The Great American Road Trip: Nevada

Like many people, 2021 brought us a little glimmer of hope for the future. All the adults in my family (and close friends) have been fully vaccinated and travel is starting to feel possible again, but we weren't quite ready for a long international plane ride.

So we hopped in a car and took 3 weeks to drive across the country to Iowa and back. With loads of stops along the way. We went to 12 states (not counting our home base of California) and something like 9 National Parks/Monuments.

I'll be working on a full series of posts to share what we did, what we loved, what we didn't love and what we wish we had done. First, starting with Nevada.

Carson City

We didn't stay in Carson City but it was our lunch stop on the way to Fallon. I really wanted to see the Capitol because it was so beautiful in pictures. It was closed to visitors because of COVID but the grounds were beautiful and worth just walking around and stretching our legs.

We ate lunch at The Union - the food and beer was good and the restaurant was kid friendly. They had some outdoor seating too.


I love finding little roadside stands or farms to visit on road trips. Lattin Farms was a nice place to go to in Fallon and we were able to pick up some goodies too. Gus even found a basketball game to play. This was a cute little stop for sure.

We ordered food from The Grid and ate it in our hotel rooms and it was pretty good. We stayed at the Best Western Fallon which was just fine -- clean rooms and included breakfast.

On our way out of Fallon (heading to Ely on the Loneliest Highway) we stopped at Grimes Point Archaeological Area - and had a nice walk - and saw some great rock art and petroglyphs.

Loneliest Highway 

Sand Mountain is hard to miss if you're driving along 50. It just seems to appear. A big giant sandy mountain. The kids were really impressed by it. 

We drove in to see the Middlegate Station (an old Pony Express stop turned restaurant in a town of 17 people.) but it wasn't lunch time so we didn't eat. A funky little place though. Worth seeing if you have the time to pull off for a moment.

A little further down 50 from Middlegate and you come to the famous shoe tree. Basically a tree full of shoes. We saw wild horses here and pronghorns and met a couple on a road trip heading East to West -- and the wife was hanging her last pair of work shoes (she had just retired as a nurse) in the tree. It was a fun little stop. 

We got lunch from a little food truck in Austin, NV and I stopped in to Jason's Art Gallery to get some gifts for people. 


We stayed in Ely for our second night in Nevada. We ate at La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant (one of the only places we ate indoors - the counties COVID numbers were almost nonexistent and the tables were spaced out). The food was fine (I like anywhere that I can get a good Margarita) and Gus loved this spot because he told them it was his birthday (just a few weeks early...) and he got to wear a sombrero and get his picture put on the wall.

We stayed at the La Quinta Inn & Suites which was just good for a quick one night stay. We missed out on going to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum because we were trying to squeeze in Great Basin National Park. In retrospect, next time I would do the museum.

On our way out of Nevada, we stopped at our first National Park of the trip, Great Basin. It is a small park and was listed as one that wasn't visited as much - so we were a little surprised by the amount of people. Our first problem was we weren't able to get a cave tour. Second, all the parking lots for the main hikes were completely packed. We drove the scenic route, which was fine and saw a lot of the Bristlecone Pine. 

We went back towards the visitors area and took the dirt road towards Baker Creek and found a perfect little spot for a lunch break before leaving the park. 


Elko was our stop in Nevada on the return trip home -- and we really didn't do much. I really liked the hotel here - Shutters. We just ordered food to eat in our room from the hotel restaurant. It was thunder storming when we came through so we didn't really want to leave the hotel much.

The California Trail Interpretive Center is in Elko -- and worth stopping to check out if you have the time. When we drove through they were closed because of COVID so we didn't get a chance to check it out this time. But it's a great spot for pioneer history.

Ok! So there is our Nevada portion of our road trip. Stay tuned for Utah next!

{I’m probably linking this post up at one of the awesome link parties that are hosted by some amazing blogs. Check them out!}

1 comment:

  1. Looks like such a fun trip! I have never been to Nevada, but I would love to go at some point! Thanks for sharing!
    Jenna ♥
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