U.S. Route 6 in Nevada

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U.S. Route 6 marker

U.S. Route 6
Grand Army of the Republic Highway
Route information
Maintained by NDOT
Length 305.723 mi[1] (492.013 km)
Existed 1937 – present
Major junctions
West end US 6 at the California state line (near Benton, CA)
  US 95 at Coaldale
US 95 in Tonopah
US 50 / US 93 in Ely
US 93 in White Pine County
East end US-6 / US-50 at the Utah state line (east of Baker, NV)
Location
Counties Mineral, Esmeralda, Nye, White Pine
Highway system
  • Highways in Nevada
SR 895I‑11

U.S. Route 6 (US 6) is a transcontinental highway in the United States, stretching from Bishop, California, in the west to Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the east coast. The Nevada portion crosses the center of the state, serving the cities of Tonopah and Ely, en route to Utah and points further east. Like US 50, to the north, large desolate areas are traversed by the route, with few or no signs of civilization, and the highway crosses several large desert valleys separated by numerous mountain ranges towering over the valley floors, in what is known as the Basin and Range province of the Great Basin.

US 6 has a diverse route through the state, traversing desert, desert mountain ranges and valleys, ghost towns, and Great Basin National Park. The entire highway in Nevada is designated as part of the Grand Army of the Republic Highway. Although not known as The Loneliest Road in America with US 50 to the north, US 6 can be considered as equally deserving of that title, due to it serving equally desolate areas.

The route was routed entirely over existing state highways when it was extended into Nevada in 1937; however, all of the concurrent state routes were eventually removed. The route has remained largely unchanged, except where it was realigned to enter Utah north of Baker instead of passing through the town.

Route description[edit]

US 6 & US 95 in Tonopah, Nevada

From the California border, US 6 heads northeast through semidesert Queen Valley with Boundary Peak (Nevada), Nevada's highest summit, and Montgomery Peak in California on the right. These twin peaks are the northernmost high summits of the White Mountains, both over 13,000 ft (4,000 m). The highway then climbs into the Pinyon-Juniper zone and crosses Montgomery Pass 7,167 ft (2,185 m).

From the pass, US 6 descends into barren shadscale desert, passing Columbus Salt Marsh on the left, then merging with US 95 from Coaldale Junction to Tonopah. Nevada Test and Training Range begins about 15 mi (24 km) southeast of Tonopah.

Just east of Tonopah, US 6 continues east across a series of desert mountain ranges and valleys, including the Monitor Range. At Warm Springs, State Route 375, also known as the "Extraterrestrial Highway", departs to the southeast and US 6 assumes a northeasterly alignment across the Reveille, Pancake, Grant and White Pine Ranges. Rainfall increases eastward, so valleys become less barren and peaks over 11,500 ft (3,500 m) add scenic interest.

Ely is the largest town on Route 6 in Nevada. US 50 joins Route 6 at Ely. East of Ely, Routes 6/50 cross the Schell Creek Range, known for verdant forests and meadows, and for a large deer and elk population. The highway descends to Spring Valley, then crosses the Snake Range at Sacramento Pass, north of Nevada's second-highest mountain, Wheeler Peak, where a branch road accesses Great Basin National Park. Beyond the pass, US 6 passes just north of Baker, a Mormon farming community, and reaches the Utah state line.

U.S. Route 6, 50 and 93 concurrency in Ely

There are no services anywhere between Tonopah and Ely (a distance of about 168 miles). Although US 50 has the nickname "The Loneliest Road in America", US 6 has a solid case for the title; as Tonopah and Ely are the only cities it goes through in the 306 miles (492 km) it traverses in Nevada, with a combined population of just over 6,500, while US 50 boasts Carson City with over 50,000 and even Fallon alone out populates US 6, with over 8,000. In addition, there is not much traffic for US 6, as it ends 38 miles (61 km) south of the California/Nevada border in the small town of Bishop, CA at US 395 (with connections to the former western terminus of US 6 in Los Angeles). The most heavily traveled portion of US 6 is the portion that is concurrent with US 95, as the latter route connects Las Vegas and Reno, the two largest metropolitan areas in Nevada.

History[edit]

US 6 was one of the original U.S. highways in the 1925 Bureau of Public Roads plan.[citation needed] It was commissioned in 1926, but was not extended west into Nevada until 1937. The alignment of US 6 in Nevada has remained largely unchanged since then.

US 6 was routed entirely over existing state highways in Nevada. Between the California state line west of Montgomery Pass to Basalt, the highway was concurrently routed with State Route 10. From Basalt to Coaldale, the highway was concurrently routed with State Route 15. From Coaldale to Tonopah, the highway was concurrently routed with State Route 3. From Tonopah to Ely, the highway was concurrently routed with State Route 4 (also called the Midland Trail). From Ely to present-day Major's Place, the highway was concurrently routed with US 93 and State Route 7. From Major's Place to the Utah state line southeast of Baker, the highway was concurrently routed with State Route 14.

All of the concurrent state routes were removed from US 6 by 1939 except for SR 3 between Coaldale and Tonopah. Also, US 6 was realigned to enter Utah north of Baker instead of passing through the town. In 1940, SR 3 was replaced by US 95 between Coaldale and Tonopah. In 1954, US 50 was realigned between Ely and the Utah border and was concurrently routed over US 6.

Major intersections[edit]

Note: Mileposts in Nevada reset at county lines; the start and end mileposts for each county are given in the county column.
CountyLocationmi[2]kmDestinationsNotes
Mineral
MI 0.00–15.20
0.000.00 US 6 continues across the California state line
Basalt SR 360 – Hawthorne
Esmeralda
ES 0.00–57.87
SR 264 – Fish Lake Valley, Dyer
SR 773 – Fish Lake Valley, Dyer
Coaldale US 95 north – Hawthorne, RenoWest end of US 95 overlap
SR 265 – Silver Peak
Nye
NY 0.00–132.02
Tonopah1.802.90 US 95 south – Beatty, Las VegasEast end of US 95 overlap
SR 376 – Austin
Warm Springs SR 375 (Extraterrestrial Highway) – Rachel
Currant SR 379 – Duckwater
White Pine
WP 0.00–100.63
SR 318 – Lund, Las Vegas
Ely37.9661.09 US 50 west / US 93 north – Austin, WellsWest end of US 50 & US 93 overlap
Old SR 486Serves Cave Lake State Park
Majors Place US 93 south – Pioche, Las VegasEast end of US 93 overlap
SR 893 – Spring Valley
SR 487 – BakerServes Great Basin National Park
101.88163.96 US-6 / US-50 continues across the Utah state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nevada Department of Transportation (January 2017). "State Maintained Highways of Nevada: Descriptions and Maps". Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  2. ^ Nevada Department of Transportation (May 2008). Maps of Milepost Location on Nevada's Federal and State Highway System by County (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on August 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
  • Official Road Map of the State of Nevada (Map). State of Nevada – Department of Highways. 1937.
  • Official Road Map of the State of Nevada (Map). State of Nevada – Department of Highways. 1939.
  • Official Road Map of the State of Nevada (Map). State Highway Department. 1940.
  • Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map). Nevada Department of Highways. 1954.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata


U.S. Route 6
Previous state:
California
Nevada Next state:
Utah