Your top 10 Ghost Towns?

of Death Valley and vicinity
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Your top 10 Ghost Towns?

Post by Desslok » Thu May 23, 2013 10:34 am

Okay, just a couple of days before I head out (and subsequently stop bugging you guys with dumb questions) - and I'm seriously pumped. This is gonna be awesome.

So, the dumb question of the day is: what are your Must See ghost towns? You know, really photogenic ruins with loads of rusty equipment that'll make for great pictures and the like. Preferably nothing too super-hard to get to, that'll require offroading and hiking in for 3 miles.

Since I'm staying in Beatty, Rhyolite is on the list for sure - but the other stops on my short list consists of:

- Ballarat
- Panamint City (or is this one too hard to get to?)
- Darwin
- Leadfield
- Elizalde Concrete Plant (which isn't technically a ghost town and technically isn't in Death Valley, but it looks pretty unique from what pictures I've seen)

Oh, and I'll probably hit the Gold Point Ghost Town on the way in - which I know is closer to Wall Drug than a proper ghost town, but it still seems pretty cool anyway.

So, anything on the list I've omitted? Anything I should skip?

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Post by Kukulcan » Thu May 23, 2013 12:29 pm

you should go see Calico

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Post by Gowergulch42 » Thu May 23, 2013 3:46 pm

Kukulcan wrote:you should go see Calico
Nononononono. That place is atrocious and overrun by tourists. It's truly aweful.
Check out my reports and informative ramblings at

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Post by Desslok » Thu May 23, 2013 9:05 pm

Besides, it's a bit further away than I wanted to go. A little bit beyond the park boundaries I don't mine, but that too far to go for my schedule.

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Post by Moly Man » Sat May 25, 2013 5:12 pm

Cerro the caretaker first at 760-876-5030. His first name is Bob.

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Post by D.A. Wright » Sat May 25, 2013 9:17 pm

Panamint City is quite a hike, but is very scenic. The oldest ruins are nice but subtle (except for the smelter stack), but much of what is left of town is from the 20th century and not as unique or scenic.

Ballarat is easy to get to. Not much left but the general store and some tidbits.

Darwin is a living town, but the downtown core is kind of neat. Got a bit of 60s hippy in it, though.

Leadfield is probably has the most ruins in your list (which is not much, but does have a couple of standing buildings), with exception to Rhyolite. Titus Canyon below is pretty neat. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, which like to jump across the road at dusk and stare at you from a close vantage point from the rocks above.

Rhyolite is largely fenced off, and the asthetic and scenic value is largely gone since mining in the 1990s tore down some mountains and built new ones (massive tailings). Find the railroad grades. You can drive along the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad grade from near Bullfrog to Sarcobatus Flat with a vehicle with some clearance and with care if not a 4x4 or AWD.

Gold Point is scenic and unique. Stop in and have a beer with Herb. The ghost towns of Stateline and Oriental are a short drive south of Gold Point, are true ghost towns. Ask Herb for directions. Roads are dirt, but maintained to Stateline. Oriental can be sandy, but any 4x4 can make it without problems. AWD should be able as well. There are ruins of several small ghost towns in nearby Tule Canyon, which is west of Gold Point. Roads are maintained. You can go from the floor of Death Valley to pines in seven miles along the canyon. Quite scenic.

Next to the cement plant is the ghost town of Carrara. Where they quarried marble. Find the town fountain (still there) and bits of Carrara marble on the hotel floor.

Harrisburg and Skidoo are easily reached by any vehicle (dirt roads), but you need to be a true ghost town nut to enjoy them. And have a book with old photos of each town in their heyday to truly appreciate them. The ruins of the Skidoo mill are stabilized and interesting but you have to know where to go to see it. It's hiding in nearly plain sight from the old town.

Chloride City is neat. But you need a 4x4. It's an easy drive by 4x4, you don't need a modified one to get there. And driving to the top of nearby Chloride Cliff gives you a great view of Death Valley from its high perch.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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