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Course Highlights

Who hasn’t dreamed of traveling cross country, seeing hidden gems of the U.S. up close and personal? While we know the Great American 5000 is virtual, we want to recreate that same feeling of seeing things that feel once in a lifetime, and of experiencing unique slices of Americana that you didn’t know existed. Weird roadside attractions, beautiful state parks, stretches of nothing, booming cities, small mom and pop staples – we want to feature it all. The miles might bring us together, but there’s also a feeling of national pride. These towns, cities, and counties hold so much history and have so many stories – and we want to bring those stories to life. If you have any information that you think we should feature about somewhere along the route please email us at [email protected].

Here are just some of the highlights you’ll encounter along the course!


Point Lobos
San Francisco
Start Line
Mile 0

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park
San Francisco
Mile 1

The Olympic Club golf course
San Francisco
Five-time host of the Men’s U.S. Open golf championship
Mile 5

House of Beef
No, it’s not a dwelling made of Lady Gaga’s leftover meat dress. It’s a restaurant.
Mile 134

Cowboy Capital of the World
It seems natural that only the home of the House of Beef could also claim this title
Mile 134

Chinese Camp
Tuolumne County
Remnant of a California Gold rush mining town
Mile 161

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Olmsted Point
Yosemite National Park
A must-do stopping point as you venture over Tioga Pass
Mile 241

Tuolumne Meadows
Yosemite National Park
A gentle, dome-studded, sub-alpine meadow area
Mile 250

Tioga Pass
Yosemite National Park
The highest highway pass in the Sierra Nevadas (9,900 ft.) and the beginning of a steep descent
Mile 265

Mono Lake
Mono County
A saline soda lake formed at least 760,000 years ago
Mile 273


Welcome to NevadaState Line
Welcome to The Silver State
Mile 322

U.S. Route 6
Miles 344-635
In these 291 miles of open spaces there are only three towns of more than 100 people. Most days you’ll have the road to yourself.

Esmeralda County
A former mining town and true ghost town.
Mile 362

Clown Motel

The Clown Motel in Tonopah, NV

Clown Motel
Oh, just a motel on the edge of the desert decorated with thousands of clowns conveniently located next to an abandoned graveyard.
Mile 402

Extraterrestrial Highway
Warm Springs
On the Extraterrestrial Highway road trip, you’ll run adjacent to the Nevada Test and Training Range, which includes Area 51.
Mile 452

Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark

Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark

Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark
Nye County
This massive crater in the middle of nowhere was used to train astronauts for moon landings.
Mile 480

Ely Shoshone Indian Reservation
Ely Shoshone Tribe is one of the nine bands of what is known as the Western Shoshone Nation.
Mile 570

Baker, NV
White Pine County
The 1000k mark on the course
Mile 620

Welcome to UtahUtah

State Line
Welcome to The Beehive State
Mile 635

Sevier Lake
Millard County
A huge, intermittent lake that has been mostly dry throughout recorded history
Mile 685

Topaz Relocation Camp
Japanese internment camp during World War II
Mile 715

Delta Demolition Derby
One of the largest Demolition derbies in the country
Mile 723

Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation
Uintah Basin
The second largest Indian Reservation in the U.S., covering over 4.5 million acres.
Mile 865

“Dinosaurland” – Vernal, UT

You can get a ‘Dinosaur Hunting’ license while in Dinosaurland that is signed by Al O’Saurus, Deputy Lizard Warden. Make sure to pick one up while in town.
Mile 952

Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo
The Greatest Show on Dirt!
Mile 952

Dinosaur National Monument
The park borders Utah and Colorado, but dinosaur fossils are only visible on the Utah side
Mile 965


State Line
Welcome to The Centennial State
Mile 983

Steamboat Springs
Yampa Valley
The city’s geothermal hot springs are said to have therapeutic properties and, oh yeah, they’ve got world class skiing, too
Mile 1,114

Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests
Steamboat Springs
Mile 1,125

Continental Divide
Buffalo Pass
This is the highest point on Great American 5000 course at 10,400 feet. It’s all downhill from here!
Mile 1,128

Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado
A Møøse once bit my sister… No realli! (Monty Python joke)
Mile 1,159

Christ Mountain
Larimer County
The 2000k mark on the course
Mile 1,242

Fort Collins
Home of Colorado State University. The number one attraction on their website is craft beer. Sounds like a good place for a stop.
Mile 1,266

Sedgwick County
Got its start as a Pony Express stop and, by the time the Union Pacific Railroad laid tracks through town in 1867, Julesburg was known as wickedest city in the West
Mile 1,426

Welcome to NebraskaNebraska

State Line
Welcome to The Cornhusker State
Mile 1,428

Front Street
Visit the Crystal Palace Saloon where you can walk up to the old bar, put a foot on the brass rail, cock an elbow and down a cold mug of red-eye or sarsaparilla
Mile 1,458

Bailey Yard
North Platte
The world’s largest railway yard covers 2,850 acres, reaching a total length of eight miles.
Mile 1,509

Pony Express Station and Museum
Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.
Mile 1,545

Dawson County
The halfway mark on the course. Might as well stop and visit the Robert Henri Museum & Art Gallery while you’re there.
Mile 1,553

Great Platte River Road Archway Monument
A $60 million monument and museum that spans more than 300 feet over Interstate 80
Mile 1,604

Island Oasis Water Park
Grand Island
Wouldn’t a soak in the Lazy River feel great right about now?
Mile 1,645

America’s Official Fourth of July City—Small Town USA
If your team averages 81.5 miles per day, you’ll be here to help them celebrate their special day!
Mile 1,712

Nebraska State Capital and the University of Nebraska
Mile 1,740

Wildlife Safari Park
No this isn’t Joe Exotic’s place. That’s in Oklahoma.
Mile 1,770

Birthplace of the Reuben sandwich and home of the College World Series
Mile 1802

Welcome to IowaIowa

State Line
Welcome to The Hawkeye State
Mile 1,803

Start of Transcontinental Railroad
Council Bluffs
Mile 1,803

Cass County
The 3000k mark on the course. Their motto is: “The Home of Friendly People.” Maybe a good place to stop and ask to use the bathroom?
Mile 1,864

Iowa Aviation Museum
Mile 1,864

Madison County, IA

Madison County, IA

Bridges of Madison County
Madison County
Home to famous covered bridges and setting for the book and movie of the same name
Mile 1,905

John Wayne Birthplace Museum
Mile 1,908

National Balloon Museum and National Balloon Classic
Up, Up and Away…
Mile 1,932

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum
Mile 1,967

The small town in mentioned in the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere”
Mile 1,992

William Penn University
The school was founded by Quakers
Mile 1,992

State Theater
Guinness World Record holder for longest continually running cinema theater
Mile 2,043

Wildcat Den State Park
Mile 2,099

Bix Fest
Site of the annual jazz festival and of the Bix 7 road race, both commemorating musician Bix Beiderbecke
Mile 2,120

Welcome to IllinoisIllinois

State Line
Welcome to The Prairie State
Mile 2,122

John Deere Pavilion
Get in the cab of some of their biggest machines on their display floor
Mile 2,125

Birthplace of Ronald Reagan
Mile 2,167

Viking Memorial
The first permanent camp of Norwegians in the Midwest
Mile 2,230

Old Joliet Prison
Opened in 1858, it was featured in the movie The Blues Brothers as the prison from which Jake Blues is released at the beginning of the film.
Mile 2,262

Rialto Square Theatre
This 1920s vaudeville-era theater was a favorite of gangster Al Capone and also the place where Christopher Knight and Adrianne Curry held their wedding reception in the final episode of My Fair Brady.
Mile 2,262

Indiana Welcome SignIndiana

State Line
Welcome to The Hoosier State
Mile 2,292

“The Region”
This NW Indiana area outside of Chicago is know for competitive HS wrestling and home to the Jackson family
Miles 2,292 – 2,348

“Crossroads of America”
Got its name due to state highways 30 and 41 intersecting here
Mile 2,295

Gummi Bear Factory Tour
Mile 2,302

Valparaiso Popcorn Festival

Valparaiso Popcorn Festival
Celebrating our favorite snack and former resident, Orville Redenbacher
Mile 2,318

Amish Country
Mile 2,376

Mid-America Windmill Museum
Over 50 historic windmills. A real eye-catcher on a breezy day.
Mile 2,413


Ohio Welcome SignState Line
Welcome to The Buckeye State
Mile 2,439

Dum-Dums Lollipop Factory Tour
Spangler candy company offers a trolley tour of the factory(!)
Mile 2,452

Henry County
The 4000k mark on the course
Mile 2,485

National Tractor Pulling Championships
Bowling Green
Mile 2,500

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
His is the first presidential library, built in 1916
Mile 2,529

Castle Noel
“America’s largest indoor, year-round Christmas entertainment attraction”
Mile 2,599

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
85 mile multi-use trail running along the Cuyahoga River
Mile 2,615

Cuyahoga Falls National Park
Cuyahoga Falls
The only national park that began as a national recreation area
Mile 2,620

Pennsylvania Welcome SignPennsylvania

State Line
Welcome to The Keystone State
Mile 2,674

Black Moshannon State Park
Rush Township
The highest point along the course east of the Mississippi River (2,400 ft.)
Mile 2,828

Grange Fair
Centre Hall
Since 1874, where people pitch tents and sleep on site at the fair
Mile 2,852

Penn's CavePenn’s Cave & Wildlife Park
Centre Hall
“America’s only all-water cavern & farm-nature-wildlife park”
Mile 2,852

Bucknell University
Mile 2,897

Knoebels Amusement Resort
America’s largest free admission amusement park
Mile 2,922

Giant Rooster
You’ll pass by a giant rooster statue outside a laundromat on your right between Mercer and Broad Streets.
Mile 2,935

Welcome to New JerseyNew Jersey

State Line
Welcome to The Garden State
Mile 3,008

Thomas Edison National Historical Park
West Orange
The former home and laboratory of the state’s most famous. See where such breakthrough technologies as movie cameras, sound recordings, and batteries first saw the light of day.
Mile 3,062

Yogi Berra Museum
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” The Hall of Fame Yankees catcher lived here for decades.
Mile 3,063

George Washington Bridge
Crossing the Hudson River into NY
This double decker span is the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. Just don’t get stuck in one of Chris Christie’s traffic jams.
Mile 3,082

Welcome to New YorkNew York

State Line
Welcome to The Empire State
Mile 3,082

Little Red Lighthouse
Lafayette Plaza
The Jeffrey’s Hook lighthouse sits beneath the George Washington Bridge
Mile 3,082

Borough of Manhattan
Internationally known as the Black Mecca celebrating African American culture
Mile 3,086

Coogan’s Bluff
Highland Park
Once the site of the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants baseball team. You’ll also see Yankee Stadium off to your left across the Harlem River.
Mile 3,084

Central Park
The busiest urban park in the U.S. and the backdrop to countless iconic movies
Mile 3,089

Balto the Dog Statue
Central Park
Heroic sled dog that helped relay medicine over 700 miles through blinding snow and subzero temperatures to save children during a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska in 1925
Mile 3,089

Fifth Avenue
One of the most expensive and elegant streets in the world. Do you keep running or stop and take time to window shop?
Mile 3,090

Empire State Building
Visitors can see 80 miles into N.Y., N.J., Conn., Pennsylvania and Mass. on a clear day
Mile 3091

Williamsburg Bridge
Manhattan into Brooklyn
Carrying rail, trolley and roadways for carriages and pedestrians, it was one of the last major bridges designed for the horse and carriage
Mile 3,094

Ft. Tilden Beach
Finish Line
Mile 3,107
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