To see unique landscapes in the USA, drive Route 50 from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean

By Tychyna TetianaFeb 15, 2024 08:51 AMNews
To see unique landscapes in the USA, drive Route 50 from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean
The US Route 50 road. Source:

US Route 50 is one of the longest transcontinental highways in the United States. However, while most transcontinental highways are major interstate highways, parts of this route are rather desolate.

Alongside other classic routes like Route 66, Route 50 ranks among the best road trips in the United States. After all, US Route 50 traverses many of Nevada's most stunning (and undiscovered) landscapes and ghost towns, as noted by TheTravel.

US Route 50 is often dubbed one of the most rural and overlooked transcontinental roads in America. Stretching from Maryland to California, it is part of the original US highway system established a century ago.

Spanning over 3,000 miles, it is one of the longest roads in America, built in 1926, measuring 3,019 miles or 4,859 kilometers. Its endpoints are West Sacramento, California, and Ocean City, Maryland. Passing through 12 states—California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland (and the District of Columbia).

While much of Route 50 offers scenic beauty, its most noteworthy segment is the part that traverses Nevada. This "lonely road" is renowned for cutting through the desert, with one of the most isolated stretches of U.S. Highway 50 being the section that crosses Nevada.

To see unique landscapes in the USA, drive Route 50 from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean
US Route 50 or US Highway 50 in Nevada. Source:

US Route 50 traverses Nevada, passing through some of its most desolate regions. This segment of road is arguably one of the most remarkable routes in the desert. A journey along Highway 50 showcases some of Nevada's most breathtaking scenery. Once a more significant thoroughfare, it was gradually supplanted by interstates starting in 1970.

Route 50 in Nevada stands out as one of the most picturesque routes in the state. Along the way, travelers encounter remote towns, national parks, and hot springs. It's a captivating drive through deserts, salt flats, and past mountains.

Among the notable attractions along Route 50 in Nevada are Middlegate Station, 47 Pony Express stations, Spencer Hot Springs, Great Basin National Park, numerous ghost towns and abandoned mines, Lehman Caves, and Sand Mountain. During the journey, you'll traverse nearly 20 mountain passes between Ely and Reno. These mountain ranges are cloaked in forests, while the interspersed valleys are desert terrain. The mountains offer excellent opportunities for hiking and camping, with trails often devoid of crowds.

Close to the Utah border lies Great Basin National Park, Nevada's sole national park and one of the most secluded national parks in the United States. Additionally, Spencer Hot Springs provides a popular respite for relieving aches and pains and is among the top stops for natural springs enthusiasts. In the largest of the soaking pools, water with a temperature of approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit flows into a concrete tub. While there are no amenities such as fresh water or toilets, visitors are welcome to camp.

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