08/11/2014 10:37 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2014

What a Road Trip Down US 50, the 'Loneliest Road,' Is Really Like

Just outside of Reno sits a stretch of US 50 so desolate, so remote, so utterly empty LIFE magazine named it the “Loneliest Road in America.” As Roadtrippers writer Anna Hider tells us, Nevada went ahead and turned the negative press into a positive, advertising the highway’s unique emptiness. Well, Roadtrippers got a chance to test this loneliest road in the most unique kind of way… Barreling across it with hundreds of MINI Coopers as part of 2014 MINI Takes the States.

MINI takes the Loneliest Road | on!

As you can see from the pictures, the area is just as desolate as people say… Except for our traveling band of MINIs, the road was empty. This, of course, meant most of us hit our high speed of the 2 week MINI Takes the States event, me included, going well into the triple digits.

The only stop we made on the high-speed stretch of highway was at The Shoe Tree. The original “Shoe Tree” was cut down a few years back, but thankfully pretty much any tree will do, so a new shoe tree now exists for your offbeat pleasure. It’s a perfect spot to take a little break before heading back out on the open road.

We hopped off US 50 in Eureka to head north in order to make our nighttime stop in Wendover, NV/UT, but a true Loneliest Road road trip would continue east through Ely until crossing the border into Utah. Due to time constraints we didn’t have a chance to stop by the handful of stops (seriously, there’s only a few) along the Loneliest Road, but if you have more time stop by some of the historic and quirky attractions outlined in the Roadtrippers Guide to the Loneliest Road.

The next 12 days of our MINI Takes the States journey featured incredible mountain vistas, lush green pastures, big city skylines, and waterfront beauty, but perhaps no scenery is burned more into my mind than that of the Loneliest Road… Vast emptiness cut by a 2-lane road with hundreds of MINI Coopers motoring for miles until finally out of sight…

Road tripping down US 50 with darn near a 1,000 other people in hundreds of cars makes for the least-lonely way to experience the Loneliest Road, but even with all the cars around, the emptiness is palatable. We can only imagine heading down this road all alone in the darkness of night… Maybe next time!

About MINI Takes the States:

MTTS is a rad 2-week, 5,000+ mile road adventure for MINI owners where you barrel from city to city each day meeting the nicest (seriously, the nicest) people, occasionally getting scared out of sketchy roadside restaurants, getting asked a thousand questions at every gas station, and meeting up with 1,000+ MINI lovers for a big party each night at dealerships like MINI San Francisco & MINI Albuquerque and awesome city-specific venues such as Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, Gilley's Dallas, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland and more. Read more about MINI Takes the States here.


-Austin Coop