Nevada : Safety by City
- Battle Mountain
- Blue Diamond
- Boulder City
- Burning Man in Black Rock City
- Carson City
- Incline Village
- Las Vegas
- Moapa Valley
- Mount Charleston
- North Las Vegas
- Virginia City
- West Wendover
Fallon, Nevada, is a military town about an hour east of Reno.
It’s a small town of fewer than 10,000 people but trains the best pilots of the Navy.
Don’t write it off as *just a military town, however, because there are a lot of outdoor adventures waiting for you.
This area has several lakes, massive sand dunes, archeological sites, and a “Hidden Cave” holding more secrets.
It’s based on the “Loneliest Road in America,” with an even more wide-open desert to explore.
The city is known for several annual events:
- Spring Wings Bird Festival
- Octane Fest (monster trucks, racing, and other adrenaline-inducing activities)
- DeGoyler Bucking House & Bull Bash (rodeo)
- World Cowboy Fast Draw Championship (gunslinging)
- Cantaloupe Festival (celebrating the famed fruity agricultural gem of this region)
- Holiday Celebrations (4th of July, Christmas, New Year’s Eve)
You’ll still get the gambling options of Nevada, as only one city in the state doesn’t allow gambling.
You also never know when the Top Gun training is going to take to the skies giving a free show of military power.
Warnings & Dangers in Fallon
OVERALL RISK : LOW
A low risk overall is dependent on being educated about wilderness safety and the high desert terrain. Crime rates are low, and there are so many things to do here. If you're looking for "big city" fun, this definitely is not the place for you.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
A city this small doesn't have public transportation, but you'll have a fair share of cabs and rideshares to use. Renting your own vehicle would be ideal.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
This is a low risk, but two pickpockets were reported in 2022. Between the casinos and the big events here, you should take extra steps to carry only what you need.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Winter storms, summer heat, wildfires, and flash flooding are all concerns here. There's an occasional earthquake, too. The risk is medium, but nothing that you can't prepare for.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
This is a low risk, with no more than five happening in a year over the past three years. Most years have 1–2 robberies.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The presence of NAS Fallon is going to come with a lot of potential risks, but also with the best-trained pilots on the planet who can attack with precision from above. The medium risk is always there, but you'll likely notice the security more than any potential problem.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Scams here are focused on residents. You should watch out for anyone "raising money" on behalf of the military, as that's a soft spot scammers will target.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women have a low risk here, with one or two sexual assaults reported each year. You should still use all the standard safety precautions. There was a woman kidnapped from a Walmart that brought light to personal safety, but it was a rare occurrence.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
You should ask your hotel about their latest water quality testing. Even the EPA backs up that Fallon has good water quality from groundwater, with the one exception being arsenic. Some tests showed up to 80 times the allowable "safe" limit. If you have a concern about this, use bottled water for drinking. It would take extensive arsenic exposure to get health issues. However, I wouldn't drink the water there unless I knew it had a clean bill of health.
Safest Places to Visit in Fallon
“Visit Fallon Nevada” is the name of the tourism website here.
There’s an app to download with self-guided maps and contact information for any activity.
Pair that with the Travel Nevada website to find things to do across this region.
The Churchill County Museum is a perfect place to start.
When you learn the history of a special land like this, you can appreciate the adventures that much more.
This is also a starting point for a tour of Hidden Cave.
For those who don’t want to brave the elements, there’s a virtual cave tour available at the museum.
The Robert L. Douglass House is a pink throwback to the Victorian era, and stop by the Churchill County Courthouse to see the only wooden courthouse still in service.
An oasis in the desert is found at Lake Lahontan.
You’ll learn at the museum why this is such a historic name (hint: it has to do with the Ice Age.)
Nearly 70 miles of shoreline await your favorite outdoor activity.
As someone who drove the route between Reno and Las Vegas (they don’t make it easy to get to and from), I’d recommend a visit to Walker Lake.
The juxtaposition of the white rocks against the blue water with the reds of the desert behind it is just stunning.
There’s a beach and Walker Lake State Recreation Area there too.
Sand Mountain Recreation Area is an ATV enthusiast’s dream come true.
The dunes here are perfect for riding, and some history is here with a Pony Express stop.
Walking and biking trails are also available.
Bring a dust mask.
Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge offers some of the best birding and wildlife trails in this part of the state.
On the way, it looks like there’s nothing but desert in front of you, but the road eventually leads to the marsh.
Tap your inner archaeologist by visiting Grimes Point.
A designated trail system takes you by messages and artwork from a primitive era.
Check the schedule for racing action at the Top Gun Dragstrip.
Check for local hotel deals that give a discount for people attending the races.
The food scene is amazing in Fallon.
What it lacks in options, it makes up for in quality.
This is a rich agricultural region, and many restaurants use local farm-to-fork products.
If you want to taste the land, try the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery.
Highway 50 spans east from Fallon, and it’s known as the “Loneliest Road in America.”
If you’re up for a road trip, drive 90 minutes to Austin, the “Living Ghost Town.”
Places to Avoid in Fallon
Unless you’re with the military, you can’t go to NAS Fallon just to look around.
You can call public affairs to ask about possible tours, but that options could be changed for safety and security reasons.
Don’t hold your breath, but it can’t hurt to ask.
There aren’t dangerous neighborhoods or parts of town here.
You don’t need to worry about getting lost in the wrong part of town.
You can easily get lost in the desert, so always bring a GPS system with you.
Don’t rely on mobile phones for mapping.
Read about the “Dirt Road Code” before you venture onto any unpaved road.
Don’t try to go to Hidden Cave yourself.
Even though it’s on federal land, the cave is only accessible on private tours.
The BLM gives those tours on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
You can take the trail around Grimes Point and SAR Mountain, you just can’t go in the cave.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Fallon
- Fallon has its own police department, with support from the surrounding Churchill County Sheriff’s Office. You can find them on Facebook @Fallon.Police.Department and @ChurchillSO.
- Sign up for the Alert Center on the Churchill County website to get custom alerts of your choosing. You’ll know about flood risks, water quality issues, and other emergency situations.
- Use the Nevada 511 app to check road conditions wherever you’re headed. There are live cameras, color-coded road conditions, and live traffic reports.
- By the time you’re thirsty in the desert, dehydration is already settling in. Don’t wait. Drink plenty of water ahead of time and infuse it with electrolytes. You won’t realize how much you’re sweating since it evaporates so fast.
- Bring lotion designed for dry skin. You’ll be thankful you did. Also, keep your nose moist with Vaseline to prevent nose bleeds. I’ve seen too many people deal with major nose bleeds caused by the desert climate. You can avoid the risk by keeping the inside of your nose lubricated.
- You’ll also want earplugs here, just in case the noise of the jets overhead becomes too much. It’s a really cool sight to see, but if you’ve seen Top Gun, you know how fast and loud these engines can be.
- Sign up for Terrorism Advisory Bulletins through Homeland Security. The bulletins are issued every few months just to give an overview of terrorism concerns at that time.
- Follow @CityofFallon on social media too, as they post a lot of relevant safety information. It’s especially important to check for water quality issues or flood risks. In 2023, the high snowpack of the Sierras means the melting of that snow comes down into places like Fallon. In a massive effort, crews worked to keep the town from being flooded.
- If you’re visiting Fallon for one of the big events throughout the year, hotel rooms are going to book up quickly. Aside from staying in Reno or camping, you won’t have a lot of options when the rooms are sold out. Book early.
- Most outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, and off-roading require a license or permit. Please check with the Nevada Department of Wildlife or the organization that oversees the land you’re visiting (BLM, Nevada State Parks, Forest Service, etc.) to see what you need before you go.
So... How Safe Is Fallon Really?
Fallon is a very safe city but does have some shocking headlines in recent years that prove no small town is safe enough.
One involved a woman kidnapped from a Walmart parking lot and killed.
Another was domestic murder/suicide.
Theft is below the national average, with about two per week (on average) happening in Fallon.
28% of the thefts were car break-ins, and almost half were in the “other” category.
That could be anything from stolen lawn equipment to camping supplies.
It’s important to have context on crime data.
For example, Fallon shows a 45% increase in violent crime.
That sounds intimidating, right?
In reality, the city went from 11 to 16 violent crimes.
Over the past five years, all but one year (2021) had at least 16 violent crimes.
The five-year average is 17 crimes, which is still less than half the national average.
You really just need common sense here.
Don’t go into the wilderness alone, don’t refer to everyone you meet as “Maverick,” and keep your opinions about the military and politics to yourself.
Sure, there are drugs, hookers, and gun problems in any community, but you know better than to get involved with that kind of stuff, right?
How Does Fallon Compare?
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- Visas - The requirements for international visitors include a passport with a visa. Some people might be eligible for a visa waiver, but you should check the U.S. State Department website to see if you're eligible.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use here. Casino slot machines will take cash, and you'll turn cash into chips at the cage to play the tables. Avoid taking money out at the casino if you can since the ATM fees and casino charges are high.
- Weather - Plan for four seasons of casual and comfortable clothing. Winters in the desert can be bone-chilling. Bring layers of clothing with supportive boots for hiking. Temperatures can have wide swings between day and night, so always have a backup sweatshirt or jacket. Sunscreen and sunglasses will be helpful in this sunny climate.
- Airports - Reno Tahoe International Airport is about 75 minutes west of Fallon. That's the largest and most convenient option.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance that covers your flight and road trip is ideal. Winter storms can close down roads in this region and leave you stranded at the airport.
Fallon Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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