Well now, here you find yourself flying down, or up, Highway 93 with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company...that is, unless you're with somebody, even your dog or a cat. Once in awhile you turn on the radio to hear static comin' at ya' from all those stations that are out there...somewhere...but you can't tune them in. Okay, if you've got one, pop in a tape or a CD...something you haven't heard four or five times already. Aside from that, you could just enjoy the quiet of the wide open spaces. (This does not include what might possibly be found between your ears...just kidding).
It doesn't really matter what mode of transportation you use when traveling this scenic high desert boulevard because there is two things for certain...during the day you can see forever in nearly all directions (except down), and during the night you can't hardly see anything at all (including down)...and someone once said that Montana was the Big Sky country, ha! - they must have never been to Nevada.
There's a couple of other interesting things the nomadic traveler may want to catch, alright, let's say 'avoid'...and that's those hidden little speed traps. Alamo and Wells, Nevada are two spots that you would never think anything could sneek up on ya'. WRONG! County and State Police just pop-up out of nowhere (how fitting) and before you know it, right there in your rear-view mirror is not an image reflecting something behind you that you've already seen, oh no, it's a new friend in a hurry to meet you. Ah heck, they've been out there so long all they want is somebody to talk to and exchange phone numbers, addresses and autographs. Be nice, pull over and have a chat. You just never know, they might be somebody you went to school with or even a long lost relative. There are a lot of long lost relatives wandering around in Nevada. Anyway, if you get caught in one of these invisible traps the best way to handle it is just be nice and you can be on your way...to the next trap.
How did you get on this roughly 1,050 mile intermountain corridor anyway? Goin' somewhere? That's what we all think when we get in our vehicles and head off in some supposed preplanned direction. Yep, heard that before.
Technically, and we don't want to do a whole lot of that, Highway 93 begins in Phoenix, Arizona (some would say that it begins in Wickenburg, Arizona - about 45 miles northwest of Phoenix - and that's only because somebody numbered that little stretch between the two as HWY. 60, which, by the way, is the only place HWY. 60 exists down there). Thus we head north...and just how far? How about all the way to the Canadian border of British Columbia? That'll do. Here again, some would say that ol' 93 ends at Kalispell, Montana, but, in reality, it goes on for another 75 plus miles into Canada. Now that's it for the technical stuff. (...or is it?)
As you boogie up and down this highway you will experience the largest variety of cloud formations to be seen anywhere all at once and colorful too. Sometimes you can use these clouds as a sort of weather report, especially when it comes to detecting the winds and their directions. The mountains that surround you along this boulevard are very tricky. Some appear closer than others, but if you head off that way, it feels like your circumventing the moon...sometimes it even looks like that. Many of these grand projections have snow on their tops nearly all year round and that's only for the simple fact that you're traveling on top of some pretty old glaziers. So old that they are constantly digging up dinosaur bones and woolly mammoths (without any wool) and other ancient artifacts that belonged to somebodies family way back to who knows when. The elevation just keeps on going up and you don't even notice it...too much. That might be one good reason you're having difficulty breathing. It's like being in an airplane over 5,000 feet up and no oxygen mask. Ah, go on, take a deep breathe. Feels great doesn't it? Hey, why you turnin' pale and staggerin' around?
One thing to keep in mind, if you've got the room for it, is that when you look out across this wide open and apparently empty vastness of unoccupied territory you are on top of one hell of a biiiiiiig mountain. Kind'a hard to imagine ain't it?
When you start fiddlin' 'round with all your stuff lookin' for somethin' you should've found when you wasn't movin' as you boogie on down this highway you just might want to keep a keen eye open for those unexpected situations when the animals, those you never see until they want to decorate your vehicle with a new ornament, decide to play leap-frog and dodge just as you go by. This is a fast game and is usually over before you know it. There's rarily a winner on either side in this game. Talk about your road kill cafe. Well there's not so much of that as there is busted up truck tires that have come apart or exploded all over the road. You don't want to hit any of these things cuz' they'll really do some damage to your vehicle...and, if you hit this stuff while riding a motorcycle, get off and walk...you just might have to, then again, if you survive.
All along ol' Highway 93 there are small towns, like and unlike Wells, that have their own individual personalities and features which sort of stick out in their really unique architecture, shops and local hangouts (these local hangouts, as we all know, if you really want to know what's goin' on in any community, are the places to visit...just don't act like a tourist, believe me, the locals know you're not from their town...and take off that Hawaiian shirt).
Highway 93 is not the kind of boulevard that you're going to convince anyone along the way that you're in a hurry. Things are fairly well laid back and relaxed...unless you're one of those important people seeking a vacancy in government...so, if you're hungry and looking for something good and filling to eat, forget the stuff back there on the road, (including the tires), and find the local cafe, dinner or restaurant and stay away from those 'fast food' places...sure, they're okay if you really must have your food in that big of a hurry and support those big corporate junk-food establishments...and have the same thing you eat when you're in your own backyard, otherwise, you're truly missing some fine atmospheres, interior decor, a place to relax, friendly conversation, some mighty fine food and maybe a few new jokes. Stop right there! Walk around and loosen up. Smell the air (real air). You just never know what you'll find when you're not lookin'. Hey! There's that sock. How did it get out here?...Hmmmmm (Dryer Monster attacks again).
One thing you really don't want to do is underestimate what's right in front of your face...look out! Bug! Even though you don't see it right away there is so much goin' on out there in the middle of nowhere that most often you're travelin' so fast that the National HotRod Association has wanted posters with your picture on it tacked to one of those fence posts...yeah, that's a bullet hole. People target practice out here all the time...everywhere. They're just refining their technique so it don't take so much ammunition when aiming at all those BLM signs that read 'Public Land' - which nobody knows what that means anyway. You're more than welcome to try your luck, but if you hit the target, just know this, you don't win a stuffed teddy bear or a crystal candy dish...nope, you just get that warm fuzzy feeling of havin' a good aim and the reward of your tax dollars being spent all over Nevada for your benefit.
But the wildlife! What about the wildlife? All those birds flyin' around. What are they? Too many to count? Not really. Up along the Goshute range you can find one of the three primary zones on earth that is used for counting and tagging bird migrations...mostly birds of prey. Some have come to call this operation "Hawk Watch", but there's a lot more flyin' through there than Hawks.
Yet, when it comes to wildlife, Nevada has got more than meets the eye, (oh that again), there's Great Horn Sheep, (that's those critters that look like they have big ear-muffs or stereo-headphones on), dear, bear, snakes (Oh no! Snakes!), prairie dogs, coyote, wolves, field mice, kangaroo mice, bobcats, mountain lions, badger, beaver, chipmonks, eagles (Bald, Golden, Black), hawks (red-tail, black), falcons (all kinds), owls (all kinds), ravens and crows (not to be confused with eachother, please), seagulls (believe it or not), buzzards, wild dogs, bugs and insects (just like everywhere else - but, some of these little creatures look like they excaped from the special effects unit of some movie company), wild horses and a few old timers that would just as soon be catagorized here than with the human group. It's a virtual zoo out there! Therefore, please feed the animals...just take off the paper and other wrappers and keep your trash to yourself....it's a $2000.00 fine for littering anywhere in Nevada. So if you wanna' save money to dump your trash then go to California where it's only $250.00 for littering.
If you think that's wildlife then you should catch one of our state residents - an alien. Those from out there - not down here. Those folk travel around Nevada all the time and you even see their pictures on those NHRA posters too...especially around Rachel. Twinkle, twinkle little star now I really wonder what you are. A little off the beaten track of ol' 93 is the infamous 'Area 51'. For your information, this area does not exist. So don't waste your time wandering around in the desert/mountains trying to find it cuz' those folks who wander around out there who got there before you will just tell you to turn around and go back, that there's nothing there. Of course they're telling you this while pointing a loaded fully automatic weapon at your head. Must have mistaken you for one of those BLM signs. They're polite though, they tell you to have a nice day as you leave.
Bear in mind, when you see a star go from one dot to the next, faster than you can blink your eyes, and then turn a 90 degree angle, without changing speed, to shoot off in some other direction that you just witnessed...it's only birds.
After that little detour we're back on Hwy. 93 looking at more of those fantastic wide open places and spaces that is common ground throughout Nevada. In case you didn't notice, those vehicles comin' right at ya' have their headlights on, day or night, on all two laners. It's the law. I would hope they have them on at night...makes them easier to avoid running into. Travelers should turn their lights on these roads, or any other, when the weather is acting up. It's a safety thing - and a good one at that. Turn 'em on.
As you head on into Wells from the North you will stop, you'd better stop, at the intersection of Hwy. 93 and old U.S. 40 (Now it's Interstate 80), also known as 6th Street through town. To your left you will see the Petro - Sinclair station with a C-Store, and the Alamo Casino, Cafe and Bar (Lounge, Tavern - whatever. The restaurant inside is called the Iron Skillet. You can't miss it. Hey! What are you doing? Turn around I wasn't finished. It's a warm comfortable atmosphere where everybody is as friendly as George Burns when he was God.
Also going to your left is the Rest Inn Suite Motel and the Motel 6. These are great places for those whose eyelids are heavy and that two laner is beginning to look like one to eight lanes at every mile marker. What's a mile marker? How did you get this far? Take a break.
Now, continuing on, to your right, there's the Chevron Station with a C-Store and a Quiznos and on your left is Bella's Espresso House which has some really excellent food with daily homemade pies, etc. Going forward will take you into the township of Wells and we encourage you to pay a visit to the relatively new California Trail of the 49'ers located at the intersection of 6th and Lake Streets inside the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Information Center. Boy, that was a mouthful. After that you could head off towards the railroad tracks and find that the old historical section of town is all but gone due to the earthquake in 2008. This area was one of the last of the Railroad Alley's in America.
Going back to the 93 intersection, the place you came in from, take a right turn and head South and you will find a Burger King and a Subway, for all you fast food junkies, on the left-hand side next to that the Petro / Sinclair as it was mentioned before. Just past that is the entry for Interstate 80 which heads East towards Oasis and Wendover,Nevada and then on to Salt Lake City, Utah. But if your headed West, with the sunset in your eyes, then you'll be on your way towards Elko, Carlin, Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, Reno, Sacramento and San Francisco. All aboard!
Now, just underneath, and a little further past this, is Pilot / Flying J but it's a Travel Center on your left. There is a C-Store inside and a quaint little casino known as the Lucky J.
On your right and directly across from this FJTC is Love's Truck Stop with a McDonald's. Yeah, Wells has some choices. Choices? Way out here I have to make choices? Yep.
Depending on which way you are traveling you might want to take all the above information and just reverse it.
Wait a minute, hold on...so you want better information about Hwy. 93 you ask? O'kee-doh'kee, not that we haven't already given you that, so, here ya' go...
U.S. 93 (The Great Basin Highway) runs from near Wickenburg, Arizona, northwest to Las Vegas, then links with Interstate 15 to head northeast to Glendale and Moapa. From there, U.S. 93 strikes out alone, into the most desolate regions of the underpopulated Great Basin along the eastern side of Nevada.
It, like U.S. 95, is mostly a two-lane, rural highway except in parts of Arizona, where it is multilane, divided highway. U.S. 93 is part of the CANAMEX Corridor. The U.S. 93 portion of CANAMEX is slated for improvements, including some additional lanes.
U.S. 93 was commissioned in stages:
1927 -- north of Wells (Junction Interstate 80)
1932 -- between Wells and Glendale (Junction Interstate 15)
1936 -- between Glendale and Boulder City
The only major rerouting of U.S. 93 occurred in 1966, when U.S. 93 was rerouted to connect with Interstate 15 (U.S. 91) at North Las Vegas rather than Glendale. The original routing of U.S. 93 into Glendale exists today as Nevada 168.
Originally, U.S. 93 followed Boulder Highway/Fremont Street to Main Street, Main Street north to the Salt Lake Hwy, and the Salt Lake Hwy north to Great Basin Highway. This changed three times. The first time was when the Interstate 515 freeway was finished from Interstate 15 to Boulder Highway, when it was rerouted from Boulder/Fremont and onto Interstate 515. The second time was when Interstate 515 was finished to Lake Mead Drive, so for a brief time, U.S. 93 (and 95) were routed onto Lake Mead Drive. The third time was with the completion of Interstate 515 to Railroad Pass, then it was routed off the surface streets permanently. It will be rerouted a fourth time with the completion of the Hoover Dam bypass, and possibly a fifth with the Boulder City bypass.
U.S. 93 enters Nevada in the most grandiose fashion of all the U.S. routes that cross state lines. U.S. 93 meanders into the Black Canyon of the Colorado River from Arizona and crosses the river hundreds of feet above the floor of the canyon along the Hoover Dam, which holds back sparkling blue Lake Mead. Typically a traffic clog, the dam serves as the bridge for U.S. 93 to cross the canyon and enter Nevada. For more on plans to cross the Colorado River, go to the Hoover Dam Bypass Home Page and the Canamex Corridor web page.
In 1935, the Hoover Dam was constructed across the flood prone Colorado River in the Black Canyon. Considered one of the engineering marvels of the world, it reduced flooding on the Lower Colorado River; created irrigation for Southern Nevada, Arizona, and California's Imperial Valley; created one of the world's largest manmade reservoirs in the world; provided hydroelectric power to the entire Southwest; employed hundreds of Great Depression-era workers; and provided a transportation link between Arizona and Nevada, with two-lane U.S. 93 crossing over the top of the dam.
According to Nick Christensen, "With the explosive growth of the cities of Las Vegas and Phoenix, traffic has steadily increased on the dam, which is still the only direct route between those two cities. Trucks also frequently use the road. Partly because of pedestrian traffic from visitors to this remarkable site, these cars and trucks must slow to a crawl approaching the dam, backing up on either side for an hour or more. The increased traffic also poses increased risks, for example, if a truck carrying hazardous waste or motor fuel were to fall off on one of the hairpin curves approaching the dam, it could leak toxic material onto a powerhouse, potentially setting off an explosion that would cripple the western power grid. On the same front, an accident involving a truck carrying hazardous material falling into Lake Mead could harm the only water supply for all of Arizona, as well as all of southern Nevada and California. Because of this, it is a top priority of the Federal Highway Administration and the Bureau of Reclamation to build a bypass of Hoover Dam."
In 1950, Las Vegas had only 24,624 people, and Phoenix had 106,818 residents. In 1970, five years after the Bureau of Reclamation did their first study on the traffic problems at Hoover Dam ("US 93-466 Hoover Dam Origin and Destination Study"), the population of Las Vegas had grown to 125,787; Phoenix, had grown to 584,303 people. By 1999, Las Vegas has a population of over 460,000, and Phoenix, over 1,260,000. In fact, as of 1997, 11,500 vehicles cross Hoover Dam daily. By contrast, the ramp from northbound Interstate 15 to northbound US 95 in the core of Las Vegas carries 29,150 vehicles daily in the late 1990s. Thanks to Nick Christensen for this information.
According to the Hoover Dam Bypass page, plans indicate that the Federal Government has already dedicated $41 million to the project and is looking to have done by 2007. Eleven crossings had been studied, and three crossings have been identified as preferable. In 2001, a composite concrete arch bridge was selected to be constructed over the Black Rock Canyon, just south of Hoover Dam over the Colorado River. The Sugarloaf alternative was chosen, and the Environmental Impact Statement was completed and adopted on March 22, 2001.
Construction began in 2002 and is planned for completion by 2006. The bridge would be 836 feet over the river, 254 feet higher than the crest of the dam. The bridge would be 1,500 feet downstream from the dam and 1,900 feet long. There would be 2.2 miles of new road in Nevada, and a 1.1 mile approach in Arizona. A 400-foot-long bridge would be constructed over Gold Strike Canyon, and it would connect to a 300-foot-long tunnel. In Arizona, an 800-foot-long bridge will be constructed. To alleviate wildlife concerns, two bighorn sheep overpasses, and three underpasses will be built through the project. Utility relocation, including transmission lines will occur in early stages of the project.
Because of heightened security related to the 9/11/01 incident, U.S. 93 is closed to commercial traffic over Hoover Dam, with recrational vehicles and trailers also discouraged from crossing the dam. There is a southbound checkpoint just south of the Hacienda Casino, and a northbound checkpoint about ten miles north of the Willow Beach turnoff on the Arizona side. For more information, check out this official site. Thanks to Pat O'Connell for this information.
U.S. 93 begins its ascent out of the canyon almost as soon as it reaches the other side. Switchbacks and tight curves with metal guardrails make the driving treacherous for those not used to driving on the narrow road. Traffic is high along this stretch, since U.S. 93 is the main route from Phoenix to Las Vegas, and many tourists flock to see Hoover Dam.
Just prior to the Nevada 166 junction is the Hacienda Casino, which has been open since 2001. Prior to that, this was the site of a burned-out hulk of a casino that had been destroyed in a devastating blaze. Prior to its destruction, this casino was the first one along U.S. 93 from Arizona. This being Nevada, there is almost always a casino of some kind near the state line. Signs in this area used to prohibit trespassing into the casino before it was reconstructed. In the meantime, U.S. 93 widens out here to four lanes in each direction with a turning lane in the middle. This will be the standard on the bypass around Boulder City (with a few exceptions).
Visitors Centers abound along this stretch of U.S. 93. The first one is on the Nevada side of the Hoover Dam. This Bureau of Reclamation Visitors Center has a parking garage and is the kick-off point for dam tours and guides. Further up the road, just before the Nevada 166 junction, lies the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Visitors Center, which provides information on camping, boating, hiking, and swimming in one of the world's largest reservoirs. Just a bit northwest of that visitor center at the Nevada Highway (Business U.S. 93/Nevada 500 junction) lies the State of Nevada Visitors Center, which has all the official state tourism literature.
Nevada 166 is an interesting road for several reasons. According to the state route logs, this route does not exist. When I visited the area in June 1998, I found that the highway is clearly signed from U.S. 93 with standard Nevada DOT shields. However, the road immediately changes in style, with National Park Service-style mileage and regulatory signs. This is due to the fact that this road is maintained by the Department of the Interior, not Nevada DOT. Therefore, Nevada 166 is not listed on the Nevada DOT publication. The signing on this road is interesting too: It is rectangular in shape (like a speed limit sign -- not square like most other Nevada signs) and has the Nevada state outline colored black and the "166" colored white. This is opposite most state route markers in the state. However, by 2000, these shields and any trace of Nevada 166 were removed.
At the top of the steep, windy grade, U.S. 93 reaches Boulder City, a town that was founded on the construction of the dam and now thrives as the gateway for tourists visiting the dam. Boulder City is the only city in Nevada without a casino -- it was born as a laborers town exclusively for workers building Hoover Dam. Since the beginning, the city has prohibited gaming.
Boulder City is also growing as a bedroom community to Las Vegas. Historically, Boulder City has resisted the forces that have aided growth in the Las Vegas valley. Even so, the town is growing. In Spring 1998, the city added its second traffic light along the Nevada Highway (Nevada 500, which is also Business U.S. 93). The business route is horribly signed, so don't expect to find trailblazers to that effect.
Northwest of Boulder City, U.S. 93 passes several motels, curio shops, and fast food. The highway widens into a four-lane, divided highway, just before it meets U.S. 95. U.S. 95 is a fast route south to Laughlin, Bullhead City, and Needles. U.S. 95 merges with U.S. 93 northbound as they jointly approach the city of Las Vegas. For more on Las Vegas, check out the U.S. 95 Guide.
U.S. 93 meets Interstate 15 in downtown Las Vegas. US 93 was not routed onto Interstate 15 until the completion of Interstate 515 to the first Boulder Highway exit. Here, Interstate 515 ends and the U.S. 95 expressway continues northwest. U.S. 93, on the other hand, turns northeast along Interstate 15 toward the Moapa Valley. U.S. 93 is well-signed along Interstate 15, and the turnoff for the U.S. 93/Great Basin Highway is clearly marked. At Glendale/Moapa, U.S. 93 turns north toward some of the emptiest, most desolate, and strangely beautiful terrain in the United States.
U.S. 93 is considered by some to be another contender for "The Loneliest Highway" in America. There are only a few towns between Interstate 15 and Interstate 80, with Ely shining as the one "big city" in all of Eastern Nevada. U.S. 93 is considered to be a scenic route for much of this route, especially through Lake Valley between Panaca and Majors Place. At Majors Place, U.S. 93 merges with U.S. 6-50 for its approach into Ely.
For more on Ely, check out the U.S. 50 Guide. Just north of Ely, U.S. 93 splits into U.S. 93 and U.S. 93A. U.S. 93 heads toward Wells, while U.S. 93A heads northeast toward Wendover and Interstate 80. U.S. 93A is not a short-cut alternate to U.S. 93 - if your destination is Twin Falls or points north, stay on main U.S. 93. But if you're going to Salt Lake City, use U.S. 93A northeast-bound.
U.S. 93 then heads north on its own toward Wells and Interstate 80. This northern segment of the road attracts more traffic, since U.S. 93 provides the most direct route to Twin Falls, Idaho, and the fertile Magic Valley. Just west of U.S. 93 is the town of Jarbidge, famous for the forest service dirt road that was reopened by the Shovel Brigade in defiance of Forest Service plans to keep the road permanently closed. Jarbidge is a very remote town, one that cannot be reached oftentimes in the snowy months, and is served only by dirt roads. To reach Jarbidge, go 19 miles north of Jackpot to the town of Rogerson, Idaho. Turn left at the gas station and follow Twin Falls County Road 65 miles west to Jarbidge (which takes you back into Nevada!).
Jarbidge has its own webpage, A Place Called Jarbidge by Don Mathias. Don has written two books about Jarbidge, whose residents believe the little hamlet to be the most remote inhabited town in the 48 contiguous states. For every summer since 1967, Don has visited Jarbidge, and he knows the area well.
Back to U.S. 93, the road finally hits Jackpot, the typical "border town" located at the Idaho State Line. Casinos and bright green grass can be spotted several miles south of Jackpot amid the barren hills and valleys of Northern Nevada. This is really a small town geared for Idahoans who wish to gamble, so there is not much else in this area. U.S. 93 then enters Idaho and eventually the Magic Valley of the Snake River, which is known nationally for its "Famous Potatoes."
U.S. 93 Auxiliary Routes:
Alternate U.S. 93 runs from Lages Station to Wells via the border town of Wendover. U.S. 93A does not enter the State of Utah, however. More specifically, U.S. 93 splits into U.S. 93 and U.S. 93A at Lages Station north of Ely; U.S. 93A turns northeast to serve Wendover while U.S. 93 continues due north to Wells. The return connection of U.S. 93A between Wendover and Wells is not well signed along I-80 the trailblazer signs at the exits closest to Wendover have the U.S. 93 shield with an "Alternate" banner, while those assemblies closer to Wells do not typically have the shield.
U.S. 93A is actually a rather young route. During the convoluted history of the various routings of U.S. 50 across Utah, the stretch of U.S. 93A from north of Ely to Wendover changed designations rather frequently (although not nearly as bad as the highway now carrying the U.S. 191 designation in Moab, Utah that road has been known as U.S. 450, U.S. 160, U.S. 163, and possibly U.S. 666 over the past fifty years).
When the highway carrying the U.S. 93A designation was first conceived in the 1930s, it carried the U.S. 50 designation. At that time, U.S. 50 was routed directly into Salt Lake City, via current U.S. 93A, I-80 (U.S. 40), Utah 201, U.S. 89, and U.S. 6. In 1954, U.S. 50 was rerouted to the south of Salt Lake City (via current U.S. 6 between Ely and Price). Old U.S. 50 was recommissioned as U.S. 50A. U.S. 50A lasted for 22 years, but was ultimately decommissioned in 1976. At that time, U.S. 50A in Nevada became U.S. 93A. Most of U.S. 50A in Utah was dually signed with another route, so it too was deleted in favor of the other signed route. The only exception was the stretch of U.S. 50A now known as Utah 201, which was not signed with any other route.
U.S. 93A is certainly not a good alternate route to U.S. 93 -- it will take you almost an hour out of your way. However, it is a good route for travelers between Salt Lake City and the U.S. 50 Nevada communities. U.S. 93A also serves those traveling from Wendover to Las Vegas or other Southern Nevada communities. Although it may not be clear on a map, U.S. 93A does not even enter Wendover; instead, it connects with I-80 at the West Wendover, Nevada business loop interchange. U.S. 93A does not enter Utah.
A final irony is that there is a perfectly good alternate state route that is not designated as U.S. 93A. The combination of Nevada 318 and U.S. 6 between Ash Springs and Ely is much more direct than U.S. 93 through Pioche. Even so, Nevada 318 and U.S. 6 are not designated as Alternate U.S. 93.
Business U.S. 93 exists in Boulder City (decommissioned Nevada 500) and Pioche (Nevada 321). Neither business route is well-signed. For awhile, Fremont Street and Boulder Highway (Nevada 582) was signed Business U.S. 93-95 in Las Vegas and Henderson, but it has since been decommissioned as a business route.
Now, what about US 93 and Interstate 80's relationship?
The Deeth/Starr Valley (Exit 333) and Welcome/Starr Valley (Exit 343) exits are interesting as they lead to Old U.S. 40. If you have the time, take this road to get a feel for the old highway. Not only that, there is an abundance of wildlife viewing in this area also. The next major town along Interstate 80 is Wells, which is so named for its deep underground springs. (Original Name was: Humboldt-Wells. The name was shortened by a railroad telegrapher in the late 1800's when Wells caught fire so he could be quick with the information over the wire). Wells is a good jump-off point for side trips up U.S. 93 to the mountains (Angel Lake, Great Basin, Ruby Valley, Secret Pass, etc.) then to Jackpot and to Idaho. That's northbound. Southbound you're off towards Ely, Nevada. By the way, that's pronounced: E Lee and not E lye. Alternate U.S. 93 is routed with Interstate 80 between Exits 352 and 410. However, U.S. 93A is not acknowledged as being cosigned with Interstate 80 until around the Pilot Peak exit. I really doubt anyone actually travels Alternate U.S. 93 with the intent of traveling to Wendover and onward to Wells, but there are several U.S. routes in the Eastern U.S. that are far less direct!
Interstate 80 Business Loops:
Verdi - Nevada 425
Reno/Sparks - Nevada 647
Wadsworth - Nevada 427
Lovelock - Nevada 396
Winnemucca - U.S. 95; Nevada 289; Nevada 794
Battle Mountain - Nevada 304
Carlin - Nevada 221
Elko - Nevada 535
Wells - Nevada 223
Wendover - Nevada 224
In another time...
WELLS (661 miles from San Francisco, elevation 5,629 feet)
The town has about 200 inhabitants, with roundhouse for three engines, a hotel, stores, saloon, etc.
Humboldt Wells as they are called, give celebrity to this place. They are really springs about thirty in number, situated in a low basin half a mile west of the station.
It was the great watering place in times of the old emigrant travel, and at least three of the roads converged to this place and united here.
These were the Grass Creek, the Thousand Spring Valley and the Cedar Pass Roads. Emigrants in those days rejoiced when they had passed the perils of the Great American Desert, and arrived at these springs where there was plenty of water, pure and sweet and an abundance of grass for their weary and worn animals. Hence it was a favorite camping ground.
Travelers will take notice that a mail and express stage line leaves Wells tri-weekly: Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the morning, for Sprucemont, 40 miles, and Cherry Creek, 95 miles distant.
At Cherry Creek this line connects with stages for Egan Canon, on the line of the old overland stage route.
Stages also run 100 miles south to Shellburne, also to Bull Run.
Boogie on down the road...we'll be back with more stuff about Hwy. 93 later, well maybe - depends on whether or not we get lost out here.