Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Northeastern Nevada

© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 6/7/14.

This site covers airfields in all 50 states: Click here for the site's main menu.

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Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field (revised 9/24/11) - Caliente Flight Strip (revised 8/10/12) - Delamar Lake Landing Strip (revised 9/13/13)

Pahranagat Airport / Alamo Landing Field (revised 6/7/14) - Pioche Municipal Airport (revised 6/7/14)

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Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field, Buffalo Valley, NV

40.35 North / 117.35 West (Northeast of Reno, NV)

Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field,

as depicted on the April 1942 6M Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The Buffalo Valley airfield was one of the network of Intermediate Fields

which was constructed by the Civil Aeronautics Administration in the 1920s & 1930s.

The Intermediate Fields were intended for the emergency use of commercial aircraft

flying on airways between major cities.

 

The date of construction of the Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field has not been determined.

The earliest reference to the field which has been located

was in The Airport Directory Company's 1933 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It described Buffalo Valley as the Department of Commerce's Intermediate Field Site 32

along the San Francisco - Salt Lake airway.

The landing area was said to consist of a 201 acre triangular sod field,

which was equipped with a beacon, boundary, and approach lights.

Describing the field as "sod" must have been quite optimistic -

there probably wasn't much sod in the Nevada desert!

 

The earliest chart depiction of the Buffalo Valley airfield which has been located

was on the April 1942 6M Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted the Buffalo Valley airfield as Site 32,

and also depicted the Buffalo Valley Radio, which was located at the field.



A 1942 photo of the Buffalo Valley Radio & Radio Beacon.

The left side of the building consisted of living quarters.

The radio station was located in the center & the right side was temporary housing or bachelor quarters.



The only photo which has been located showing the Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field while in operation

was a 10/25/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted Buffalo Valley as a triangular unpaved area.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field

as a 193 acre triangular property containing 3 sand 3,400' runways.

The field was not said to have any hangars,

was owned by the U.S. Government, and operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.



The last depiction which has been located of Buffalo Valley as an active airfield

was on the November 1948 Elko Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field was still depicted as Site 32B.



Being in a very remote area, the Buffalo Valley airfield remained operational (at least nominally)

much longer than most of the other Intermediate Fields.

It apparently was closed at some point between 1948-54,

as it was no longer depicted on the October 1954 Elko Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).



The 1962 USGS topo map no longer depicted any trace of the airfield itself,

but did still depict a “Beacon”.



As seen in the 1994 USGS aerial photo,

the triangular layout of the Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field is still quite apparent,

more than 60 years after it was constructed.

There did not appear to be any signs of any buildings having been located at the airfield.



A circa 2006 aerial view depicted the Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field as remaining in an unchanged condition.



A September 2011 photo by Ben Ross of the remains of Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field, showing what “might have been the pad for the airport beacon.

A pad for generators then a pad with cut-off metal columns at each corner (tower?) then a cement arrow pointing approx 030 degrees.

There are still several large galvanized cones there.

I guess the runway/taxiway lights were mounted on top of the cones .

Ben also found a 1936 automobile license plate at the site.

He reported, “It looks like a rancher was using the well & a corral at one time, but no longer.

I found many pieces of thick red glass that were once marker lights for the taxi or runway lights.

I could not see anything left of the runways but I'm not sure I looked in the right area.”



A September 2011 photo by Ben Ross of the remains of Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field, of what appears to have been “a walkway that goes out to a flag pole in front of the main building.”



The site of the Buffalo Valley Intermediate Field is located 18 miles east of Route 305,

25 miles southwest of Battle Mountain, NV.

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Pahranagat Airport / Alamo Landing Field (L92), Alamo, NV

37.36 North / 115.19 West (Northwest of Las Vegas, NV)

Pahranagat Airport, as depicted on the August 1945 Mt. Whitney World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The date of construction of this airfield has not been determined.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Pahranagat Airport

was on the 1940 Airports & Airways Map from the NV Division of Aeronautics (courtesy of Jim Mallery),

which depicted Pahranagat as a "Class 1-" airport



Pahranagat was depicted as an auxiliary airfield

on the August 1945 Mt. Whitney World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).



The September 1949 Mt. Whitney World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Donald Felton)

depicted "Pahranagat" Airport as having a 2,600' unpaved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located of Pahranagat Airport was a 10/2/52 USGS aerial view,

which depicted it as having 2 unpaved runways.



The May 1957 Mt. Whitney World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted "Pahranagat" Airport as having a 2,600' unpaved runway.

 

Pahranagat Airport evidently was abandoned at some point between 1957-59,

as it was not depicted at all on the March 1959 Mt. Whitney Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)

or 1967 aeronautical charts.

 

At some point between 1967-69 the airfield was evidently reestablished,

as "Alamo Landing Field" was depicted on the 1969 USGS topo maps as having 2 unpaved runways.

 

However, the field continued to not be depicted at all on aeronautical charts from 1971 or 1978,

nor listed in the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury).

 

The 1994 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy) depicted the airfield once again under its former name of "Pahranagat",

and described the field as having a 2,600' unpaved runway.

 

USGS aerial photo 1999.

 

Alamo Landing Field was listed in the 2002 & 2003 FAA Airport Facility/Directory as a public-use airfield.

 It is the closest public-use airport to Groom Lake, located only 20 miles to the east.

 

According to a USAF environmental assessment,

Alamo Landing Field is currently used by the Air Force to conduct combat landing training for airlift forces.

However, Alamo is not ideal for the USAF's purposes:

"Although presently used by military cargo aircraft, the field is owned,

controlled by Lincoln County & used by civilian traffic, which restricts its use.

Security & safety factors are additional issues that affect free & unrestricted use."

Therefore, the Air Force is attempting to replace its use of Alamo with a proposed airfield,

Cedar Pass (to be built 60 miles east of Tonopah).

 

The airfield consists of 2 dirt runways (the largest is 5,000' long),

described as being "in poor condition".

There are no buildings or any indications of any based aircraft.

 

A 2003 photo by Don Barrett looking along one of the runway of Alamo Landing Field.

 

Don Barrett visited the Alamo Landing Field in 2003.

"The Alamo Landing Field is a curiosity -

driving through the town there is a road sign that says 'Airport' & points to the west.

Once turning off the highway, there are no more signs to lead you to an airport

and no visible sign of one, though there is Airport Road.

Following Airport Road one does eventually come to a cleared area

which would not be immediately recognizable as an airport unless one were looking for one.

The field is as described on the web page -

two runways of hard packed soil forming an X with a some overgrowth & no signs of any structures.

The cleared area for the longer strip was 1.0 mile per my odometer,

and appeared to be 80 to 100' wide.

It is surprisingly well-cleared considering that it is probably 60 years old,

though it looks too rough (there are washed out sections) for use as a landing field."



A circa 2006 aerial view looking northwest at the Alamo Landing Field.

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Pioche Municipal Airport (11U), Pioche, NV

38 North / 114.51 West (North-northeast of Las Vegas, NV)

An 8/18/51 USGS aerial view of Pioche Airport.



The date of construction of this airport is unknown.

The earliest reference to the field which has been located

is The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo),

which described Pioche as an Auxiliary Airport,

having a rectangular 1,000' x 600' gravel landing area.

 

The original Pioche Airport was apparently closed between 1937-40,

as the 1940 NV Airports & Airways Map (courtesy of Jim Mallery)

depicted Pioche as a "proposed Class 1 Airport",

and no airfield was depicted at Pioche on aeronautical charts from 1944, 1945, 1949, or 1952.



The earliest photo which has been located of Pioche Airport was an 8/18/51 USGS aerial view.

It depicted Pioche as having 2 unpaved runways.

 

The Pioche Airport was apparently reopened at some point between 1952-54,

as the October 1954 Reno Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)

depicted Pioche Airport as having a 4,800' unpaved runway.



Pioche Airport was described in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory as having a single 4,800' bare Runway 13/31,

and it listed the operator as Lincoln County.

 

Pioche Airport, as depicted on the 1971 Las Vegas Sectional Chart (courtesy of Vince Granato).

 

Pioche Airport was described in the 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)

as having a single 4,800' dirt Runway 13/31.

 

Pioche was depicted as a general aviation airport

on the 1990 NV Airports & Landing Strips Map (courtesy of Jim Mallery).

 

The field was still labeled "Pioche Municipal Airport" on the 1991 USGS topo map,

which may indicate that it was still open at that point.

Note that the single runway was on a different alignment compared to both of the runways depicted in the 1951 aerial photo.

 

However, Pioche Municipal Airport was apparently closed at some point between 1991-94,

as it was no longer listed among active airfields in the 1994 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy),

nor depicted at all (not even as an abandoned airfield) on the 1998 World Aeronautical Chart.

 

In the 1999 USGS aerial photo, the runway still existed in fairly decent condition.

A graded ramp area sat adjacent to the west side of the runway.

There was no indication of any buildings having existed at the site.



A circa 2006 aerial view showed that the Pioche Airport site remained largely unchanged.



Pioche Municipal Airport is located on the east side of Route 93, 6 miles northwest of Pioche, NV.

 

Thanks to Don Barrett for pointing out this field.

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Caliente Flight Strip (0L2), Caliente, NV

37.6 North / 114.86 West (North-northeast of Las Vegas, NV)

A 5/5/43 aerial view looking northeast from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted the Caliente Flight Strip as having a single north/south paved runway.



This was one of the many Flight Strips which were built by the USAAF

during WW2 for the emergency use of military aircraft.

The Caliente Flight Strip was listed on a 1943 table of 2nd Air Force Flight Strips (courtesy of John Voss),

which indicated that construction of the strip was completed in 1943.

The strip was described as consisting of a 6,400' paved runway.



The earliest depiction of the Caliente Flight Strip which has been located

was a 5/5/43 aerial view from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).

It depicted Caliente as having a single north/south paved runway.



The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described the Caliente Flight Strip

as a 197 acre rectangular property having a single 6,400' bituminous northeast/southwest runway.

The field was not said to have any hangars,

and was owned by the U.S. Government, and operated by the U.S. Government (Public Roads Administration).



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of the Caliente Flight Strip which has been located

was on the August 1943 Mt. Whitney Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted a single northeast/southwest runway, adjacent to the south side of Route 93,

but labeled merely as “FS-2”.

 

"Caliente Flight Strip, Army" was listed in the 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer).

It is not known what military use (if any) the Caliente Flight Strip ever had.

 

The Caliente Flight Strip was reused after WW2 as a civil airfield.

 

The September 1949 Mt. Whitney World Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Donald Felton)

depicted “Caliente FS” as having a 6,400' hard-surface runway.

 

"Caliente FS" was still depicted on the May 1957 Mt. Whitney Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),

but its status had changed to a private field.

 

“Caliente FS” was depicted as a public-use airfield

on the March 1959 Mt. Whitney Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

 

The Caliente Flight Strip was evidently closed at some point between 1959-67,

as no airfield at this location was depicted on aeronautical charts from 1967 & 1971.



However, it was not depicted at all (not even as an abandoned airfield) on the 1972 Sectional Charts.



Strangely, it was labeled "Delamar Landing Field" on the 1978 USGS topo map.



Caliente Flight Strip was evidently reestablished as an airfield at some point between 1972-89,

as it was listed as an active airfield in the 1989 Airport Facility Directory (according to Chris Kennedy).

The remarks said, "Unattended. Rwy extremely poor condition. Rwy 01 - 19 has ruts 1' deep."



A 7/7/89 photo of a USAF C-130 landing at “Caliente Landing Zone NV” (courtesy of CS).

CS reported, “The USAF used this airstrip occasionally for C-130 assault zone training.

I landed a C-130 there on 7/7/89 as part of a Green Flag exercise out of Nellis AFB

(similar to a Red Flag exercise but with more emphasis on electronic warfare than the dogfighting you see in a Red Flag).

One of the benefits of the C-130 is that it can land on unpaved runways.

However, there aren’t too many dirt strips out there for us to practice on.

Caliente was used in conjunction with Red Flag & Green Flag exercises for this training in a combat scenario.”



Caliente Flight Strip was depicted as a general aviation airport

on the 1990 NV Airports & Landing Strips Map (courtesy of Jim Mallery).



Strangely, the Caliente Flight Strip was labeled "Delamar Landing Field" on the 1991 USGS topo map.



In the 1999 USGS aerial photo, the runway was remarkably well preserved,

considering that it was built nearly 60 years ago.

There did not appear to be any trace of any buildings at the site.



Caliente Flight Strip was evidently abandoned (again) at some point between 1990-2002,

as it was no longer depicted at all (not even as an abandoned airfield) on the 2002 Sectional Charts.

 

A 2003 photo of the Caliente Flight Strip by Don Barrett.

 

Don Barrett visited Caliente Flight Strip in 2003.

"On the BLM map that I was using, the field is listed as 'Delamar Landing Field'.

It is generally overgrown & difficult to tell apart from the general desert landscape until actually on it.

The field appears to have been gravel since it is a darker color stone than the surrounding desert

and there is no evidence of any pavement.

There is no evidence of any structures having existed,

and no evidence of taxiways or other peripheral surface areas.

The road to it is a one-lane rutted dirt road,

though it is level enough to suggest that it may have been graded at some time in the past.

The cleared area is only about 60' to 80' wide (based on my car length),

and going from one end to the other in the cleared area,

my odometer registered 1.2 miles.

The overgrowth is low enough that it could still be used as an emergency landing strip,

though the nearby highway would be much better."

 

Don continued, "From nearby US 93, you can't even tell that there was an air strip here - it just looks like open desert.

I have no idea why it would ever have been used for civil aviation.

There is almost no population in the area, only very scattered ranches.

Caliente is about 20 miles east,

and there is a well-maintained (but little used) Lincoln County Airport in Panaca

which is closer & more easily accessed for Caliente."



A circa 2006 aerial view looking northeast along Caliente's runway.

 

Caliente Flight Strip is located on the south side of Route 93, 19 miles west of Caliente, NV.

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Delamar Lake Landing Strip, Alamo, NV

37.32 North / 114.94 West (North-northeast of Las Vegas, NV)

USGS topo map 1991.

 

In the 1960's, Delamar Lake was used as a drop point & emergency landing site for the X-15 rocket plane.

The NB-52 carrying the X-15 under its wing would take off from Edwards AFB,

fly north to Delamar, and drop the X-15 about 40,000' above the lakebed.

Normally the X-15 would ignite its rocket engine & be boosted on a suborbital trajectory back to Edwards,

but on flight 1-63-104 in 1966 the engine failed

and X-15-1 made an emergency landing on the Delmar lakebed runway

after a flight that reached a 'mere' 115,000' altitude.

 

The Delamar Lake Landing Strip consists of a 15,000' long runway (almost 3 miles long!)

laid out along the length of a dry lakebed.

 

The field was clearly depicted as a "Landing Strip" on the 1978 & 1991 USGS topo maps.

However, it was not depicted at all (even as an abandoned airfield)

on aeronautical charts from 1949, 1967, 1971, 1972 or 2002.

 

A database of space launch sites includes entries for "Delamar Dry Lake",

"Delamar Dry Lake Drop Zone #1" (southeast of the lake),

and "Delamar Dry Lake Drop Zone #2" (northwest of the lake).

All 3 are listed as being used by NASA/USAF from 1959-67.

 

No outline of a landing strip was discernible at all in the 1994 USGS aerial photo,

nor was there any indication of any buildings or other improvements.

 

Current ownership of the property is unknown.

 

The Delamar Dry Lake has been used in recent years for launches of large model rockets.

 

A recent shot of Delamar Lake.

 

Among military aircraft radio communications, the dry lake is referred to as "Texas Lake".



A 4/3/12 photo of personnel inspecting a Boeing CST-100 space capsule prototype following a parachute drop test at Delamar.



Overall, this lakebed landing strip is very similar to the Bonnie Claire Dry Lake Landing Strip.



Delamar Lake is located west of "Pwr Line Maintenance Road",

12 miles east-southeast of Alamo, NV.

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