Saturday, November 2, 2013

In search of Area 51

The forecasted weather for our camp on Ward Mountain, near Ely, Nevada was not a good one, so it was a no-brainer to pack up and head down to some lower and warmer locations.  That’s why we have wheels on our houses, right?

After a fuel top up in Ely, we were pointed south, so that’s the direction we went.  After everyone assumed a comfortable (?) traveling position, of course.PA279169

Over a mountain pass we climbed, and down to a junction leading to Great Basin NP.  I would have liked to visit the park, but it is at rather high elevation as well, so this was not the time.  Across the flats southward on the Great Basin Highway #93 we went – into a nice headwind of course, till we reached Pioche.


After a typically late start, the sun was already starting to dip low in the sky, and usually directly into our eyes as we continued through Caliente.



We did pull in to check one NF Trailhead parking area, but it was fairly rough and bleak, and also at a fairly high elevation near the summit of yet another pass, so we kept moving along to the south.


It was well past sunset when we passed through Alamo, but just to the south we knew was the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, where we knew there was free camping on the lake shore.


There are only about 10-15 sites, but only some of these are designated for RV’s.  Luckily, a very nice waterfront (they’re all waterfront, actually) spot was empty, so we pulled in and set up in the near dark.


Photos out the windows the next day …


Ms Hailey wanted a better view, so she went up for a look in one of the huge cottonwoods that line the shore.


Google earth and maps showed some interesting back roads in the area, one of which - Badger Valley road – looked intriguing.  It also leads to Badger mountain, which like it’s neighbour peak Tikaboo, overlook Area 51.  The road was completely deserted, but in great shape for a back country road.


Eventually, it got a little rougher.  And there was even a little snow left over from the previous night in the shady spots.PA309224

With another usual late departure, the hike ended at a sub peak on the way up Badger mtn, but still provided good views towards Area 51, or Groom Lake as it is also known.

Strangely, my gps refused to pick up any signals in that location …

And there were strange cameras on the summit.  No wait, those look familiar.


Area 51 at far top left …PA309203

I see that the Bayfield Bunch have safely arrived at their Congress estate and are settling in, watching Corner Gas, and planting cactus, while trying to attract their usual flocks of birds.  Wheeling It and RV sue were both hanging out in the Alabama Hills area of eastern California last time I checked.  Breaking news:  just got word that elusive Wandering Willy is sneaking south from Canada’s wet coast – without blogging again.  I think everyone should post comments on his blog to convince him to return!


  1. You have a knack for finding fabulous campsites. Truly enjoying your route this time around. We've never driven thro NV that way.

  2. Some nice lakefront real estate you were camped on there. Double dare ya to fly your chopper off in the direction of Area 51............ Maybe we should put out an APB on Wandering Willy.

  3. Talk about being out in teh boonies!! That is some desolate landscape there. Zoom in on Area 51 if you get a chance!!