US 50 – Fallon & Fernley, Nevada


After hours of traveling across basins and through mountain passes, Fallon came as a big surprise.  I was expecting to find another mining near-ghost town at Fallon, but what I discovered felt more like a farming town in Kansas.  The farmland began several miles outside of town, signaling a temporary end to the desert landscape that had dominated the day.

Fallon’s Maine Street (yep, that’s “Maine” not “Main”) stretches out for several blocks south of Highway 50.  Even the downtown district feels like a farm town, with wide streets and low buildings (most were one or two stories tall).

There is an old theater downtown, that’s still showing movies.

There’s also a casino, the Nugget, at the intersection of US 50 and 95.

Downtown Fallon is by no means “dead”, but there weren’t any businesses that I wanted to visit.  I had hurried to get here before 5 o’clock, knowing that everything would be closed if I arrived late, but I ended up walking the streets and taking pictures, then leaving.

If you’re ready to settle in for the night, check out the Overland Hotel and Saloon, one block west from Maine Street on Center Street.  The 100+ year old hotel has been restored to its early-1900’s appearance.

As I left Fallon, I was still reeling from the abrupt change from Nevada mining towns to Kansas-style farming communities.  I even thought to myself, “the only way this would feel more like the midwest is if I found a Sonic.”  Just a few blocks later, I found one, and enjoyed a Java Chiller.  I’m fairly certain it’s the only Sonic I saw on my entire trip.


After leaving Fallon, US 50 splits, with the “Alt” version of the road taking the northern path towards Fernley, the last of the five towns along the Loneliest Road.

The only interesting-looking place I found in Fernley was the town’s old train depot.  Unfortunately, it was closed, and locked behind a six-foot fence (thus, the crooked shot-over-my-head picture).  Miffed by the unfriendly welcome at the depot, and tired from the day’s long drive, I decided not to spend any more time exploring Fernley.

On the way out of town, just before US 50 intersects with Interstate 80, the old road goes through the Fernley Underpass.  As the sign shows, this section of the road was also part of the Lincoln Highway.

Hop onto Interstate 80 for the drive through some beautiful small hills, paralleling the railroad tracks, into Reno and Sparks, Nevada.

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