30 years ago this month Life Magazine declared HWY 50 in Northern Nevada as “The Loneliest Road in America”. The July 2016 edition of the popular magazine held a three-page article on how the road from Salt Lake City to Sacramento was the most desolate and lonely in all of the country’s highway system. The write up even contained an interview with an AAA travel consultant warning the author of the article not to venture down this road without proper “survival skills”.
In true northern Nevadan fashion, they took this article and twisted into something quirky and positive. They had tee shirts made up with the slogan “I survived the Loneliest Road in America” to poke fun at the claim that you need survival skills to pass this stretch of road. An entire tourism campaign was built and ended up being rather successful poking fun at the article and the title of “The Loneliest Road in America”.
To celebrate the history of this prestigious title of loneliness, Travel Nevada invited a group of journalists and bloggers to come explore this very same stretch of road 30 years later. We were one of those said bloggers. So, what did we find?
Well, it’s still pretty lonely out there. 30 years hasn’t changed a whole lot. There were times we lost track of when the last time we saw another car on the road, but it had to have been nearly an hour. Just us, and two lanes of asphalt flanked on either side by seemingly never-ending seas of short green sage brush. Behind the sage brush, far in the distance, was a line of jagged snow-capped mountains.
After just a day on the road, I could easily see how HWY 50 earned its title. It can get lonely out there. If you drive this road with your blinders on just getting from Point A to Point B, I could see how you’d say it was lonely, but you are actually going to miss a lot of interesting stuff.
We put together this video of HWY 50 and all of its lonely glory to document our road trip in northern Nevada. There’s actually a lot of cool stuff out there and it’s a place that doesn’t exist in too many other places in the country. If you find yourself anywhere around HWY 50 on a road trip I highly encourage you to point your car down the Loneliest road in America and see what you find.
A few resources to plan your trip down HWY 50 in Nevada:
Thanks to Travel Nevada for inviting us on such an epic road trip! Like always all opinions are our own.