The Extraterrestrial Highway (State Route 375) runs 98.4 miles across the Nevada desert and is the closest road to Area 51, a restricted military base located near Groom Lake that is rumored to house recovered UFO craft and technology.
Where is Area 51?
Area 51 is located near Groom Lake in the Nevada desert and can (theoretically) be reached by either Groom Lake Road or Back Gate Road; both roads intersect with the Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada State Route 375.
Visit Area 51
You can not visit Area 51 - It's a restricted area that is widely secured by military personal. There are several checkpoints that are littered with warning signs, but if you must satisfy your curiosity, there are a few pathways off the Extraterrestrial Highway to arrive at the "No Trespassing Zones". 🚨
Intersection: State Route 375 - Groom Lake Road 🚧 This is the first road that will lead you straight to the main gate of Area 51 after driving for about 10 miles. Important: The main gate is not always visibly guarded! Drive carefully, and do not drive past the gate!
Intersection: State Route 375 - Mail Box Road 🚧 📬 On this road, you will come across the first Extraterrestrial Highway attraction, the Black Mailbox. At the end of Mail Box Road, you can turn right at the intersection onto Groom Lake Road again. After the intersection you will have to drive about 4-5 miles before arriving at the main gate of Area 51.
Intersection: State Route 375 - Back Gate Road 🚧 Coming from the official Extraterrestrial Highway Welcome Sign, this is the first road towards a checkpoint, but it is much further away from Groom Lake, where the main base of Area 51 is reportedly located. Driving down Back Gate Road for about 5 miles, you will arrive at a gate with a barrier and a guard shack.
There are numerous off-road tracks leading up to the restricted zone around Area 51, but I do not recommend or encourage approaching.
Extraterrestrial Highway Attractions
Planing an Extraterrestrial Highway Road Trip, coming from Las Vegas or San Fransisco, the ET Highway has a lot to offer! However... to manage visiting the most iconic (and chilling) locations connected to UFOs, Aliens & Area 51, you really need to know where you are going.
The Extraterrestrial Highway is 98.4 miles long, must-see locations are scattered and there are a few spots off the beaten track I will mention worth visiting. Keep in mind:
- Start your road trip early 🏜 - Fuel up the tank ⛽️
- Pack lunch, snacks & enough water 🥪 💧
Here are all Extraterrestrial Highway Attractions & Things To Do around Area 51, starting from the Welcome Sign - Planning is up to you.
Extraterrestrial Highway - Welcome Sign 🪧 The must-see, iconic Extraterrestrial Highway Welcome Signs is a great way to start your road trip. If you are visiting, coming from Las Vegas (how I did..) this location is best to visit at the end of your journey.
Little A'Le'Inn - Stay, Restaurant & Bar in Rachel, Nevada 👽🏠 You'll be traveling for a while, enjoying the beautiful scenery, until you arrive at a little town called 'Rachel', where the Little A'Le'Inn is located. This is a great opportunity to order a snack & a drink, wandering around the premisses. There are a lot of great photo-opportunities with the UFO Toe-Truck parked outside, but there are also a lot of quirky items, images & newspaper articles inside the little A'Le'Inn that will make this a memorable stop.
Alien Cowpoke & General Store - Gasstation & Souvenir Shop 👽⛽️ Practically in walking-distance, you can detour to this little Gem. You can buy Alien & UFO Merchandize, fuel up your car or bike and walk around the area with a few cool photo opportunities here as well.
Area 51 Back Gate with Guard Shack - Back Gate Road Intersection 🚧 A little further down the road, you can turn right onto a road that will take you to the back gate entrance of Area 51. I have personally not travelled towards this gate, but looking at various documentaries and travel reports, it looks like it is legal to drive right up to the gate with the shack, as long as you don't cross the entree line.
The Black Mailbox - Mail Box Road Intersection 📬 A random, black mailbox, located at the beginning of a road that leads up to the main gate of Area 51 - Visitors can place their letter (or other items of their choice) in this extraterrestrial mailbox. At the time of my visit, the mailbox was open, so you can take a look inside and see what other visitors have left to read in case the Grey's decide to come down again for a visit. Please be respectful, do not vandalize and refrain from leaving trash in the mailbox. (...or anywhere alongside the road for that matter)
Medlin Ranch - A former Viewspot of Area 51📬 Down the Mail Box Road, you will arrive at Medlin Ranch if you take the first right at the intersection. Well...there is not much left of Medlin Ranch despite another, bigger Mailbox that is white and in the name of Steve Medlin. This is not really a 'must-see', but we want to give you a complete guide to visit all the attractions around Area 51, so here it is.
Area 51 Main Gate - Groom Lake Road 🚧 Turning right on the second exit at the intersection, coming from Mail Box Road (technically straight ahead), you will arrive at Groom Lake Road. If you take it right, you will arrive at the main gate of Area 51. Although this gate is much closer to the actual secret military base, it looks less visibly guarded. Make no mistake - You are being watched by cameras & possibly patrol officers in that area. Do not cross and do not drive up to the trespassing line to play a game of inches with the 'camo dudes'.
Alien Research Center - Gift Shop inside a massive Hangar 👽 This one you can't miss, unless your attention is drawn mid-drive to an actual UFO descending towards you, breaking the space-time continuum and dropping you off at another location. The Alien Research Center is a massive Hangar with a huge Grey Alien next to it, at the side of the Extraterrestrial Highway. The Alien Research Center offers a wide selection of themed gifts, figurines, stickers, mugs, shirts & all types of memorabilia.
E.T. Fresh Jerky - Crystal Springs 🥓 Coming from Las Vegas, this is one of the first stops you come across. Besides fresh E.T. Jerky of unknown origin, the store features one of the most amazing UFO Murals I have seen! Do take a picture here.
💎🛸 Extra: Hidden Gems off the Extraterrestrial Highway 👽💎
You have made it through the list above, but you still want to explore the area for spooky extraterrestrial attractions or spots linked to Area 51? Here are some suggestions:
Alamo Courthouse - The White Busses of Area 51🚐 The small town of Alamo is just a few miles off the Extraterrestrial Highway. If you're lucky, you will be able to witness one or more of the white busses with blacked out windows that transport worker from Alamo to Area 51. The white busses are usually parked around the Alamo Courthouse area, called 'Pahranagat Valley Justice Crt'.
Tikaboo Peak - Take a legal Look at Area 51! 🔭 ⛰ Before the government extended the restricted area around Area 51 in 1995, there have been many view points that allowed a closer look at the facility. Today, there is only one spot where Area 51 can be seen from - Tikaboo Peak. Bring Binoculars, because Tikaboo Peak is about 26 miles away from Area 51. It takes a long off-road drive up the mountain to a remote parking clearing and a short hike to reach the peak. If the weather allows for good visibility, you can catch a legal glimpse at Area 51!
EG&G Special Projects - The Wilson Memo Parking lot 🚘📝 Former military contractor EG&G has been a constant focal point in many UFO stories. The company allegedly contracted Bob Lazar to Area S4 to reverse engineer anti-gravity propulsion technology from a recovered craft - It has also been the location where the Wilson Memo originated. Admiral Wilson drafted this memo after a meeting at the parking lot of EG&G Special Projects on 821 Grier Drive in Las Vegas, Nevada. EG&G as a company no longer exists, but the building and parking lot is the same Admiral Wilson drove onto.
Roswell UFO Crash-Site - Between Lincoln & Corona, New Mexico 🛸 🏜 You are really going for it, aren't you? This is way off the Extraterrestrial Highway...about 900 miles away, but if you are visiting the United States from abroad or if you really want to dedicate a couple of days to visit everything surrounding the UFO Phenomenon, you might as well visit the Holy Grail of UFO Crash-Sites. The Roswell UFO Crash-Site is reportedly coordinated at 33°58′6″N, 105°14′36″W. News reports from 1947 also state that the military was investigating a 300 mile radius around the reported crash site, so there is a lot of ground (literally) to cover. Who knows, maybe there is still some extraterrestrial energy left after 70+ years after the UFO crash in Roswell. When I made the trip, I took a small glass jar with me and took some ground samples back home...just to be on the safe side. ✨
International UFO Museum & Research Center & Gift Shop 👽🏛 Once you're off the deep-end and already roaming around Roswell, do not miss to visit Roswell's UFO Museum. It is a fairly big museum and captures the entire history and aftermath of the Roswell UFO Incident from 1947.
Congratulations - You've successfully completed the UFO Daddy ET Road Trip!
IMPORTANT: This article does not encourage trespassing, the illegal gathering of intelligence, spying or approaching restricted areas or facilities beyond legal limits. Be kind, be respectful, be lawful and do not litter!
Did I miss any important attractions around Area 51 or the Extraterrestrial Highway (and beyond)? Please drop a comment below - I'm happy to add it to the list! 👇🏻