Highway 50 "The Loneliest Road in America" Nevada-15 April 2008

U.S. Highway 50 between the towns of Austin and Fallon in the great state of Nevada.

110 miles of beautiful desolation...and historical significance.

Highway 50, between Delta Utah, and Fallon Nevada, was given the moniker "The Loneliest Road in America," by Life magazine in 1986. In a span of about 410 miles there are only three towns: Austin (population 340), Eureka (population 650) and Ely (population 3800). The below panoramic photos were taken between Austin and Fallon (population 8400), Nevada, as I was driving home to California from Capital Reef National Park in Utah. U.S. Highway 50 follows a historic corridor first used by the Pony Express from April 1860 to October 1861. Then the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinential highway across America, followed the corridor and was open to automotive traffic in 1913. Parts of the old Lincoln Highway roadbed are still visible from the current road. Highway 50 passes near the ghost towns of Wonder and Fairview Nevada. In addition, Highway 50 is contiguous with a portion of Naval Air Station Fallon.

15 April 2008


Photographs taken by Neil Mishalov with a Canon G9 camera

Looking west with the Desatoya Mountains ahead.


The Pony Express riders and their trusty steeds galloped through this valley in 1860-1861


The Shoshone Mountains.


The site of the ghost town of Wonder is 13 miles straight ahead. It was a major mining center in the early 20th century. Wonder's boom was brief, but spectacular. Stores and saloons were in operation by mid-summer of 1906, and a school was begun in 1907. Bench Creek provided water for the camp. During a brief span of years the Nevada Wonder Mining Company produced some $6,000,000 in silver, gold, copper and zinc.

Sand Mountain, over 600' tall, dominates Salt Wells Basin. Captain James H. Simpson of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers surveyed the central overland wagon road through here in 1859. The following year the Pony Express followed the Simpson alignment and the Sand Springs Pony Express station was established less than a mile to the northwest. Sir Richard Burton visited the station in 1860.

Fairview (1905-1917) was 1.5 miles down that barely visible dirt track straight ahead. Triggered by the strikes in Tonopah and Goldfield, there were discoveries in Fairview during 1905 of a rich silver vein, which led to a boom that lasted through 1906 and 1907. Fairview was a substantial town that boasted many saloons, hotels, banks, assay offices, a newspaper, post office and a miner's union hall. By 1908 the boom had passed and production leveled out. During 1911, the Nevada Hills Mining Company began an era of profitable mining that lasted until 1917. Production amounted to 3.8 million dollars in silver. Currently the site of Fairview is located on Naval Air Station Fallon land, and is off limits to the casual tourist.

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This page created on 18 April 2008. All photographs copyright 2008 by NEIL MISHALOV