The City of Fallon provides a perfect basecamp for the adventurers and outdoors explorers. Although there are many places to explore throughout the area, a few fan favorites include Sand Mountain, Grimes Point and the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge. In addition to being popular locations, they are accessible and provide a plethora of nature, beauty, and wildlife to view and explore.
Be sure to pack accordingly as you head out on your outdoor adventure. Kayaks, mountain bikes, ATVs and more are encouraged for the full outdoor experience. Surrounding areas such as the City of Reno have rentals available.
Jump right into your trip and into nature to jumpstart your weekend, and start at Grimes Point Recreation Area.
If you’re interested in a mix of nature and history, Grimes Point Prehistoric Rock Art Site is your first stop on your weekend getaway to the outdoor gems of Fallon. It was here that Native Americans left their footprint in time when carving pictures into a rock’s surface, creating what are considered to be petroglyphs and preserved over the years.
This fascinating historic site was first visited by Native Americans an estimated 8,000+ years ago. Archaeologists studying Grimes Point were able to uncover remnants of these prehistoric peoples, including bits of bone and shell, a stone scraper tool, bits of tule and matting and of course the most obvious: many petroglyphs scrawled across boulders in the area.
Within this, there is an excellent trail system to allow you and your trip-mates time to walk through the area, see the petroglyphs and also soak in the views that surround it. Those who lived here years ago picked an excellent place to live, and you can immerse yourself in it. If you want even more, you can also join a seasonal underground Hidden Cave tour coordinated by the Churchill County Museum*.
*Call before you arrive and schedule this adventure. Hidden Cave Tours are offered to the public on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month (excluding federal holiday weekends). The Churchill County Museum opens at 9am on these Saturdays, and the tour starts here where you can enjoy the Hidden Cave display at the museum. Meet the BLM guide at the museum at 9:30am, and watch a short video on the history of Hidden Cave. From there, caravan out to the cave site for your tour. Reservations are requested for larger groups. The regularly scheduled public tours are FREE! Please contact the Museum at 775-423-3677 at least one week in advance and is subject to guide availability. The minimum charge for a private tour is $30.00, with an additional fee of $2.00 per person over the first 15.
After starting your day at one of the many great restaurants in the City of Fallon to energize from your first day in Fallon, it’s time to get on the road out into nature.
Your adventure continues as you make your way to one of Nevada’s most unique mountains. Located 28 Miles east of downtown Fallon on America’s loneliest Road, Highway 50, you’ll have sights to see all around during your trip.
The 4,795 acre Sand Mountain Recreation Area is a designated OHV fee site located in the high desert of west central Nevada twenty-five miles south east of Fallon on U.S. 50 in Churchill County. Created by the migration and deposition of windblown sand, each grain is stopped by the rising Stillwater Mountains bordering to the north, east and west making it the most dominant feature of the dune system.
Sand Mountain, which is approximately 3.5 miles long, 1 mile wide and 600 feet in height, is therefore the largest single dune in the entire Great Basin. And trust us, it is a sight to see. Additionally, the recreation area includes the Sand Springs Pony Express Station historical site (1860) and the Sand Springs Desert Study Area.
Visitation averages 50,000-70,000 visitors a year with the primary activity being riding ATV’s, motorcycles, sand rails, dune buggies and side by sides through the rolling mountains that make up the dunes. Sand sailing and sand boarding are also practiced by those adventurous enough to brave the OHVs and the climb to the top of the dune.
If just a visit isn’t enough for you, primitive camping is available at the base of the dunes and facilities are limited to six fault toilets. Water is not available on site though, so plan and pack accordingly. Hotels are available within the City of Fallon, so camping isn’t a necessity to enjoy all there is to offer.
Sand Mountain Recreation Area is a designated fee site.
Fees are set at $40 for 1-7 days and $90 for an annual pass.
Take it easy on your last day here and enjoy a tranquil morning exploring the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1949 and encompasses 79,570 acres, the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge is located 21 miles northeast of downtown Fallon and holds beauty that is unmatched – you have to see it with your own eyes to believe it!
The Stillwater wetlands are well known to birders, as this area has been designated as a site of international importance by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network because of the hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, such as the long-billed dowitcher, black-necked stilt, and American avocet passing through during migration season.
Also listed as a ‘Globally Important Bird Area’ by the American Bird Conservancy, more than 280 species have been sighted in the area. These tremendously rich and diverse wetlands attract more than a quarter million waterfowl, as well as over 20,000 other water birds, including American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants, white-faced ibis, and several species of egrets, herons, gulls, and terns.
As you make your way through the refuge, bring a camera and document your travels – while a picture says a thousand words, we guarantee the sights will leave you speechless.
Historical Walking, Arts & Agricultural Tours TravelStory App
Click below to download our new TravelStory App. Explore historical downtown Fallon as you walk through history. Be sure to also check out the Arts & Agricultural tour as you drive to Fallon Famous spots.