I put the word out to my troop, Boy Scout Troop 604 out of Lake Forest, CA and let them know what I was planning. Here was my announcement that I hoped would get the boys excited:
Our upcoming Spring Break will be packed with new adventures in Nevada. Our plan is to head to Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas for a day and a half of hiking in this beautiful location.
From there we put on our foil hats (to protect us from alien mind control) and head up the infamous Extraterrestrial Highway to visit Rachel Nevada, home of the Little A’Le’Inn and immerse ourselves in alien folklore. Follwing this we will proceed to the Black Mailbox, a congregation spot for UFO hunters and then on to the nearest location you can observe Area 51 from, Tikaboo Peak. The plan, weather permitting, is to camp at or on the peak and observe Area 51 through our own telescopes/spotting scopes and hopefully see the definitive proof for ourselves that aliens do exist and the government cover up is real. A viewing of either Independence Day or Men In Black will be shown that evening complete with popcorn! Following that we will head to Valley of Fire State Park to hike several different scenic trails among the unique rock formations and stay the night in or near the park. We can add an optional final night on the way home if we want and enjoy a fun little spot in the Mohave Preserve called TeutoniaPeak to break up the drive home. We will return home completely exhausted and our camera memory cards will be full of amazing pictures, our memories however will have been wiped clean if our foil hats have fallen off, or if the “Camo Dudes” patrolling Area 51 zapped us with a neuralyzer. If you don’t know what that is it is simply an electro bio-mechanical neural transmitting zero synapse repositioner. If you still need help, watch Men In Black!
After camping and hiking Red Rock Canyon outside Vegas for a couple days we headed off to Rachel Nevada, the closest town, if you can call it a town, to the Area-51 access points. A few points, fuel is scarce once you leave Vegas so make sure you are full and having a 5 gallon gas can might be wise. Also pack food and water, you don't know what can happen out there in the middle of nowhere, and as you read further, we were planning on really being in the middle of NOWHERE!
I put the trip together from multiple sources of info. We had to stop at the Little A'Le Inn, the gathering point of UFO hunters and Area-51 conspiracy theorists and have lunch. Also on the list was the Black Mailbox, another UFO hunter gathering point, one of the Area-51 gates where we hoped to interact with the Camo-Dudes and the peace de resistance, climbing Tikaboo Peak to see inside Area-51 itself. I wasn't sure how much time to allow nor how long these travels would take to accomplish so it was a scheduling difficulty but I had a three vehicles full of adventurous Scouts and two additional Scout Leaders, Scott and our Scoutmaster Thomas, that were as excited to do this as I was.
After having the boys make foil hats to protect us from alien mind control we packed up camp in Red
Rock near Vegas and headed for Rachel to have lunch at the Little A'Le Inn. It took about 3 hours to make the journey including a fuel stop outside Vegas. It was difficult in some respects because to go to Rachel meant driving right by the road to Tikaboo Peak, the Black Mailbox, the Main Gate and a few other surprise items. We did stop at the Extraterresrial Highway sign at the junction of Hwy 93 and 375 to take a photo while wearing our foil hats only to discover a much better sign just outside Rachel as you approach it, hold out for that one. As we were nearing Rachel, maybe 10 miles or so away we came across the infamous Black Mailbox, we HAD to stop!!!
|The sign just south of Rachel.|
|As of April 2018, this Black Mailbox was at the typical location.|
|Definitive proof of alien/government cattle mutilation!|
sightings and what "really" is going on at the base. I then realized that when you look around for the weirdos and you don't see any, chances are it's you! The food was good and reasonably priced and the waitresses appreciated us bringing the Scouts out here for the adventure. When we shared that we were going out to Tikaboo Peak to camp that night and climb it they changed their tune, well one of them anyway. We were told the road is terrible and we would never make it. She informed us "you can't drive to the top you know?" and we said we planned on hiking the last mile or so but she said its all shale and we will never make it. My research said otherwise so we nodded our heads and thanked them and told them we would at least give it a shot. One additional item on the Little A'Le Inn, there is a red line on the floor demarking the restaurant from the bar, DO NOT let a minor cross the red line into the bar section, they are very serious about this.
|Notice our Camo Dude shadow atop the hill?|
|This photo op got the second Camo Dude|
to come speeding up for backup.
We got back to the highway and headed south. I was using a map from Dreamland Resorts, click here and go to Maps and GPS and the Tikaboo Peak Map with GPS Coordinates. We drove the easier yet longer road to Tikaboo Peak that starts off Hwy 93 between the two Pahranagat Lakes just South of Alamo. We were driving a pair of Ford F-250 lifted 4x4's and one 2wd Toyota 4Runner with decent ground clearance but stock. Following the map to Tikaboo worked pretty well and 90+% of the drive was dirt super highway so once again, it
went quickly covering the just over 20 miles back to Tikaboo. I did use a GPS and mapping software on my tablet to help guide us. My mileage was slightly different than that provided on the map but if you stop at the 22.0 mile point listed on the map and camp there you will be good. It was about an hour until dark so we made camp and rounded up plenty of firewood of which there is plenty to be had in this high desert forest. The route description I have linked to talks about a "road to the left", headed roughly due West that continues for an additional 1/10 of a mile. Forget about it, just walk that as to drive it would be ridiculous and there is no need, you are going to walk to the peak anyway and you'll go faster on foot.
We had a very nice evening and while we expected cold weather at almost 7,000 ft in early April it turned out to be absolutely perfect. In the morning we hiked nearly due West up towards a saddle just a few hundred yards up the so called road. Our Scouts pushed right over the saddle and down into the ravine on the other side, hiking what they thought was a straight line to the peak. As it turns out, the CORRECT way to reach the peak is to look for a faint trail at the obvious saddle and noticeable camp site. This trail heads South, following a ridge up towards a false peak. The trail wraps around the false peak to another saddle and then on to the top of Tikaboo which has a remote weather station on top so look for the antennae. We suspect this so called weather station may have just a bit more than weather monitoring instruments, specifically we noticed a small dome that likely housed a camera of some sort.
|The view through the spotting scope (top)|
Group photo on Tikaboo Peak (lower)
For me this was a bucket list adventure, I get the feeling that a lot of the boys on this adventure felt much the same. I really enjoyed getting caught up in all the mystery and the tall tales, makes me consider a little trip to Roswell New Mexico to see what I can out there although this place is pretty darn good!
For the photos please click here