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Fallon, Nevada

Fallon, Nevada
Maine Street in Fallon
Maine Street in Fallon
Nickname(s): The Oasis of Nevada[1]
Location of Fallon and Churchill County, Nevada
Location of Fallon and Churchill County, Nevada
Fallon, Nevada is located in USA
Fallon, Nevada
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Nevada
 • Total 3.65 sq mi (9.45 km2)
 • Land 3.63 sq mi (9.41 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 3,960 ft (1,207 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 8,606
 • Density 2,370/sq mi (915.0/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 89406, 89407, 89496
Area code(s) 775
FIPS code 32-24100
GNIS feature ID 0840412
Website .com.cityoffallonwww
Corn field in Fallon, August 2004

Fallon is a city in Churchill County, within western Nevada in the United States. The population was 8,606 at time of the 2010 census.[2] Fallon is the county seat of Churchill County[3] and is located in the Lahontan Valley.

Fallon and Churchill County are mostly agricultural areas. Although the area is arid, approximately 50,000 acres (200 km2) of its pastureland are irrigated with water from the Truckee–Carson Irrigation District. The principal crop grown is alfalfa for livestock feed. The "Heart O' Gold" cantaloupes of Churchill County were once distributed across the United States, but are now grown mostly for consumption in Nevada.

The largest single employer in Fallon and Churchill County is Naval Air Station Fallon, a training airfield that has been the home of the U.S. Navy's Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center including the TOPGUN training program since 1996, when it was moved here from Naval Air Station Miramar with that Air Station transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps.

U.S. Highway 50 (east–west) and US 95 (north–south) intersect in Fallon. It is one of the towns on the so-called "Loneliest Highway in America", the stretch of US 50 across most of Nevada that is known for its remoteness. Eastbound travelers from Fallon must drive 110 miles (180 km) to find the next town, Austin.


  • Name 1
  • Geography 2
  • Climate 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Politics 5
  • Nuclear weapons testing 6
  • Grimes Point 7
  • Education 8
  • In popular culture 9
  • Notable people 10
  • See also 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


The town and post office (established July 24, 1896) in a little shack of Michael Fallon.[4]


Fallon is located in western Churchill County at the geographic coordinates (39.472792, -118.778826).[5] It is in the Lahontan Valley, a former lakebed into which flows the Carson River, which passes north of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Fallon has a total area of 3.65 square miles (9.45 km2), of which 3.63 square miles (9.41 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2), or 0.49%, is water.[2]


Fallon experiences a desert climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Due to Fallon's altitude and aridity, the Diurnal temperature variation is quite substantial, especially in the summer months. Fallon's climate is quite dry, due to its location in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada. Summer days can be hot, but temperatures are cooler than in deserts such as the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts, due to Fallon's altitude and higher latitude north of the equator. In the winter, daytime temperatures are usually above freezing, but nights can be bitterly cold. Fallon can experience heavy fog in winter, known as pogonip.

Climate data for Fallon, Nevada (elevation 3,960 ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Average high °F (°C) 44.3
Average low °F (°C) 18.1
Record low °F (°C) −25
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.54
Average snowfall inches (cm) 1.8
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[6]


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 7,536 people, 3,004 households, and 1,877 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,474.1 people per square mile (954.0/km²). There were 3,336 housing units at an average density of 1,095.2 per square mile (422.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.50% White, 2.00% African American, 3.00% Native American, 4.70% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.9% of the population.

There were 3,004 households out of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,935, and the median income for a family was $41,433. Males had a median income of $35,356 versus $22,818 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,919. About 9.5% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.6% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.


The Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of the Fallon Reservation and Colony is headquartered in Fallon.[10]

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich was born in Fallon.

Nuclear weapons testing

Los Alamos National Laboratory, in conjunction with the Department of Defense, conducted an underground nuclear test 28 miles (45 km) southeast of Fallon at 5 p.m. on October 26, 1963. Named Project Shoal, the 12.5-kiloton detonation was part of the Vela Uniform program. The device exploded at a depth of 1,205 feet (367 m) below ground surface.[11] The site is located in Gote Flat in the Sand Springs Range.

Access to the Project Shoal Area is unrestricted.[11] Access to the area is by Highway 50, Nevada Highway 839, then to an improved gravel road to the site.

Grimes Point

Petroglyph at Grimes Point

Seven miles east of Fallon, adjacent to Highway 50, is the Grimes Point Petroglyph Trail.[12] The trail features rocks with carvings as much as eight thousand years old, created by native peoples who were drawn to the shores of ancient Lake Lahontan. The trail is approximately one-half mile long on a level path. Free brochures explaining the native art are available. There is also a cave where bats dwell. The path begins to rise as it goes from the now level lake bottom to the once higher bank where inhabited with caves.

The Grimes Point site is a part of a much larger archaeological complex, which includes a wide variety of materials, caves, shelters, and other archaeological sites. The site is located on what was once a shoreline of Pleistocene Lake Lahontan and is best known for the cupules, which are small pits dug out of the rock surface and found on hundreds of boulders in the area.

This site was the primary locality used by archaeologists Robert Heizer and Martin Baumhoff to define the "Pit and Groove Style" of rock art, which is thought by many to be the oldest type of rock art found in Nevada. It does share certain characteristics with other Great Basin rock art known to be of great antiquity called Great Basin Carved Abstract. Specifically, the depth of engraving and the width of the engraved lines are much greater than other rock art types that appear to be of more recent manufacture, a characteristic also noted elsewhere.

Archaeologist Karen Nissen included Grimes Point in her analyses of rock art sites in western Nevada and concluded that rock art was generally associated with hunting locales, an idea popular at that time but somewhat less so today.

Grimes had been significantly damaged prior to its listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1972, though the Bureau of Land Management began restoration and development for public exploration by the late 1970s and 1980s. The site is located off U.S. 50 east of Fallon and open to the public year-round.[13]


The city is served by the Churchill County School District. Churchill County High School is the main high school and also caters to students in rural areas outside the city. Western Nevada College has a campus in Fallon.

In popular culture

Notable people

  • Harvey Dahl, St. Louis Rams offensive lineman, is a Fallon native.[15]
  • Joshua Mauga, a Fallon native, plays for the New York Jets.
  • cowboy poet, was formerly a rancher near Fallon.[16]

See also


  1. ^ City of Fallon
  2. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Fallon city, Nevada". U.S. Census Bureau, American actfinder. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Carlson, Helen S. (1985). Nevada place names : a geographical dictionary. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 111.  
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  10. ^ "Nevada Tribes." 500 Nations. 2009 (retrieved 8 December 2009)
  11. ^ a b "Remediation Project Shoal Area, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection". 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Woody, Alanah. "Grimes Point". Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ The Last of the Old-Time Cowboys": Interview with Georgie Sicking, Fallon, Nevada, August 22, 1992""". Retrieved January 30, 2014. 


  • Steinmaus, C., M. Lu, R.L. Todd, A.H. Smith. Probability estimates for the unique childhood leukemia cluster in Fallon, Nevada, and risks near other U.S. military aviation facilities. Environmental Health Perspectives. 112(6): 766-771. May 2004.

External links

  • City of Fallon official website
  • Fallon Chamber of Commerce
  • Fallon business
  • Grimes Point Trail (Bureau of Land Management), with pictures of the carvings
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