I am not like your typical blogger, most people don't see the beauty in ghost towns and abandoned buildings. Me, I see Vintage beauty, photo shoots, kids having a blast and a great family day filled with exploration. Yes, I know it takes a special kind of person to come across a decaying building and think "Oh what a fun photo shoot" I mean most see the rusted car sinking into the desert and a long street that looks like it came out of a popular western all being swallowed by the earth and think it is a tad frightening.
But for me, I see these as a piece of rich history, if you close your eyes and listen closely, you can hear tales of gunfights and saloons in this vast desert setting. To me, there’s no better place on earth than the endless desert that surrounds Las Vegas and all the unique things you can find by just exploring it. If you are like me and love to find the unusual, then you would love the vintage allure of ghost towns. I have seen quite a few her and wanted to share them with you guys, so that you don't have to hunt them down for yourself.
This amazing ghost town is a hop skip and jump from downtown Las Vegas. It's crazy to think, you can travel from any major casino in Las Vegas and be in the center of a historical ghost town in a matter of about 45 minutes. But, that is exactly what this sleepy town of Nelson is all about. Nelson is Located near the end of a beautiful windy road surrounded by more cacti than I have seen anywhere. Once you look into the history you will find it is one of the first major gold strikes in the state of Nevada. In 1775 Nelson was originally named Eldorado by the Spanish settlers who discovered it. But due to the Gold Strike found here, the town grew and changed names after prospectors built the Techatticup Mine. This town is famous for being a lawless, violent place. Visiting this town today is not near as scary as thinking any minute you may get shot for looking at someone the wrong way and is much more peaceful and serene. Now you can stroll through the ruins, take amazing pictures of a wrecked plane that was a prop in the movie 3,000 Miles to Graceland or even take a mine tour if that is what you are into.
One of the most unique things about Rhyolite is what you see as you are driving into this dusty town. At first you don't know what it is and it is almost freaky, but you’ll notice something strange just on the horizon. It is 12 silhouetted ghosts that are showcased against the desert sky. No, they are not actual ghosts of this former town, but part of the art that’s showcased at the Goldwell Open Air Museum. The ghosts as well as 6 other sculptures, serve as a ominous and quite creepy introduction to this well-preserved ghost town. Rhyolite is named after the volcanic rock that is found in the area and is only a little over a 2 hour drive from the Las Vegas strip. It is also very close to Death Valley National Park, so you can make it a great day to grab two destination points at once. In 1904 prospectors discovered gold in this area and Rhyolite sprang to life. They started building hotels, a hospital, shops, a school and yes even a casinos. In 1916 though, everything dried up, the electricity was cut off and everyone disappeared. Today, you can see incredible structures including a bank, train station, and even a house made of beer bottles (one of my favorite spots for unique photo shoots) as it truly shows how wild this town truly was.
About 5 hours outside of Las Vegas, Belmont is a a bit longer drive than some other ghost towns on my list, but oh my is itl worth it. Belmont is a classic example of a small settlement rising to a prominent productive mining town just to be abandoned when it all dried up. The brick courthouse was built in 1876, and is a towering piece of western architecture. Belmont is at an elevation of 7,433 feet, making this an excellent place to visit in the summer to escape the scorching Las Vegas heat and a great place to visit in the winter if you’re in the mood to see a lot of snow. Just remember, this is not close to any real civilization, but the historical Belmont Bed and Breakfast is in the process of being brought back to life. If you’re willing to pitch in with restoration efforts, you can stay there for free, check out all the facts on their website.
Panamint City, California
Panamint City is a hikers dream. This amazing ghost town is about 4 hours outside of Las Vegas on the west side of the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley National Park. This ghost town has only one resident, who loves to tell people about the nearby abandoned truck that once belonged to the Manson family. The ghost town itself is a five mile hike through Surprise Canyon. this Canyon is a lush area that will require you to bushwhack, wade through water and go up a 4,000 foot elevation. When you get to the end of your hike you will find a ghost town founded by outlaws in 1874, with abandoned buildings and mines all around each side of you. Expect to see things like a smelter and abandoned vehicles. One of the biggest perks for the town guest are the hiker maintained cabins with self named themes like The Panamint Hilton and The Castle.
Gold Point, Nevada
The story of how Gold Point went from a mining town to a ghost town to a real life town where you can actually rent a room for the night is great one. A Las Vegas local named Herb Robbins, came upon Gold Point and fell in love with it. He set out to find out the history of the town and on his journey found out that he could actually buy it. After he hit the jackpot in good old Sin City, he did just that. Since then he has devoted his life to restoring the silver mining camp. Today, he is the town sheriff, the fire chief, the hotel clerk, and the local historian. Thanks to his amazing efforts, Gold Point is now a bustling town with 125 homes, a post office, a bakery and plenty of bars to hang out in. And boy does this town look good. Located only 3 hours from Las Vegas, Gold Point offers miner’s cabins that you can stay the night in, an saloon with western artifacts, beautifyl rich historical buildings, mining ruins, and tons of fun hiking trails. If you are an avid camper, there are places nearby for you to stay as well.
So that wraps up all the ones I have been too and know about, but if you know of any more, please leave your comments below so I can include them in this post and definitely take a trip to see it myself. xoxo Haley Fox
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