If you ever find yourself at the intersections of Skull Valley and Stark roads in western Utah, take a long peek out the car window. See that barren nothingness that extends as far as the eye can see? That’s paradise for budding Air Force jocks: The Utah Test & Training Range, where the munitions of tomorrow are exploding today. The range measures over 2,600 square miles, making it a fair bit larger than both Rhode Island and Delaware. The military can get away with exploding a 10 kiloton bomb here without having anyone notice (save for satellites).
The UTTR is also where vintage missile motors are incinerated into nothingness, as part of our START I treaty obligations.
Don’t linger too long at that intersection, though. Not only are you unlikely to see anything go kablooie—remember, the UTTR is bigger than frickin’ Delaware—but the Air Force doesn’t take too kindly to snoops. If you must, make friends with a local and have ‘em invite you out for UTTR’s annual Family Day. Hot dogs, softball, and 500-pound JDAM bombs for all.
(Photo from the amazing Center for Land Use Interpretation.)