Rachel, Nevada

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Rachel, Nevada
Rachel, Nevada
Rachel, Nevada
Rachel is located in Nevada
Location within the state of Nevada
Coordinates: 37°38′48″N 115°44′43″W / 37.64667°N 115.74528°W / 37.64667; -115.74528Coordinates: 37°38′48″N 115°44′43″W / 37.64667°N 115.74528°W / 37.64667; -115.74528
CountryUnited States
 • Total7.6 sq mi (19.8 km2)
 • Land7.6 sq mi (19.8 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
4,840 ft (1,480 m)
 • Total54
 • Estimate 
 • Density7.1/sq mi (2.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)775
FIPS code32-58820
GNIS feature ID0851195

Rachel is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lincoln County, Nevada, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 54.[2] As the closest habitation to the Nellis Air Force Range and Area 51, Rachel enjoys a modest celebrity status, particularly among aviation enthusiasts and UFO hunters.


Rachel is over 100 miles (160 km) north of Las Vegas in the Great Basin Desert, along Nevada Highway 375 (the "Extraterrestrial Highway") in Nevada. The tiny town receives a substantial number of visitors and tourists, catered to by a small tourist shop, a 12-room motel, and an alien-themed restaurant and bar, the Little A'Le'Inn.[3]

Several unpaved roads near Rachel lead from Highway 375 to the boundary of Area 51.[4]

Rachel's resident population generally numbers around 50, with some of them involved in ranching. Most of the year-round inhabitants live in mobile homes.[5] Rachel has never had a post office. The children are bused to Alamo, approximately 50 miles (80 km) away, for school.[6] North of the town is the Quinn Canyon Range, which has the ghost town of Adaven.


Early years[edit]

Rachel was founded in May 1973 by a local alfalfa farmer named D.C. Day.[7] The community was first known as Tempiute Village, and then later as Sand Springs.[7]

On February 15, 1978, the town was renamed to Rachel after the first baby born in the valley, Rachel Jones (1978-1980). Rachel Jones died on May 24, 1980. In memory of her, Rachel residents created a cemetery and memorial park. Rachel Jones was not buried at Rachel Cemetery.[8]

On March 22, 1978, it is designated as the birth of the town Rachel, Nevada. It is the day electric power arrived at Sand Springs Valley, aka Penoyer Valley.[8]

In 1980, the Rachel Baptist Mission, Rachel's only church, began service in a donated mobile home. Since then, a part-time pastor has come to Rachel for religious services every Sunday morning.

Mid-air collision[edit]

On July 10, 1986, at about 4:10 pm, two F-16s of the Norwegian Air Force collided in mid-air while participating in Red Flag exercises near Rachel. One of them crashed within Rachel, only 25 yards (23 m) from the edge of a mobile home park. The pilot of the downed fighter had ejected safely before the crash, and the other F-16 made it back to Nellis Air Force Base. Apparently, the pilot of the downed F-16 sustained no major injuries. He was transported from the site within 20 minutes of the crash by a U.S. Air Force helicopter.

Recent events[edit]

In 1995, the Rachel Baptist Mission moved into a permanent building at the same site which it had occupied previously.

In 2006, KFC created a giant company logo on the ground at the north edge of Rachel and claimed it to be the first logo visible from space.[9] Constructed in early November, it took six days to assemble the 65,000 colored tiles on 87,500 square feet (8,130 m2) of flat desert terrain.[10] The logo also had a hidden message on the tie area of the logo that featured an impostor colonel holding a sign over his head, reading "Finger Lickin' Good". The logo was removed in mid-2007.

Rachel was featured in an episode of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends which covered the UFO subculture. Rachel was mentioned in a two-part episode of The X-Files entitled "Dreamland", in which a secret agent aware of the hidden backstory of the show, played by Michael McKean, resided in the town. It is also a key place in the first-person shooter game BlackSite: Area 51.

The producers of the movie Independence Day, which filmed some scenes in Rachel, gave the town a time capsule, which is installed near the inn.[11]

Beginning September 19, 2019, the day before the Area 51 Meme-Raid people were reported showing up and camping around Rachel in preparation for the raid.[12]

Panoramic view of Rachel and the surrounding area from the northern boundary of Area 51



As of the census of 2010,[13] there were 54 people, 32 households, and 14 families residing in the CDP. The racial makeup was 94.44% White, 3.70% Asian, and 1.85% from other races. 11.11% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 32 households, 6.25% had children under the age of 18, 25.00% were married couples, 6.25% had a male householder with no wife present, and 12.50% had a female householder with no husband present. 56.25% of households were made up of individuals, and 9.38% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.69 and the average family size was 2.50.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 16.67% ages 15 to 24, 59.26% ages 35 to 64, and 24.07% aged 65 and over. The median age was 52.5 years. 59.26% of the residents were male, and 40.74% were female.


Climate data for Rachel, Nevada (elevation 4,840ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
Average high °F (°C) 46.0
Average low °F (°C) 14.4
Record low °F (°C) −21
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.33
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.4
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[14]


While a local tungsten mine was operative, the community numbered over 500 inhabitants, but after the mine's closing in 1988, the population rapidly dwindled.

D.C. Day, Rachel's founder, died on July 25, 1997. Fay Day, his widow, died on March 13, 2011. She was buried in the Rachel Cemetery on March 19, 2011.

The Area 51 Research Center, a small UFO souvenir shop, closed in the fall of 2001. It has since re-opened in a corner of the Little A'Le'Inn. The community's only gas station went out of business[15] in the winter of 2006–07, shortly after being acquired by a new owner, an investor from California.

The Little A'Le'Inn[edit]

Little A'Le'Inn

The Little A'Le'Inn, previously the Rachel Bar and Grill,[7][16] is a small bar, restaurant and motel located in Rachel, along the Extraterrestrial Highway. The business has been running for over 20 years[17] and is frequented by visitors to the local Area 51. The business has a variety of Area 51 and UFO related merchandise for sale such as maps of the area, posters, postcards, and toys, and offers an "Alien Burger".

The inn opened circa 1989. The original owners were Joe (now deceased) and Pat Travis.[18] In 1991 Joe and Pat wanted something unique for the Bar and Grill because they felt that "Joe and Pat's" was not exciting (according to patron Bruce Hooker). They held a contest won by Bruce Hooker with "A'le'Inn" (a play on "alien"). The current owners of the Little A'Le'Inn are Pat and her daughter Connie.[19]

In popular culture[edit]

In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the Little A'Le'Inn is referenced.[20] It can be found in Bone County, San Andreas nearby the Area 69 facility, using the name "Lil' Probe'Inn".[21] It is featured in The X-Files season six episode "Dreamland II", in Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends season one episode 2 - "UFOs" and in the film Paul.[22]

Notable people[edit]

  • Glenn Campbell - He is a former resident and the author of Area 51, Viewer's Guide. He operated Area 51 Research Center. He is the first resident to have an email address.[8]
  • "D.C." Delbert Clois Day - He is the founder of Rachel. He was a farmer who acquired public land from a federal homestead program and turned it into a private land. He acquired 4000 acres of land. He is the owner of Quik Pick, a general store. [8]
  • Fay Day - She is the widow of D.C. Day and operator of Quik Pik.[8]
  • Edith Grover - She is the unofficial mayor and manager of the George D. Cooper Memorial Library.[8]
  • Ralph Grover - He was a retired U.S. Air Force military personnel.[8]
  • Rachel Jones - She is the first baby born. The town is named after her.[8]
  • Tom Spears - He was the first bar owner, The Watering Hole.[8]
  • Joe and Pat Travis - They are the owner of the bar, Rachel Bar & Grill, since 1988. In 1990, the bar was renamed to Little A'Le'Inn.[8]



  1. ^ https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  2. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Rachel CDP, Nevada". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  3. ^ Berk, Joe (July–August 2013). "Destinations: The Extraterrestrial Highway". Motorcycle Classics. 7 (6). Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Rachel, NV and Tikaboo Valley Map". www.rachel-nevada.com.
  5. ^ Bryan, C.D.B. (November 2, 2011). Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at M.I.T. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-307-80316-0.
  6. ^ Darlington, David (January 7, 2014). Area 51: The Dreamland Chronicles. Henry Holt and Company. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-4668-6197-8.
  7. ^ a b c Arnu, Joerg H. (January 6, 1996). "A Short History of Rachel, Nevada". Rachel, Nevada Home Page. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Campbell, Glen; Grover, Edith; Arnu, Joerg H. (April 25, 2002). "A Short History on Rachel, Nevada". rachel-nevada.com. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  9. ^ "Press Releases". November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2007.
  10. ^ Butko, B.; Butko, S. (2007). Roadside Attractions: Cool Cafés, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics, & Other Road Trip Fun. Stackpole Books. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8117-0229-4. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  11. ^ "Area 51 - Rachel, Nevada". skyshadows.com. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  12. ^ "'Storm Area 51' raid commences in US". New Straits Times. September 20, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  13. ^ "Rachel CDP, Nevada". factfinder.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  14. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
  15. ^ "Rachel, Nevada Home Page". Rachel, Nevada Home Page. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "Rachel". Lincolncountynevada.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2009. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  17. ^ "Earthlings Welcome at Little A'Le'Inn (too)". Littlealeinn.com. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  18. ^ "Rachel, Nevada". www.rachel-nevada.com.
  19. ^ "What is coming up?". littlealeinn.com.
  20. ^ Prothero, Donald R.; Callahan, Timothy D. (August 10, 2017). Shermer, Michael (ed.). UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says. Indiana University Press. p. 45. ISBN 9780253026927.
  21. ^ Schulze, Thomas (February 5, 2017). "Lista traz 9 segredos de GTA San Andreas que você precisa conhecer". Techtudo (in Breton). Globo Comunicação e Participações S.A. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  22. ^ "Paul Movie Trailer Official". Youtube.com. Retrieved October 15, 2014.

External links[edit]