Location: Southern Nye County, Mojave Desert
Directions: Along US 95, 64 miles north of Las Vegas
N36° 35' 33.3" W116° 01' 42.1"
| This sign awaits you after driving the 0.3 miles onto Mercury Road. As you can see, further civilian entry is forbidden. |
NOTES: Although there is a public turnout at this marker, don't be surprised if you find yourself being watched. Even in this remote area, keep in mind that here at this historic marker is the closest you can get to the Nevada Test Site! Signs are liberally posted with ominous warnings like "No Trespassing", "Violators will be prosecuted," and my personal favorite, "All trespassers on base subject to elimination." Believe me boys and girls, they mean every word. UFO hobbyists, conspiracy theorists and other visitors have been arrested in the past just for leaning over the barbed wire fence! Violating these rules will almost certainly mean federal penalty up to and including imprisonment.
| Notice the hint of civilization in the b.g.
This is the small outpost of Mercury, a community built to house Test Site workers. Mercury is off-limits to everyone but Test Site Personnel and the occasional tour group. Beyond Mercury are 1,300 enigmatic square miles comprised of the Nevada Test Site and the alleged "Area 51" near Groom Lake.
Exact description as reads ...
Testing of weapons for defense and for peaceful uses of nuclear explosives is conducted here. The nation's principal nuclear explosives testing laboratory is located within this 1,350-square-mile, geologically complex area in the isolated valleys of Jackass, Yucca and Frenchman Flats. Selected as on-continent test site in 1950, the first test took place on Frenchman Flat in January, 1951.
Archeological studies of the NTS area have revealed continuous occupation by prehistoric man from about 9,500 years ago. Several prehistoric cultures are represented. The last aboriginal group to occupy the site was the Southern Paiute, who foraged plant foods in season and occupied the area until the coming of the pioneers.
|  and the public turnout along US 95. We breaked here for about twenty minutes and watched an airbase jeep whiz alongside the fenceline. They watched us just as much as we watched them.|
| Trust me, they mean it! This sign is located on the fence directly behind the marker.
Talk about too close for comfort.
DID YOU KNOW?...
... The Nevada Nuclear Museum in Las Vegas operates tours onto the Nevada Test Site? Allowing civilians onto one of the country's largest government bases does not come without a catch. After reading this, you may opt to change your mind.
First, a maximum of thirty people are allowed per tour per year, and you must be lucky enough to be picked from a two-year waiting list. (Parties are not allowed to register.) If luck is on your side you are the lucky one of their choosing, you must be squeaky clean enough to pass a thorough criminal background check. The tour leaves promptly from the museum northward onto the air base where you are given a temporary access ID badge. At Mercury, you are allowed to buy a quick snack and promptly hoarded onto a bus where the tour commences onto an all-day dirt road across the 1,350 square mile test site. From here, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the Sedan Crater, the site of America's first nuclear test. The last part of the tour approaches Gate 42, the absolute closest distance civilians to get to Area 51. Does this sound good to you? Too bad you can't take all this home with you, because cameras and any other recording devices, including cell phones and mobile devices, are strictly prohibited. Still interested? If so, get to it. You can register in person at the Nevada Nuclear Museum. Who knows ... You might be the lucky soul out of the thousands of people that get chosen for this chance of a lifetime. Nevada is a gambling state after all. Good luck!