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Area 51: Day Trips and Tours from Las Vegas

Do you believe in aliens? Embrace the intrigue of life in outer space on a spine-tingling day trip to Area 51 from Las Vegas. Anything is possible at this top-secret Air Force facility, where UFOs and conspiracy theories are all part of a day’s work.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to discover whether extraterrestrial life in Area 51 is folklore or fact.  

How to get to Area 51 from Las Vegas?

Area 51 is a US Air Force base hidden in the Nevada desert, around 153 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The surrounding area is accessible to curious tourists seeking the truth about other-worldly goings-on.

From Las Vegas to Area 51 by car

The best way to drive from Las Vegas to Area 51 is on the I-93 north to Crystal Springs. Then take the Extraterrestrial Highway (otherwise known as the SR-375) to Rachel. The journey takes around 2.5 hours.

Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you set off as this area is seriously remote.

Guided tour to Area 51 from Las Vegas

Area 51 day trips last a full day and usually include hotel pick-ups from Las Vegas to make your excursion run smoothly.

This is a hassle-free way to explore the vast and arid Area 51, with knowledgeable local guides to show you all the top spots.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Area 51 from Las Vegas?

After being picked up at your hotel or meeting point in Las Vegas, you will be whisked away in the utmost of secrecy to embark on your Area 51 day tour.

The 2.5-hour journey takes you north through the Nevada Desert and along the Extraterrestrial Highway before arriving in the town of Rachel. This is the nearest settlement to the military base and most attractions lie on this popular stretch of road.

Stops at Area 51 sights and landmarks are included, as well as lunch at one of the famous local joints. Your driver will deliver you safe and well back to Las Vegas at the end of the day.

What kind of tours are available to go to Area 51?

Day trips to Area 51 all follow the same format. You just need to decide whether you want to join a small-group tour or enjoy a little more exclusivity on a luxurious private excursion.

Guided day tours to Area 51 from Las Vegas

Small-group day trips to Area 51 generally last around 10 hours, so prepare for an early start.

Tours include round-trip transportation from Las Vegas in SUVs or minivans with air-conditioning. Most offer pick-ups from central hotels, or a designated central meeting point if you are based further out of town.

Bottled water, snacks, and lunch are included on all Area 51 tours.

Private day trips to Area 51 from Las Vegas

Travel in style as you explore Area 51 in the comfort of your very own luxury vehicle. These private tours are for up to seven guests and include hotel pick-ups, breakfast, sodas, snacks, and bottled water.

You will be delivered back to your hotel at the end of the day in time for dinner.

How much does a tour to Area 51 from Las Vegas cost?

Small-group day trips to Area 51 cost between $189 and $205 per person, and include round-trip transfers, refreshments, and a local guide.

Private Area 51 tours are $1049 for up to seven passengers, with a luxury vehicle, breakfast, and snacks provided. Hotel pick-ups and drop-offs are all part of the deal.

What will you see and do in Area 51?

Whether you are a UFO enthusiast or a curious skeptic, an Area 51 excursion is one to remember. Here are some of the highlights:

The Extraterrestrial Highway

This desolate stretch of road really puts you in the mood for alien encounters. Your first stop will be the entrance sign which is popular with sci-fi enthusiasts who love capturing a slice of nostalgia on their cameras.

You will travel through Joshua Tree Forest to an ancient dry lake famous for UFO sightings and Indian petroglyphs. Could these strange rocks be petrified aliens?

UFO buffs also enjoy stopping at the Black Mailbox site to swap tales with fellow devotees.

Janet Airlines

Most day trips to Area 51 stop at the top-secret Janet Airlines at McCarran International Airport. Officially, the airline does exist, although the unmarked jets have been transporting staff to Area 51 for decades!

Little A’Le’Inn

This humorously named hotel is a tourist hotspot, having featured in movies like Independence Day. Shop for souvenirs, tuck into an alien burger, and just soak up the vibe.

Area 51 Museum

This quirky museum in Rachel sets out all the rumors surrounding Area 51. There are exhibits showing how these myths have become embedded in popular culture, as well as film clips of the nearby desert.

Area 51 Alien Center

This is a refueling stop with a difference, best visited if you are heading on to Death Valley or Yosemite. Here you can grab a quick bite surrounded by kitsch alien-themed memorabilia.


Alien sightings are not guaranteed, but keep your eyes peeled just in case. There have also been reported glimpses of phantom black dogs and shapeshifting witches, so you never know what you might encounter.

When is the best time to visit Area 51?

It gets very hot in the desert, so most people prefer to visit Area 51 between October and April when temperatures are cooler. Although Spring and Fall are the peak seasons, this vast wilderness never feels crowded.

Winter tends to be cold and dry, so this could be a great time to visit without the tourist hordes. Just bring a sweater to keep warm.

Travel tips

  • There is more risk from the sun than aliens, so swap your protective tin foil hat for a sun cap to keep cool.
  • Book your Area 51 day tour online ahead of your vacation to ensure you bag the best deals for your chosen date.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, keep slapping on the sunscreen, and wear loose clothing to beat the heat.
  • Make sure your camera batteries are fully charged – you never know what you might capture on film!