Flickr album link: Sand Mountain Recreation Area
Anybody that has sought things to do while traveling on Highway 50 through northern Nevada can attest to the fact that the "America's Loneliest Road" nickname certainly is nothing more than hog wash. There is literally one BLM scenic area and recreation area after another along this road and plenty more surprises lie in store. There are wildlife refuges that are key migration corridors, trilobite fossil digs that are open to the public and several ancient archeological sites that can be found along this long stretch of road. This travel route certainly can be the loneliest road, but only if you seek civilized creature comforts, since there are only a couple of towns along this lengthy pathway. For those who wish to experience the great outdoors in the heart of the Great Basin Desert, Highway 50 actually is a fun filled touring route like no other.
Fallon, Nevada is one of the few towns to be found on Highway 50 and this is where modern amenities can be found. Fallon certainly is a great jumping off point for outdoor adventures and it is a haven for 4x4 enthusiasts. ATV rentals and excursion companies can be found in the city limits, which is good to keep in mind, since most destinations in this region requires a driving on long bumpy dirt roads. For 4x4 enthusiasts who dread relying on backwoods navigational skills, there actually is a unique local option. Sand Mountain offers endless ATV riding adventures and this park is located on the edge of the city limits.
The BLM Sand Mountain Recreation Area is managed as an ATV riding facility that is open 24 hours a day. The setting is majestic to see and the gigantic sand dunes that touch the sky are exactly what ATV riders dream of. Camping is allowed in sanctioned areas, which are perfect for setting up a trailer hauler basecamp. The action is literally non stop from the early morning hours till well after sundown. Since many modern ATV owners dress up their vehicles like a luxury yacht, most are equipped with elaborate night lighting rigs that compare to laser light shows after dark. This is interesting subject material for photographers that are into capturing time lapse videos after dark and the sight of these lit up buggies is mesmerizing to see.
By day the towering dunes definitely are a playground for visitors of all ages. There are many rules and statutes to be aware of, so it is best to check the regulations posted at the gate. There is ample room to roam and plenty of open space for large group events, while stocking up on food, fuel and water is easy to do next door in Fallon. For this reason, the Sand Mountain Recreation Area is a spot well worth keeping in mind when planning a summer season ATV outing!
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