So WHY Area 51?
The founder of the Utah UFO Festival, Nathan Cowlishaw, has been traveling the desert Southwest as a photographer for over 15 years. Out of all the places that he draws inspiration, Area 51 and Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway are extraordinary. Traversing the ruggedly gorgeous mountain and desert country of Southern Nevada has left a very deep impression on his vision. Southwestern Utah and Southeastern Nevada share a lot of the same beautiful scenic desert vistas that are legendary in the American Southwest. This part of the United States is a transition area between the Mojave Desert of Southern California and the high desert regions of the Great Basin which compose most of Nevada. Combine that with the secrecy and world-famous alien folklore of Area 51 and you have an experience of a lifetime! Our tours will be full of storytelling, historical interpretation, and information on this region and why it is truly dubbed Dreamland. For Nate, it is one of the most beautiful and mysterious regions of the American West.
Cedar City is the gateway to Area 51 and Rachel, Nevada!
As part of the first annual Utah UFO Festival we are offering 1 and 2 day Wild West Area 51 Tours to Southern Nevada. These tours are all inclusive and cover lodging, meals, hiking opportunities to rock art sites and state parks, as well as visits to nearby historic mining camps and ghost towns such as Pioche, Nevada. Every tour includes an adventure out to Area 51 near Rachel, Nevada and an extended break at the Little Ale’inn Cafe and Motel out on Nevada’s Extra Terrestrial Highway!
Each tour will be unique as our guides are very knowledgeable and not scripted. Through masterful interpretation and story telling you will learn A LOT on this two day tour!
The Basic Itinerary of our 2-day tour:
All of our tours begin and end in Cedar City, Utah. We can help you arrange travel to and from Cedar City but that will be an added expense. Once you are in Cedar City, Utah, we can help you with a discounted rate with one of our preferred hotels in town.
Leaving Cedar City – We travel on Highway 56 out towards Beryl Junction, west of Cedar City about 35 miles. Before we get there, we take a short dirt road tangent and visit an ancient pictograph (Native rock art) site that is sacred to the local Southern Paiute. It is a 1/4 mile hike and half-mile round trip and a great first stretch of the legs.
Next we head to Modena, Utah, a pseudo-ghost town with a few residents – for a brief photo shoot of some old historic western buildings and architecture. We will show you some stuff not known to the general public in this region as well.
We will most likely be making stops on this trip not mentioned. There’s much to see and do and we will gauge the interests of every group. When we get to state line we will be visiting one of the best keep secrets in the American Southwest for Landscape Photography – Cathedral Gorge State Park in Nevada.
Since no tour is exactly alike, we will either spend the night in the historic mining camp town of Pioche, Nevada, at the haunted Overland Hotel or out in Rachel Nevada at the Little Ale’Inn. Every tour includes both of these destinations.
Depending on the season, we spend more or less time in Pioche because some of the museums and attractions are closed in the winter but the town is well worth a visit even in the off-season. Pioche was considered one of the most lawless and ruthless frontier towns in the Wild West during the 19th century. Rumor has it that over 76 people died in shoot-outs and cold-blooded murder before anyone actually died of natural causes when the town was first settled in 1867! If you are a buff of Western History this location is a must-see! It’s not a tourist trap like some of the more well known western frontier towns like Tombstone, yet this town is unmistakably one of the best preserved old west towns in America and is loaded with the history of outlaws, gunslingers, and corrupt lawmen.
Leaving Pioche, we head out Rainbow Canyon, on the Great Basin Highway down to the historic train town of Caliente, Nevada, onward to Alamo where we arrive at the junction of Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway. We will be taking many photo stop along this amazing stretch of scenic roadside on our way to Rachel, Nevada.
Once we arrive in Rachel, Nevada, which is the closest settlement to America’s most secretive military base, we will visit the world-famous Little Ale’Inn. We will stop there for a break and an alien burger! Once we are rested up – we may go tangle with the Camo-Guys (Area 51 Guards) near the actual base as we approach the entrance gates! ;)
After that, we begin our journey back to Cedar City. Some touring may include photographic tutoring if you have wanted to ever pick a photographer’s brain, here is your chance.
The One-Day Tour: The 1-day tour to and from Cedar City is $250 which will include a meal, some snacks, and water. This tour may not be available during the winter months but will run during the spring, summer and fall.
The Two-Day Tour: The 2-day tour to and from Cedar City is priced nicely at $600 which includes lodging in either Rachel, Nevada or Pioche, Nevada. (Disclaimer: These are not going to be luxury hotels but they are once-in-a-lifetime experiences for seasoned travelers and visitors who like to see something incredibly genuine and off the beaten path, not to mention out-of-this-world!)
Private Tours: We can charter a bus, and cater to large private groups from 26-50 people. Price will be determined after all costs are calculated. We can offer these on a case-by-case basis.
Trip details for all tours: This is a professionally guided tour full of storytelling and interpretive information. An experienced guide will lead each group. The two day tour will be our most extensive and thorough tour that involves hiking, star gazing, and all sorts of adventures off the beaten path. On every tour, we will take you out to the boundary of Area 51 and stop in at the Little Ale’Inn in Rachel, Nevada for a meal and break. Every tour will include photography opportunities as well as photographic instruction, etc. More info to come. Stay tuned!
About Anomaly Conservatory and the Utah UFO Fest
All tour proceeds go toward supporting Anomaly Conservatory, A non-profit foundation dedicated to the research of Aerial Phenomena and Ufology and the annual Utah UFO Festival based in Cedar City, Utah.