Tour of America's loneliest road

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hmm… “loneliest” and yet a “tourist attraction”? seems like one of those is the downfall of the other.

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded . – Yogi Berra


The residents may very well rue the loss of some “atmosphere” but they surely love the money a bit of local fame brings ^^’ . Not like there’s an excess of non-service jobs, along that highway.

I like the YT narrator’s style; he packs in a lot of interesting info.


Having lived in Nevada I gotta say that these lonely roads are low-key awesome. I think most may find them boring but I love the desert landscapes and find it mediative, and the small towns out there are weird and interesting :blush:


I’d call US6 the loneliest road. And weird towns? No, weird people. We drove through Mina early one morning and saw a guy walking on the highway with what looked like a weird shaggy dog. We got closer and saw it was a… porcupine. We stopped, and a family in a camper parked in the town’s rest area came out to witness. The fellow said he had two pet porkys and he usually sat in his easy chair watching TV with one sitting on each thigh. He also said he’d ride his motorcycle with one porky riding in his lap.

The old Eastern saying is that the US is tilted and all the nuts roll to California. I’d say the grandest stop in Nevada.


Love desert trips. One of my favourites was riding my motorcycle back and forth across Australia, via the Nullarbor and Great Central roads. Cameras and screens can’t capture that feeling of your entire world being all that space and huge swathes of colour, and the only sounds are the wind and your own breath.

People seem to either love it and stay as long as they can, or freak out and bolt after three days. A friend who leads desert tours says he’s given up guessing at the start of a tour who will be among the latest to fall in love with the desert.

I lived in a cinderblock “jackrabbit shack” near the Joshua Tree Nat’l Monument HQ. On hot nights I slept on the flat roof. Daily at dawn, a roadrunner (no, they don’t go Beep Beep!) fled from the 49 Palms oasis across the road, ran through my cactus-garden yard, hopped on the roof, ran atop me to wake me up, and zipped eastward across the open desert.

Sometimes I was up early with a gallon jug of cheap wine. I’d sit out back and watch the Pinto Mountains cycle through black, indigo, blue, red, white, and back again with passage of the day. Wind blew through the cacti. Occasional traffic sounds intruded. But the desert remained.

It’s all stinking desert when you drive by at 75 MPH. It gets real when you walk the gullies at dawn, listening to hungry life. It sure soothed my soul after trying times.


My vote for this goes to Route 127 from Baker CA, north through Death Valley to the one-horse town of Shoshone. It’s a good way to get to the racetrack in Pahrump from SoCal while avoiding Vegas traffic. Some people also use it as a back way into Vegas.

Get gas in Baker even if you think you don’t need it, and your car had best be reliable, because there’s no cell service out there and you can go days without seeing another person on that road. It’s like driving on the moon- the landscape is amazing.

I also recommend against driving it at night. It’s a little scary out there and visibility is poor, even on a clear night. The asphalt and the sand blur together and you get white line fever pretty fast. I did it once. Once.

Another time I neglected to get gas in Baker and rolled in to Shoshone late at night on fumes, not enough to make it to Pahrump. There isn’t an “official” gas station there, but there is a local guy who operates a pump lock in his yard for locals. I had to wake him up and ask real nice to sell a few gallons to the stupid city slicker. I got some well-deserved abuse from him and was never so glad to smell gasoline in my life.


The Pahrump area is neat, and if you go more towards the central east side of Nevada you run into some former mining towns like Caliente and Pioche that are rad as hell. Lots of cool trails for dirt bikes and ATVs. as well as camping and exploring. And further north in Nevada heading to Reno there’s more greenery but the remote feeling there while different is still energizing.

A lot of people don’t get what makes the desert out there so great but i deeply miss it. Some day i might move back into the state, who knows.

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as a northern nevadan, i gotta say this was great. well covered and represented all the highlights. Great Basin Nat’l Park is amazing. too bad they didn’t get to see the cave.

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