Day Trip to a Nearby Ghost Town
Before this trip, I have always wanted to explore a ghost town. There is something eerily cool about seeing a town that has been nearly untouched for decades. I love thinking about the people who used to live in these towns.
Who were they, and what was their story?
First things first. Do you know what a ghost town is and why they exist? In the early 1900s, mining was the industry everyone got into because that’s where the money was. Whether you were someone’s husband, uncle, son, roommate, basically – if you were a man, you would most likely be working in the mines. People from all over the US started flocking to the west with the hopes of striking it rich. There were so many people that the towns that already existed couldn’t contain them all, so new towns had to be built to accommodate everyone.
All good things eventually come to an end, right? When the silver was running out, people were forced to leave these mining towns to look for work elsewhere, leaving these towns abandoned for decades.
Luckily for us, these towns still exist, and many of them are open for visitors. Some of them are a bit more lively and taken care of than others, but regardless visiting these towns is like stepping back in time. There are a couple of ghost towns close to Tonopah, and I highly recommend spending a day exploring them if you can.
To get to these towns, you absolutely need a car. There are no buses or trains that stop in these towns.
Belmont: Before you drive to Belmont you should know that, you most likely will have no cell service, and see no signs of life for miles. Belmont is literally in the middle of nowhere, so pray your car doesn’t break down. Don’t let that stop you from visiting though.
Now that we got that positive tidbit out of the way you should first know that Belmont is quite small. There was one bar called “Dirty Dick’s” and a courthouse, but most of the buildings are in ruins.
Back during the mining boom people moved around constantly looking for work, They started tearing down their homes so that they could gather the materials they needed to build a new home in the next town they live in. When Belmont’s mine closed, people destroyed their homes to acquire timber from the roofs. They left the rest of their homes in ruins which is what still remains in Belmont today.
Goldfield: This town was a lot more lively than Belmont. Goldfield actually had a couple of shops and one restaurant. There was even a visitors centre. There is a self-guided walk that I suggest taking if you have the time. There is also loads of antique shops that sell old machinery and wagon wheels.
I was tempted to buy a wagon wheel – not that I have the room for one, but imagine bringing home a wagon wheel as a souvenir? Anyway, If you have time to visit one ghost town on your trip, I recommend Goldfield.