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 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.