Alamo, Nevada is the perfect place to blast off on an Extraterrestrial Highway adventure past Area 51 and beyond. It's also a great waypoint along the Great Basin Highway, thanks to lush, oasis-like Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, and makes an ideal overnight spot when visiting Basin and Range National Monument or the Mount Irish Wilderness.

A Literal Oasis on the Edge of Nevada’s Outback

Launchpad to Area 51 and Beyond

Located just 90 miles north of Las Vegas, the quiet farming community of Alamo, Nevada is many travelers’ introduction to stunning, park-packed, wilderness-swathed Lincoln County, on Nevada’s eastern edge—as well as to lush, watery landscapes that stand in stark contrast to the arid Mojave Desert lands that cover most of southern Nevada. Visitors enjoy wildlife watching, rockhounding, fishing, and exploring the nearby wildernesses within Basin and Range National Monument and the Mt. Irish Wilderness

Alamo, Nevada is also the official east-side gateway town to the (in)famous Extraterrestrial Highway, one of the most iconic of Nevada’s 10 official road trips. Stock up on gas, snacks, and even some alien-themed jerky, then blast off westward on NV-375 toward Rachel, NV. For road trippers cruising the Great Basin Highway (US-93), Alamo makes a great pitstop after a visit to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, a watery oasis that is popular with migratory birds and those who come from all over to see them. 

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History of Alamo

The Pahranagat Valley connects the Mojave Desert and central Nevada’s vast sagebrush steppe lands via a ribbon of lush greenery, springs, and lakes, although many of the region’s valleys were vast lake beds during the Pleistocene Era. Intriguing rock features tell geologic tales from hundreds of millions of years ago, including that of an asteroid impact that occurred during the Devonian period.

This area’s slices of basin and range topography are the ancestral homelands of the Western Shoshone and the Southern Paiute peoples. Before that, it was also the old stomping grounds of some of Nevada’s earliest human residents, the calling cards of whom can be seen in the form of thousands of petroglyphs etched into rock canvases up to 2,000 years ago—most notably in the Mt. Irish Archaeological District, the White River Narrows Historic District in the Weepah Springs Wilderness, and the spectacular Shooting Gallery petroglyph site

White River Narrows
White River Narrows
BLM Nevada
Mt Irish Archaeological District Petroglyphs
Mt Irish Archaeological District Petroglyphs

The first European-American explorers showed up in the 1820s, followed by farming settlers along the Mormon Trail, and later by prospectors who established the Worthington and Pahranagat Mining Districts in the 1860s. In 2015 Basin and Range National Monument was established under the Antiquities Act, at the same time as Gold Butte and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monuments.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

At Basin and Range National Monument, the chances of not seeing anyone else are high. However, for gas, food, and everything else, they’re guaranteed—so stock up on all the goods here in Alamo!

Things to Do In and Around Alamo

Just south of Alamo is Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, one of over 500 managed areas in the National Wildlife Refuge System. This beautiful oasis is made up of more than 5,000 acres of wetlands and grasslands and serves as a critical stop on the Great Pacific Migratory Route. Thousands of dozens of different species of migratory birds and waterfowl pass through the valley annually to the delight of birdwatchers.

 Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
Oak Springs Trilobite Area
Oak Springs Trilobite Area

Not too far afield, the Key-Pittman Wildlife Management Area has fantastic fishing. And if you’re into rockhounding, head about 40 minutes east to Oak Springs Trilobite Area where the fossil remains of six types of trilobites have sat encased in shale deposits since about 500 million years ago, when the area was submerged beneath the sea.

Meanwhile, Basin and Range National Monument calls to seekers of true unspoiled backcountry adventure. At just over 700,000 acres (more than three times the size of New York City), the largest of Nevada’s national monuments is a vast wonderland packed with geologic, natural, and cultural history. Golden eagles buzz peaks as desert bighorn sheep bounce around islands of sandstone—including one of Nevada’s most breathtaking natural arches—while 4,000-year-old petroglyph panels line large rock walls throughout this massive, open-ended natural playground.

Basin and Range National Monument
Basin and Range National Monument

BLM Nevada

Weird Nevada

For a dose of genuine Weird Nevada wonderment, roll over to RyanHenge, a bizarre and beautiful landmark that abounds with curiosity. Its centerpiece is a large, painstakingly built cement structure that serves double duty as a functioning sundial by day and a solar calendar by night, with a map of the world adorning the ground within. Other highlights include a labyrinth, oversized chess board, vintage train cars, a handful of zebras, a cute little chapel, and more—all built on a corner of the Western Elite Landfill by the company’s CEO, Ryan Williams (hence the landmark’s name). For more offbeat enjoyment, be sure to stop by E.T. Fresh Jerky and the Alien Research Center, both classic stops along the nearby Extraterrestrial Highway.

Where to Eat in Alamo

While this small community doesn’t have any traditional sit-down dining options, you can still find everything you need to appease an appetite at the Alamo Sinclair. The gas station offers plenty of standard road trip snacks, as well as meat, milk, fresh produce, cold beer, and plenty of other groceries within the small but amply stocked Great Basin Foods market. For a hot bite, Chester’s Chicken To Go satisfies with crispy fried chicken, boneless wings, wraps, burgers, potato wedges, and more, as well as burgers and even breakfast sandwiches in the AM.

Sunset View Inn
Sunset View Inn
Chester's Chicken On the Run
Chester’s Chicken On the Run

Alamo, Nevada Hotels

If you’re making Alamo, Nevada your overnight HQ, you’ll find a few solid spaces to lay your head, starting with the Sunset View Inn, located just south of town. Each room has a different theme, like aliens, the Wild West, hippie vibes, and “Under the Sea”—along with all the things you need, from fridges and AC to pet areas and outdoors seating areas that show you why they named the place what they did, each and every night.

Just north of the Sinclair you’ll find the Alamo Inn, which offers 15 funky, delightfully retro rooms with plenty of comforts—two of which are big enough for entire families. Meanwhile, RV-ers can fully hook up and park rigs up to 90 feet at Picketts RV Park, which offers spotless amenities, a babbling brook to walk among, and easy access to the town’s food options.


Whether you’re bird-nerdin’ it up at Pahranagat, chompin’ on chicken during a road trip pitstop, or beddin’ down in an alien-themed motel room, tag your snaps with #TravelNevada so we can follow your adventure—and maybe even share it here!

Fun drive yesterday through rocky roads and sand
#nationalwildliferefuge #lasvegas #alamo #pahranagat #explorenevada #sanddunes #mojavedesert #highdesert #landscapephotography #nikonphotography #desertplants #dirtlife #getdirty #staydirty #supportsmallbusinesses
It’s #TrilobiteTuesday! 
How about we share one of our favorite adventure spots we enjoy taking the entire family to?! 
The Oak Springs Trilobite Site, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is located on Nevada’s hwy 93 outside Caliente, NV. Pack a picnic 🧺 , a couple rock hammers⛏, and enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures at 6,000 ft elevation. ⛰
Here you can split shale with a hammer to reveal the fossil remains of up to 6 different types of trilobites. Trilobites are an extinct marine arthropod that first appeared a half a billion years ago, until they went extinct around 250 million years ago! 

Pictured is a trilobite found in one of our adventures to Oak Springs dating back approximately 500 million years ago!!! 

More information on the Oak Springs Trilobite Site, visit

Happy exploring!!! 

#fossils #trilobite #paleontology #nevada #travelnevada #nvsciencecenter #neverstopexploring #adventure #familyadventure #science #homemeansnevada #southwest #geologty #stem #education #nonprofit #research #scicomm #edutainment #friends #hiking #mountains #discover #exploring #desert #funinthesun #summerplans
🏞 #SundayFunday 🐾

Area 51, Alamo, Caliente NV area is always our favorite location for a no crowd, unspoiled nature hike when it comes to weekend adventures... only about an hour and a half away from Las Vegas on the 93 North with an option to take a detour into the Valley of Fire State Park and continue into Lake Mead... Just perfect for a Sunday stroll with a hint of wildlife immersive experience 🐾🏞😻🏞🐾
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge está ubicado en el sureste de Nevada, aproximadamente a una hora y media desde #LasVegas. Siendo hogar de diversas especias de vida silvestre, y uno de los más de 550 refugios del sistema de refugios nacionales en Estados Unidos.

lukemcmillin83 racing to another win at the Silver State 300 after penalty adjustments! 

• 📸 𝗙𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗱 𝗽𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗼𝘀! 📸 •

#alamo  #caliente #silverstate #themint400 #mint400 #bitd #trophytruck #offroad #bfgoodrich #BestInTheDesert #lasvegas  #offroadracing  #kingshocks #fox #foxracing #foxshocks #ruggedradios #methodracewheels #racelinewheels #builtfordtough #truck #kchilites #fiberwerx  #spectt #trophytrucks #desert #desertracing #4wheelparts #bajadesigns #bajadesignsofficial
I drove a little more then an hour to go to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge to photograph bald eagles as they nest there in the winter. It was 24 degrees outside and some of the water was frozen there. Took this right at sunrise. Something about water, the movement, sound of it and reflections that are not only beautiful but calming. 
Nikon D850, Nikon 24-70mm at F13, ISO 64 and 1/5th shutter speed. 
#photography #jarrodamesphotography #pahranagat #nevada #wildliferefuge #nvmag #travelnevada #nikonusa #nikonnofilter #landscapephotography #landscapephotographer #lake #naturephotography#natgeoyourpic #natgeo #peaceful #serene #sunrise #reflections
Can you think of a better way to spend St. Patty’s Day than by climbing a peak called Mount Irish?

At 8,749 feet, Mount Irish looms over Alamo, NV. It’s place on the map almost gives it the presence as the guardian to the southern end of the Great Basin.

Just 2 hours north of Las Vegas, the terrain changes to limestone cliffs, piñon pines, lakes, and junipers. However, cactus still sprinkles the mountainsides just to serve as a reminder that the desert is not far away!

Based on the amount of the petroglyphs, humans have been enjoying this amazing region for centuries!

#mountirish #mountirishwilderness #peakbagger #peakbagging #hikingadventures #greatbasin #greatbasinpeaks #nevadapeaks #hikenevada #climbeverymountain
Here's looking at you! Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Alamo, is a welcome habitat for birds, ducks, geese, swans ... and pictographs and petroglyphs, too! You'll find yourself face-to-face with drawings like this throughout the refuge! (📷: travelnevada) #NevadaSilverTrails
Sunset in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Alamo Road.
#desertnationalwildliferefuge #corncreek #clarkcounty #nevada #dnwr #sunset #sky #clouds #travelnevada #onlyinnevada #exploring #explorenevada #dontfencemein #dfmi #homemeansnevada #beyondvegas #igsouthwest #howtonevada #lasvegas #southwest #wanderlust #outdoornevada #travel #traveling #desert #exploring #explore  #historic #nevada__explored