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Fallon - Nevada

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   Fallon Nevada: What to See & Do | Where to Stay

We don't normally think of Nevada as an agricultural state, yet some of the most productive farmland in the West is at Fallon, a high-desert town located on Highway 50, The "Loneliest Road in America." Although Fallon lies in the Great Basin desert, thenearby reservoir provides lots of water for farming. This is cantaloupe country.

You'll see Navy jets criss-crossing the sky above Fallon. The Naval Air Station here is one of the top pilot training facilities in the nation, and the air base provides Fallon with a stable economy.

What to See & Do

Fallon has a fascinating history, which is evident as you drive around the town. Churchill County Museum features extensive exhibits on Indian and pioneer life in the area. There's a reproduction of a Paiute tule hut and a tour through the Hidden Cave. Many of the pioneer displays focus on the people who traveled the overland emigrant trail that passed close to Fallon. Beginning in the late 1840s, thousands of emigrants walked and rode this trail. which led through the High Sierra through gold rush country and on to the coast.

Fallon is also pony express territory. The famed but short-lived mail service was followed by the Overland Telegraph. Churchill County still operates the nation's only county-owned telephone system.

Lahontan Lake, a large reservoir west of Fallon, is a favorite recreation area. Stillwater Wildlife Management Area and the Lahontan Marshes attract thousands of migratory geese and ducks which use the marshes as a resting point on their annual flyways. Fishing is good in Lahontan Lake, the Harmon and Sheckler Reservoirs, and the Carson River.

One of the most interesting scenes in the area is east of Fallon, a half-mile off the highway. Sand Mountain is 2 miles long, a mile wide and more than 600 feet high. This perfect hill of fine bleached sand has blown into a box canyon over thousands of years from the flats of Lake Lahontan, an ancient sea now dry. The huge pile of sand is available to ATV enthusiasts who buzz up and down the dune, with the constant winds covering the tracks in short order.

Near Sand Mountain is a lonely grave -- a reminder of the treacherous journeys made by early Western pioneers during the mid-1800s. Four children -- sisters Jennie (9), Louise (6), and Emma (3) LeBeau, and Wilson Turner (3) died in a wagon of diptheria in 1864. The original gravesite (a quarter mine west of this spot) was washed out in 1940, and the remains were reburied here in 1941. The grave was restored by father and son Johnnie A Johnson and Johnnie R. Johnson, and their thoughtful work lives on as a tribute to our pioneers.

A short desert trail leads from the foot of Sand Mountain to the tumble-down site of an original pony express overnight station, where the riders came to rest themselves and their horses. Visiting this spot gives you a good feeling for the hardship and many privations faced by these fearless riders.

There are two areas that geology and history lovers will find interesting. Grimes Point County Park is located a few miles east of town, with an Indian burial ground and displays of petroglyphs, as well as several bat caves. Hidden Cave is considered to be one of the country's most important archeological finds. East of the park along Highway 50, the base of the Fairview Mountains has jumbles of semiprecious stones, including geodes, agates, calcite, and jasper, which are there for the picking. On the eastern slopes of the range are more chances for rock-hounding. This is the location of a well-defined fault line.

Fallon Hotels

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Fallon Camping

Fallon RV Park, 6 miles west of town on U.S. 50 (5787 Reno Hwy.), has 10 acres of space with 45 sites including pull-through sites. Laundry, gasoline, store, and propane (702-867-2332).

Lahontan State Recreation Area has a campground at Churchill Beach on the Carson River. There are 11 sites here plus unlimited camping along the beach. Dump station, flush and pit toilets, swimming, and boat ramp. The campground is 18 miles west of Fallon via U.S. 50.

 


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