Everyone is familiar with it but no one really knows anything about it: we're talking about none other than Area 51. The same place that garnered an illusionary plot to 'storm' its gates by those most curious also happens to be in a part of Nevada that's full of adventure. While Area 51 might be the one and only thing that comes to mind when it comes to Lincoln County, it's certainly not the only thing to do there. Additionally, there's plenty to do in this county that won't land a person in Men in Black-style hot water.


From extraterrestrial skywatching to adventurous outdoor excursions, Lincoln County, Nevada, has definitely made a name for itself. While military bases are 100% off-limits, here's everything else travelers can do besides storming Area 51.

Related: What We Know About Area 51 And What We'd Like To Know If We Could Visit

'UFO Capital Of The World'

It's no surprise that this part of Nevada has also been associated with unidentified flying object activity. For those who thought that Roswell, New Mexico would be the 'UFO capital of the world' - Surprise! It's actually Lincoln County, Nevada. And let's be honest; those who are planning to visit this Nevada region are probably doing some with some pretty extraterrestrial things in mind, and there's plenty to do here revolving around that.

Alien Research Center

Upon arriving in Lincoln County, visitors will notice that things are a little bit... strange. The Alien Research Center is located at the beginning of Extraterrestrial Highway, and it's worth stopping in if 'weird' strikes a chord with incoming visitors (and we don't mean those in flying saucers). This center is a great introductory to the UFO history in the area and serves as somewhat of a starting point for those going 'UFOing' - a term used by UFO hunters. Not sure how to find it? Don't worry... Simply look for the giant two-story silver alien that stands guard at the front door. It's also located about two miles from the town of Alamo, so that's another place to stop in before setting out on the UFO excursion.

  • Features: Gift shop, unique exhibits, fun photo ops
  • Hours: Daily from 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Address: 100 Extraterrestrial Highway, Hiko, Nevada

The Town Of Rachel

The small and relatively newly founded (1978) town of Rachel, Nevada, received quite a bit of press during the planned storming of Area 51. However, this town had a decent history before that and is the official spot of the world's 'UFO capital.' The community was founded by D.C. and was named after the first child that was born in it, and the name stuck. The town is only home to about 100 people; however, it does have some interesting attractions.

  • Extraterrestrial Highway
  • Stunning Nevada mountain landscape
  • Little Áléinn Restaurant, Bar, and Motel
  • Site of various sci-fi conventions

Related: Nevada's Rainbow Fly Geyser Isn't Open To The Public, But Here's How To See It

Explore Nevada's Great Outdoors

Believe it or not, hiking is a fairly common pastime in Lincoln County. While it's not abundantly likely that any spacecraft will appear overhead one of its trails (much to the relief of visitors), the trails are beautiful and take hikers through Lincoln County's most picturesque vistas.

Parks For Hiking

  • Pahranagat Valley Wildlife Refuge. Located in Alamo, this park has some great, easy hikes from which to enjoy natural greenery and observe the wildlife that lives in the area.
  • Kershaw-Ryan State Park. Located in Caliente, this state park is home to numerous trails that take hikers through natural springs and low-dwelling greenery. It's situated in Rainbow Canyon, which is great for hiking, rock climbing, and rock art viewing.
  • Cathedral Gorge State Park. Located in Panaca, this state park is made up of various canyon formations and crevices that encourage hikers to find their adventurous spirit and go out exploring.
  • Spring Valley State Park. Located in Eagle Valley, this expansive reservoir is known for its fishing (trout) and is also home to a campground and reminders of the rich culture that remains in the region today.

Explore The Wild West

Something that many people wouldn't expect is Lincoln County is also home to a historic part of what was once considered the Wild West. Visitors can tour various abandoned mining towns and hear the history of the mining boom that once brought hoards of people to this end of the country.

The region is rich in mining history and tours in the area will detail the lives of the miners and their families, as well as how it all came to an end. To complete the tour, visitors are encouraged to stop by a traditional Wild West rodeo or book a trip to any number of the area's ranches.

Next: Nevada Is A State Of Opportunities, So Here's Everything You Should Do That's Better Than Vegas