We are taking US highway 50 west through Nevada. It is called "The Loneliest Road in America."
Example: from Ely to Fallon is 254 miles and only 2 very small towns. Austin population 400;
Eureka population not given and 2 small gas stations in each. The campground in Ely sold T-shirts “The nearest
Wall-Mart is 389 miles round trip from Ely KOA.”|
While traveling west between Beaver, Utah and Great Basin NP, NV, about 116 miles and 2.5 hours, we saw only 4 cars and two motorcycles going the other way. It reminded us of driving through the Yukon and Alaska for being alone, except that the gas stations were closer up there!
The Great Basin covers most of Nevada and almost half of Utah. The parts of those states which contain the Colorado and Virgin Rivers are outside of the Basin. The Great Basin is unique in the US. No water leaves the basin. Rivers begin, run, and then go underground. They may resurface once in a while but soon return underground. The National Park is only an extremely small part of the actual Great Basin. It was established to represent the vast Great Basin region and to identify it’s geologic and hydrologic uniqueness. The mountain ranges of Nevada run north to south with valleys between. This is known as Basin and Range formation in the High Desert. Great Basin mountains rise like islands above flat, dry land of the High Desert. Most of the desert is at 6,000 feet elevation and the road summits are 7 to 8 thousand feet above sea level. So when your heading east to west it is like riding on a huge roller coaster. 5-7 miles climbing over a mountain and then 10-15 miles driving in the valley to the next mountain.
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