With open mountains, endless vistas, sage-covered valleys and picturesque mining towns, there are few places to capture the Nevada experience and the pony express territory. The Territory spans the center of Nevada and spans US Highway 50. US Route 50 runs parallel to the historic Pony Express route, which extended from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California in the early 1860s.
One foot in the area was firmly planted in the 19th century and the other foot was firmly planted in the 21st century. Only a few towns along the highway were designated by Life magazine as "the most lonely road in the United States." maybe. Drivers who feel lonely without being surrounded by buildings and traffic jams may feel lonely. But the rest will find peace in the splendid loneliness.
The Pony Express Territory is a land of natural beauty and a charming mining town that looks the same as it did a century ago. From east to west, your first stop on the US 50 highway should be in the Great Basin National Park, home to the ancient thorny pine trees. These rough giants can only grow above 10.000 feet above sea level and can live to 4,000 years old. The park also features hiking trails leading to mountain lakes and majestic hilltops, including 13.063 feet of Wheeler Peak, the second-highest in Nevada.
The Lehman Caves, accessible through the Park Visitor Centre, showcase the stalactites and stalagmites that have been developed over the centuries. Five miles east of the park, Baker Town has restaurants, motels and gas stations.
About an hour northwest of the park is Ely, a former copper mining town that is an ideal base for many leisure areas and historical sites in the area. The town has a wealth of restaurants, hotel and recreational vehicle spaces, as well as murals that bring the town's history to life.
Erie's Northern Nevada Railway Museum includes railroads, shops and rolling stock for the northern Nevada railroad, a short line that began in the 1906s and early 1980s.
The refurbished East Ely Railway Station has a small museum and gift shop. But the highlight of the stop is the ride on the "Old Ely's Ghost Train." At the selected weekend and time, the historic railway No. 40 [Budwin Steam Locomotive in 1910] or its sister engine No. 93 [the United States Joint Steam Engine of 1909] provided train tours. Train enthusiasts can even become engineers and actually drive a steam locomotive or diesel locomotive into a narrow alpine valley on a 14-mile journey.
Eureka, 78 miles west of Erie, is one of Nevada's best-preserved 19th-century mining towns. Founded in 1864, Eureka has many original buildings, many of which have been carefully restored. The most impressive is the Eureka Courthouse, which opened in 1880. Across the street is the Eureka Theatre, built in 1880, which has been renovated into a modern conference facility and performing arts center. The well-preserved Eureka Sentinel Museum offers an exhibition of local history and is equipped with many news equipment for making newspapers in the town, which was published between 1870 and 1960.
Next up was Austin, one of the most successful mining camps in Nevada. Silver was discovered here in 1862, and a few years later, Austin became the second largest community in the state. Of particular note are the three historic churches of the town: the St. Augustine Catholic Church, built in 1866; the St. Augustine Catholic Church, built in 1866. The Methodist Church was also built in 1866; and the St. George Episcopal Church was built in 1878. Austin and the surrounding Tojabe, Torquay and Hot Creek mountains are popular places for mountain biking, seeking bright blue skies, rugged landscapes and crowds.
Between Austin and Fallon, Sand Mountain is a unique two-mile-long, 600-foot dune that attracts off-road enthusiasts, motocross enthusiasts and skiers. Located south of the dunes, Sand Mountain Pony Express Station is one of the best preserved examples of the original rock enclosure type used by Pony Express riders.
On the west side of US Highway 50 is the Grimes Point archaeological site. Interpretive signs guide visitors along a stone-shaped path that is made by local residents living between 5.000 BC and 1.500 BC.
Twelve miles west is Fallon, famous for its cantaloupe and fighter jets. Fallon's award-winning Hearts O&Gold Cantaloupe is one of the top products in this rich farmland. It is also the headquarters of the US Navy's "Top Gun" flight school. It is often seen that fighters conduct exercises over the community. During Fallon, visitors can also enjoy the Churchill County Museum, which features an exhibition depicting local Native Americans, the Immigration Road and the country life at the turn of the century. There are many fishing and camping sites in the Lahontan Reservoir, 17 miles west of Fallon. Campers were also welcomed in the nearby 1860s Army Fortress Fort Churchill, which has been in decline. Both areas are state parks.
The nearby Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge is an important habitat for a variety of waterfowl, including pelicans, swans, Ibis and ducks.
The Pony Express Territory is a place of history, nature and unparalleled leisure. So go to “the most lonely road in the United States'' and find an area known as the heart and soul of Silver State.