Nevada is the home to the famous Area 51, a highly classified secret military base, that is otherwise known as the base that is subject to conspiracy theories regarding unidentified flying objects. Our 2 week road trip through America had to include something random and this was it, driving the dirt road to the entrance gate as well as stopping at the famous Rachel and Little A’Le’Inn bar. Easily drivable from Las Vegas, we were too curious not to visit! but we could not prepare for the intimidation we experienced. Plus who knows, maybe we could see an Alien after all!
With extra time during our 4 nights stay at Las Vegas, we wanted to take a drive to Rachel, the closest town to Area 51 and explore the well-known Extraterrestrial Highway in the Nevada desert. This is a popular touristic location for UFO believers and curious Area 51 explorers. We also wanted to visit the famous main entrance!
Although the base has never been declared a secret base, all research and occurrences in Area 51 are Top Secret. However after a Freedom of Information Act, the CIA publicly acknowledged the existence of the base for the first time on 25th June 2013.
Area 51 is also the location of the Nevada Test Site, testing of nuclear weapons that created mushroom clouds that could be seen more than 160 km (100 miles) away. From the start of 1951 to 1992 a total of 928 announced nuclear tests occurred, with 828 of those being conducted underground. December 2012 was the last time an explosion was conducted.
The Area 51 Driveway
Leaving Las Vegas we had roughly 2 hours to drive north to Rachel. We were in no rush so we took our time and stopped at the famous Extraterrestrial Highway sign along the way, an easy location to stop at and park up. Here we saw the first patrolling police cars too, whether to catch you speeding or just keeping watch of the tourists and locals who travel here.
Back Entrance Intimidation
We first decided to drive first up the bumpy dirt track to the back entrance of the Area 51, one we had seen in a few videos on Youtube. We had a weird feeling that we were definitely being watched on this road. Our suspicion turned real when we had reached the last section of the dirt road and we saw the famous ”white pick-up trucks” used by the security company of Area 51.
The closer we got, the more intimidating the truck was by sitting at the top of the hill looking down on us! We were within 1 minute of the back entrance gate, basically a sign that shows the Area 51 grounds, but we totally freaked out! The white pick up security guys had started moving towards us as we also got closer and their scary vibe and intimidation worked. We turned right around and decided to get the hell off the dirt road back and head for Rachel!
Rachel & Little A’Le’Inn
The town of Rachel is very small, with only a population of 54 people in the 2010 census. But with the hundreds of tourists that visit each year, the local alien bar called Little A’Le’Inn bar strives.
Being more sensible and by now we had calmed down from the scary security truck, we stopped at the famous Little A’Le’Inn. As well as tourists, there are many UFO fanatics that stop here for a drink and share stories of what they have seen or heard.
Inside was pretty fun to visit! You first walk in and notice the 1000+ alien photos, toys, posters, t-shirts and souvenirs that can be bought here. It’s pretty awesome and weird at the same time!
The second thing you notice is the bar, which has been covered in 1 dollar bills all signed by tourists and road trippers who have explored the area just like us. We didn’t join in but enjoyed two cold cans of cola and chatted with the owner about the history of travellers. A very friendly couple and full of fun stories to share!
We finished our drinks and decided to head to the main entrance of Area 51, the one that all tourists end up visiting. This is within 30 minutes from the Bar, where you first follow a bumpy dirt track and then it turns to smooth tarmac for the last section.
We didn’t dare get too close to the gate like others have done, but close enough to see the security cabin and all the camera’s facing us! As you can see, there isn’t much else to see but the idea that we have stood there and seen the entrance to this long existing secret base was pretty cool.
We actually saw a pretty cool unmanned (and we think armed) drone fly over us when we were driving through Death Valley.
Conclusion: We didn’t see any UFO’s, but had a lot fun exploring the area and meeting the owners of the bar, as well as getting intimidated by the white pick-up truck security guys!
Read more of our USA posts!
Helicopter Tour Above Grand Canyon
Cycling The Golden Gate Bridge, CA
Exploring Bodie: An Abandoned Mining Town
San Francisco 2 Day Itinerary With & Without A Car
- Have a full tank of petrol/diesel for the day, as there are hardly any gas stations close by
- Be aware of your surroundings, its a military base after all
- Enjoy a drink at the Little A’Le’Inn, its weirdly unique!
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Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and visited somewhere like this? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments!
We visited Rachel & Area 51 on our 2 week US road trip – Check the whole itinerary here!
Kavita Favelle19th May 2018 at 6:55 am
What a cool side trip to take! Love the giant alien statue at the back entrance there and also the bar with all those signed dollar notes!!
Zoe | Together In Transit22nd May 2018 at 7:56 am
Thank you for commenting Kavita! It sure was a unique experience 😀
Madhu19th May 2018 at 7:06 am
Wow what an exciting trip..i am always fascinated by extraterestrial ..i am sure it must be an exciting experience. Thanks for sharing.loved reading it
Zoe | Together In Transit22nd May 2018 at 7:57 am
It sure was a unique and exciting experience!!
mytraveltricks19th May 2018 at 4:35 pm
Such an interesting read !! I always wondered about area 51 and what it would be like to go there one day. Must have been very exciting!!
Zoe | Together In Transit22nd May 2018 at 7:57 am
It sure gave us mixed feelings but it was a fun experience and great to have been there!
invertedsheep19th May 2018 at 8:18 pm
This must be such a fascinating place to visit. I’d definitely stop by if I was anywhere near the area.
Zoe | Together In Transit22nd May 2018 at 8:09 am
Yeah it was pretty fascinating for sure! Thank you for commenting 🙂
Bernie Jackson19th May 2018 at 8:30 pm
You actually got closer than we did to alien life (Roswell, New Mexico in our case). We tried to visit the UFO Museum, but were thwarted by an unexpected snowstorm and a flight that seemed destined to narrowly escape being a feature on Air Crash Investigation (the ground proximity warning went off, and we had two aborted landings). We did, however, leave with an alien badge from the cafe at the airport.
Zoe | Together In Transit22nd May 2018 at 8:11 am
Oh wow what an experience and always a great story to tell I bet! With a badge for a souvenir hehe Thank you for commenting Bernie 🙂
Layla - Alial Travel Gal27th September 2018 at 7:08 am
Amazing post, I’ve never seen a blog post on Area 51 before. As a huge X-Files fan, I’ve always wondered about this place. Thanks for the info, can’t wait to go and see how close I can get 🙂
Togetherintransit27th September 2018 at 9:35 pm
Thanks for commenting Layla! I was a little unsure at first but with my partner driving we just went for it and got as close as we dared to haha! Stopping at the cafe was fun to meet the owners too really made the day trip from Las Vegas fun!
Deze28th July 2019 at 3:00 pm
I love little adventurous trips like this. It’s crazy to know that I am from that part of the country and only just heard about Area 51 recently. So much mystery!