For me, the Extraterrestrial Highway was the highlight of our Epic, 40th birthday, Spring Break Trip! We actually somewhat designed the entire trip around THIS drive. 😁 In fact, I enjoyed the ET Highway so much that I am dedicating an entire post to what amounted to only a few hours of our trip! Mr. Trekker gets nerdy about fighter jets (and the weather 😉), I get nerdy about aliens! 👽 🖖
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The Extraterrestrial Highway has been a MAJOR Bucket List item for me for YEARS! It’s all thanks to one of my favorite movies, Paul! Paul is an amazing movie with awesome stars…that you’ve probably never heard of.
The movie came out in 2011 and is stupid-fun. 😁 It isn’t well-known and I have no idea why? It stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost (if you are familiar with these two actors you can already guess what type of movie it is 😇); Kristin Wigg, Jason Bateman, and Seth Rogen voices the alien. It’s hilarious, fun, and literally one of my favorite movies EVER!
As you may have guessed from the actors, there is A LOT of swearing and adult humor in this movie. Depending on what kind of movies you let your kids watch I’d say it’s older teen-friendly. (It is rated R, for more info and a preview, click here!)
I won’t give away too many details but the basic plot of Paul is that an alien escapes from Area 51, finds a couple of nerds who he needs to help him get home and hilarity ensues. It’s kind of an ET for adults! 😁
Part of what makes the movie fun is that it spoofs so many other great alien movies: Star Wars, ET, Indiana Jones (ok, not an alien movie) Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, and of course, Alien.
As part of the plot they visit a bunch of the “alien sites” in the desert southwest, and I’ve been wanting to see these since I first saw the movie. This trip was the perfect opportunity! (And it also inspired a book idea!)
Where is the Extraterrestrial Highway?
The ET Highway runs along the VERY rural Route 375 between Crystal Springs/Hiko and Warm Springs in southern Nevada!
The road got its name because it runs very near the infamous Area 51. It is also located in an extremely rural area where people claim to see strange lights in the dark, night sky. (We did talk to some locals who say they’ve seen weird stuff that they can’t explain.)
Alien Sites on the Extraterrestrial Highway
All of these sites can be found along and/or directly off of the ET Highway.
—Alien Research Center: This awesome place is located about seven miles south of Hiko, Nevada, and just to the west of Crystal Springs, on Route 375. (It’s literally the only thing in this spot, you really can’t miss it. 😉) It’s really just a tourist trap situated inside a Quonset hut. That being said, it is a MUST visit for any alien nerd. It is AWESOME! 😁
—Little A’Le’Inn: (pronounced “Little Alien”–get it? 😉) This is a small inn and cafe in the TINY “development”–can’t really call it a town–of Rachel, Nevada. It’s a good place for a potty break. The food is also good and the workers offer AWESOME tips on finding Area 51!
Some security guys from Area 51 were eating lunch there when we visited. How do we know they were from Area 51 you may ask? Well, they were wearing military fatigues, and driving creepy-looking, inconspicuous, government trucks (and the only government site for MILES around is, Area 51. 😁)
—The Black Mailbox: Rachel, Nevada–this is nothing but a dumb mailbox in the middle of nowhere but it’s fun! People put stickers on it and leave trinkets in it–it reminded me of the UFO Watchtower we visited on another Spring Break trip to the San Luis Valley of Colorado! The story goes that this is where secret, government mail for Area 51 was delivered (though there doesn’t appear to be ANY historical evidence this is true.)
—Area 51 (Dreamland Resort): Has anyone not heard of Area 51? I mean really? Watch the History Channel for five minutes! 😉
Area 51 goes by several names. It is also known as Groom Lake as this was an ancient lake bed. It is factually known to be an area where military aircraft have been tested and military, practice drills still occur (the infamous SR-71 was tested here during the Cold War). If you are lucky you may get to watch (and hear) military aircraft practicing not far above your head!
This page gives you all sorts of info on Area 51, the local area, “unexplained sightings” locally, and possible military traffic you can watch for.
We “almost” made it to THE Area 51! We were basically right next to it, but since it was actively raining (and had been raining/snowing for several days–because why wouldn’t it, in the desert? 😝) we opted not to take my CRV down the rutted, muddy path to reach the actual site. 😇 We did see the two roads that take you to the infamous locale, though.
Note: if you venture to the site, you will be on a public road. Stop BEFORE you reach the gates. You will likely see security forces but they will leave you alone as long as you remain at a respectful distance. This is NOT a joke. From the stories we heard, these military police DO NOT have a sense of humor. 😝 For good tips on how to lawfully view Area 51 (and how to find it!) talk to the locals at the Little A’lé Inn.
So if you’re in the mood for a Road Trip and some Out-of-This-World fun, check out the Extraterrestrial Highway!
Have you driven the ET Highway? Did you have any otherworldly experiences? Let me know in the comments!
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