

What’s more, the ET Highway is filled with quirky and one-of-a-kind alien-themed attractions, and guess what? We’re helping you enjoy a memorable trip here by featuring the best it has to offer. 

Whether you’re curious about aliens or just want to spice up your Nevada getaway, these tips will come in handy on your road trip through Alien Country. 

Getting to Know the Extraterrestrial Highway

About the Extraterrestrial Highway

David Stock Jr of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog standing in front of Area 51 along the Extraterrestrial Highway.
The ET highway is a fun road trip adventure with many out-of-this-world photo opportunities along the way

Spanning 98.414 miles, this highway sits in south-central Nevada and mostly travels through untouched desert terrain. 

Amazingly, the top-secret and infamous Area 51 base is situated along SR 375, and a lot of travelers have reported unusual alien sightings and UFO observations along the road. 

In 1996, it was renamed the Extraterrestrial Highway as a tribute to the blockbuster film Independence Day which has a plot that features an alien invasion. 

The highway winds through the rugged desert and connects a couple of towns, Crystal Springs and Warm Springs. The highway is usually not part of a classic and scenic West Coast Drive, although it should be! 

That means you can only drive this stretch if you’re really interested in exploring it. You can also reach this road on your way to Death Valley National via Tonopah or Yosemite National Park.       

How to Reach the ET Highway from Las Vegas 

Lina Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog standing next to a large Alien along the ET Highway.
Alien Research Center along the ET Highway in Nevada

From Las Vegas, you can reach the Extraterrestrial Highway by driving north on US 93 for about 109 miles. Once you’ve passed by Ash Springs, drive NV-318 and turn left at the next road junction. 

You’ll know that you arrived on the highway when you’ll see a bizarre building with a massive alien statue standing in front of it. The building is home to the Alien Research Center and is mostly the starting point of the Extraterrestrial Highway. 

You can also use a GPS or any navigation app to find this highway. 

On average, the drive from Sin City to the highway’s starting point takes around two hours. With a few stops along the way, the drive will be even longer. 

Can I experience the ET Highway as a day trip? 

David Stock Jr of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog at the Storm Area 51 site along the ET Highway.
Alien-Stock – Storm Area 51 site in Rachel Nevada.

Of course, you can experience the Extraterrestrial Highway as a day trip from Las Vegas. However, your road trip will likely feel rushed, and you might even miss out on some unique activities. 

If you do decide to make it a day trip, just start your journey early in the morning. For those planning to stay overnight, drive a few miles from the starting point to Alamo.

Here, you’ll find a bundle of decent accommodation options, including A Cowboy’s Dream B&B. 

Or incorporate it into the Great Basin Highway, like we did, leaving from Ely and heading south towards Las Vegas.

Best Stops Along the ET Highway

Lina Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog looking into the Black Mailbox on the Extraterrestrial Highway just 12 miles from Area 51.
UFO visitors believe that a black mailbox along the ET highway is the spot where Bob Lazar had recorded his UFO videos

The Extraterrestrial Highway is packed with quirky and fascinating attractions, and even those who aren’t into alien stuff will have a blast experiencing these extraordinary attractions. 

Here’s a list of the must-see attractions along the Extraterrestrial Highway.

ET Fresh Jerky 

Area 51 street art at ET Fresh Jerky on a ET highway road trip adventure.
ET Fresh Jerky is a great place for some fun photos and local snacks

Kick-start your Extraterrestrial Highway road trip on a high note with a pit stop at ET Fresh Jerky. Not only is it a convenient place to buy souvenirs and use the restroom, but it also offers a variety of jerky, including invisible ones. 

There are also plenty of other alien-themed goodies and snacks at this place. Our favorites include the mango slices with chili pepper and martian sodas. 

As for the jerky, our recommended flavors are the Buffalo Blitzkrieg, Helle Hole Hot, Most Wanted Cowboat, and Teriyaki Time Travel jerky. 

After freshening up and buying snacks, head outside and snap a photo of its Instagrammable alien-themed mural. 

Additional info: 

Extraterrestrial Highway sign 

The ET (Extraterrestrial) Highway sing  at the intersection of US 375 & US 6.
You have to get the classic Extraterrestrial sign photo!

There are tons of route markers and signs scattered along the highway. However, the most popular one is situated at the intersection of US 318 and US 375 on the way to the captivating Alien Research center.  

Additionally, this classic roadside attraction has a picnic spot where you can sample the tasty treats from ET Fresh Jerky. 

The ET sign has been known to go missing so if the one at the intersection of US 318 and US 375 isn’t there you can find one at the other end at the intersection of US 375 & US 6.

Please make sure when stopping for a photograph that you pull fully off the road. Don’t make your mark on the sign by adding some odd sticker, we all stop here for a photograph of the sign, not to see a sign that’s filled with stickers.

Additional info:

Alien Research Center

Lina Stock standing outside the Alien Research Center along the ET highway.
The Alien Research Center is a fun stop along the ET highway.

The Alien Research Center is hard to miss. With its airplane hangar and towering alien statue, you can easily spot this center from the highway. 

The name Alien Research Center is, truthfully, a little misleading, as it’s more of a quintessential souvenir shop than a legit research facility. Still, it’s a fun photo op and a nice place to browse alien-themed items. 

As you wander around the facility, you’ll find a wide range of books, gifts, shirts, and books related to UFOs and Area 51. 

Additional info: 

The Black Mailbox 

The iconic Black Mailbox along the ET Highway.
The Black Mailbox on a deserted stretch of road known as the “Extraterrestrial Highway” between Alamo and Rachel, Nevada,

The Black Mailbox is one of the most wonderfully bizarre attractions along the Extraterrestrial Highway. With no owner or home in sight, the lone mailbox has become a popular meeting spot. 

People who believe in UFOs will bring letters and gifts to the mailbox, hoping that the extraterrestrial beings will find them. 

Additional info: 

Little A’le’inn

Little A’le’inn bar, grill and motel with the ID4 time capsule.
Twentieth Century Fox placed this Independence Day movie memorial in front of the Little A’le’Inn in 1996.

No list of the best things to do on the Extraterrestrial Highway is complete without the Little A’le’inn. It’s essentially a grill, bar, and motel rolled into one spot. Like most of the spots along the highway, it’s alien-themed. 

Inside this charming spot, you’ll see an array of souvenirs and gifts as well as walls covered with UFO stories. While there, don’t forget to sample their alien-themed burgers. 

After enjoying a meal at their grill, head outside, and take photos of a UFO pick-up truck and a green dude welcoming earthlings. Also located in front of Little A’le’inn is the Independence Day movie memorial called the ID4 Monument that’s a time capsule.  

Additional info: 

Area 51 

Area 51 warning sing along the ET highway.
We don’t suggest actually visiting Area 51, it’s an active military zone that’s not open to the public

Area 51 is off-limits to the public, meaning it’s illegal to enter this active military zone. It’s not a theme park and there are no tours available on this site. However, you can still get a glimpse of this facility from a respectful and safe distance. 

Don’t fly a drone in this area, because it will be immediately shot down. 

Have a chat with folks you meet along the way

Alien burger at Little A’le’inn bar and grill.
Alien-themed burger at Little A’le’inn bar and grill along the ET Highway

You’ll encounter a ton of quirky business owners, hilarious costumes, serious UFO followers, and curious travelers on this memorable drive. We recommend striking up a conversation with the people you meet along the way.

Trust me, you’ll hear and discover a variety of interesting and perhaps eye-opening tidbits from these people. Since it’s pretty close to Area 51, ask the locals you meet about this renowned and mystical military base. They definitely have plenty of stories to tell and share.

Most of the people you meet on this road trip are quite helpful and friendly too. 

ET Highway Road Trip Tips

Lina Stock standing next to alien street art at the Alien research center along the ET Highway.
An alien escaped at the Alien research center along the ET Highway.

ET Highway Packing List

Ready to hit the road and venture into the Extraterrestrial Highway? Before you fill up your gas tank and pack your bags, make sure to prepare these travel essentials: 

  • Sunscreen 
  • Snacks 
  • At least a gallon of water per person per day 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Alien shirts, masks, or costumes (just for fun)
  • Camera
  • Nevada state map or Road Atlas 
  • Emergency Car Kit

Advice for Driving the Extraterrestrial Highway

Welcome to Rachel Nevada sing along the ET Highway.
Originally called “Sandy” because of its long expanse of sand, Rachel is the youngest town in Nevada and is considered the UFO Capital of the World
  • Download an offline google map or bring an old-fashioned map, as mobile service is a little spotty. 
  • Fill up your gas tank before leaving Las Vegas. Keep in mind that gas services are limited in these areas. 
  • Bring a lot of water, especially if you’re traveling in the summer. If you’re visiting during the cooler months, wear layers since the temperatures tend to get cool at night. 
  • Food options are pretty limited along the Extraterrestrial Highway, so bring your own food and snacks if you have dietary restrictions. 
  • Even if you’re spending most of your time inside the vehicle, wearing sunscreen is still a must. 
  • Allocate five hours for driving and around two hours for stops. If you’re not in the mood for driving the entire day, stay overnight at Little A’le’inn. 
  • Planning to add more stops to your Nevada travel itinerary? Do yourself a favor, and pay a visit to the Death Valley National Park. Besides its scenic drives, the park offers a multitude of hikes for the adventurous traveler. 

Other Things to See Near the ET Highway

David Stock Jr hiking in Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.
Nevada has some amazing state parks and natural wildlife refuges to explore

Want to infuse a dose of adventure into your Extraterrestrial Highway road trip? You might want to stop by these wondrous destinations and attractions along the way:

  • Mount Irish Wilderness Area 
  • Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge 
  • Basin and Range National Monument 
  • Tikaboo Peak

What’s the quickest road trip that you’ve ever experienced? Have you already experienced the Extraterrestrial Highway?

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Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway: Best Stops, History & Tips by Americas Adventure Couple Lina and David Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog.


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About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.

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