Scenic route through central Nevada – Tonopah, NV

Dirt or interstate. Those were the choices this morning to get to state route 305 as we are working our way south through Nevada. Both Google maps as well as the GPS had no problems routing us onto dirt roads although we had added that to the avoidance list. We chose interstate.

We picked state route 305 and 376 based on their ‘scenic’ designation on the AAA map. Unfortunately, we had to ride about 50 miles of interstate to get to Battle Mountain to the start of SR 305 from Winnemucca. As you can see in the pictures the day started out quite hazy obscuring some of the more distant landscape. These road just kept going and going, disappearing in the horizon.

Long stretches along both roads had seen heavy rains lately. Besides the water puddles there were washed out arroyos and shoulders. That amount of water does wondrous things in the desert – fresh green growth with the corresponding smell of sage brush and creosote brush. One of those things that you can really only experience on the motorcycle … along with decaying road kill corpses on the other spectrum. As warm as it was out, we did manage to see two antelope grazing on the side of the road.

We rolled into Tonopah, NV by 14:30. It was a little early but the next city, Beatty, was another 90-ish miles away. We went ahead and checked into our room at the Jim Butler Inn that we had reserved in the morning because the other hotels were already booked. We usually don’t like to book in advance because we cannot view the property plus it predetermines our end-of-the-day. This was the case today. Not only was the room terrible (bad smell and it hadn’t seen a vacuum in awhile) but we really should have kept on going to Beatty for more hotel options. The room was so bad we even considered not staying – meaning getting dressed again, repacking the bikes and heading to Beatty. In the end, we decided against it and headed to the brewery instead :-).

We survived the room and agreed to leave early since we had a longer riding day ahead. This was the first hotel where I didn’t make coffee or breakfast but we were on the road by 0800.

Todays route.


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