US 50 in Nevada

US 50 in Nevada


US 50
Get started Zephyr Cove
End Baker
Length 409 mi
Length 658 km

Carson City

Silver Springs





According to ablogtophone, US 50 is a US Highway in the US state of Nevada. The road forms a long east-west route through the center of the state, from the California border at Lake Tahoe through the state capital Carson City and Ely to the Utah border. The road is considered the “Loneliest Road” but passes through more places than, say, the US 6. The road is 658 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The US 50 between Austin and Eureka.

The Loneliest Road in America.

At about 1,900 feet on the shore of Lake Tahoe, US 50 in California enters the state of Nevada from Sacramento and then is a 2×2 main road along the lake to the northeast. Because this is a holiday area, the US 50 is fairly busy here. After about 40 kilometers you reach the capital Carson City, which has 52,000 inhabitants, the largest city on the route of the US 50 through Nevada. One crosses the US 395in Carson City that runs to the city of Reno to the north. East of Carson City, US 50 still has 2×2 lanes until Dayton, but then becomes a main road with 1×2 lanes at an altitude of about 1,400 meters. The landscape dries quickly and one enters the deserts of Nevada. At Silver Springs, one crosses US 95 Alternate, a branch of US 95 to Fernley in the north. The road leads past the Lahontan Reservoir, a small reservoir. Just before Fallon, the Alternate joins US 50, which connects US 50 and Interstate 80 that runs a little more north from Reno to Salt Lake City. You then pass through Fallon, a town with 7,500 inhabitants, and you cross the US 95, which comes from Tonopah and Las Vegas.comes and walks to Winnemucca in the north.

East of Fallon one soon leaves the green farmland and begins a long route of 420 kilometers to Ely, the next place of interest. On this lonely route one crosses several mountain ranges, which run north-south. The US 50 is not completely deserted, because there are a few villages on the 400 kilometer long route. The road has many desolate long straights where you can see mountain ranges in the distance that are always longer than you might think. The surrounding mountains reach up to about 2500 meters and you come over a number of fairly low mountain passes. The entire route to Ely crosses about four State Routes, of which the SR-305 to Battle Mountain and the SR-376 to Tonopah are the most important.

There are two small villages on the route, Austin and Eureke, which you can drive through within a minute. In eastern Nevada one then reaches Ely, a somewhat larger place where US 6 from Tonopah merges, and US 93 from Wells does the same. The three roads are then double-numbered about 40 kilometers to the southeast, after which US 93 exits towards Las Vegas and US 6 and US 50 continue together to the border with Utah. First you have to go through the Snake Range, after which you reach the border with Utah near Baker. US 50 in Utah then continues to Delta.

Loneliest Road in America

In 1986, Life Magazine named US 50 the Loneliest Road in America. It was a negative article about the loneliness and lack of civilization, but the region and ultimately the state of Nevada managed to turn the publicity into positive publicity and turn it into a tourist attraction. It is an alternative for east-west traffic that wants to drive a little differently than Interstate 80.

Although US 50 is widely known as America’s loneliest road, US 6, also running east-west in Nevada, is even quieter.


US 50 along Lake Tahoe.

According to beautyphoon, US 50 was created in 1926 and was split for 2 years, with the western end ending in Ely. US 50 has been a through route since 1928. In 1929, the entire US 50 was still unpaved, largely a gravel road or improved dirt road. Only the route between Carson City and Fallon had not yet been built. In 1933 the first parts at Eureka and Ely were asphalted, after which almost the entire route was asphalted in 1934. Then the new road from Carson City to Fallon also opened. The continuous nature of US 50 declined sharply from the 1960s onwards as Interstate 80 was built through northern Nevada.

Originally, US 50 continued south between Middlegate and Austin on what is now State Route 722. This route is almost the same length but crosses the Desatoya Mountains via the 2,263 high Carroll Summit. US 50 opened in 1967 as an alternative route further north, which does not have a high mountain pass.

East of Carson City, US 50 has gradually widened to 2×2 lanes, partly as a divided highway and partly as a 5-lane road with a center turn lane. In the early 1990s, the first section between Carson City and Dayton was widened to 5 lanes. In 2007, the first section east of Dayton was widened to 5 lanes, which was extended to Stagecoach in 2013 and continued as a 2×2 divided highway to Silver Springs in 2019, making a 55-kilometer stretch east of Carson City 4 lanes.

Traffic intensities

Every day 28,000 vehicles cross the California border at Lake Tahoe, which descends to 10,000 towards Carson City. 11,000 vehicles drive through Carson City, descending to 2,200 towards Fallon. The route to Ely is extremely quiet with only 500 vehicles per day.

US 50 in Nevada