Ghost Towns near Las Vegas? You bet there are! From dusty old mining camps to once-thriving towns with remnants of boom times long gone, your home base in Las Vegas is a fine starting point for numerous ghost town adventures. Here is information about ghost towns that are within driving distance of the Las Vegas area:
Calico Ghost Town
PO Box 638
Yermo, CA 92398
Located 160 miles south of Las Vegas. Take I-15 to Ghost Town Road exit. 10 miles north of Barstow.
Hours: 7 am – dusk
1881 Marked the beginning of one of the largest silver strikes in California history and the birth of Calico. This authentic silver mining town lives on as one of the few original mining camps of the Old West. Admission is $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth and free for children 5 & under.
Located near Nelson, NV. From Las Vegas travel Southeast on I-515 for 20 miles to US 93. Turn South on US 93/95 for 13 miles to SR 165. Turn Southeast on SR 165 (Nelson Road) for 11.2 miles to Nelson, Nevada.
In 1839 gold and silver were discovered in Eldorado Canyon and almost $5 million was removed in the 40 years of operations. During its heyday, it achieved a reputation as one of the most notorious towns in the West.
Located 37 miles south of Las Vegas via I-15 to Jean and State Route 161.
Founded in the 1860’s, Goodsprings became a large silver and lead producer in the 1890’s. It is home to the Pioneer Saloon, which is reportedly home to numerous and frequent ghost sightings.
Located 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas just east of State Route 160.
Johnnie produced more than $1 million in gold from 1904 until it was shut down at the beginning of World War II.
Mojave Desert Ghost Towns
North of I-15 between the Nevada state line and Baker, California are many former mining towns all within a short drive of Las Vegas.
Located about 135 miles from Las Vegas on old route 66 in Arizona.
Born as a tent camp for miners in 1906, Oatman was a gold-mining center. Shootouts are held along the many false-front buildings on Main Street which house shops, saloons and restaurants. Wild burros roam the streets.
Located 175 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Take I-15 to the turnoff at US 93, turn north for 85 miles to Ash Springs, continue on US 93 east to Caliente. Pioche is about 25 miles from Caliente.
One of the most dangerous and lawless mining towns, Pioche boasts a legend that 75 men died violently before the town’s first death by natural causes. It gained further notoriety through the scandal surrounding it’s “Million Dollar Courthouse.”
Located 25 miles southwest of Las Vegas via I-15 south to the Arden exit, US 160 West.
Site of Nevada’s oldest lode mine, with the discovery of lead deposits by Mormons from the Las Vegas Mission in 1856, the Potosi mine was a producer of lead, zinc and silver well into the 20th century.
Located 114 miles northwest of Las Vegas via US 95 north to Beatty, State Route 374, 4 miles west of Beatty.
Rhyolite sprung up in 1905 after the discovery of gold in the area. The population rose to an estimated 10,000 to become one of the largest cities in Nevada, but by 1919 in was a ghost town.
Sandy & Sandy Valley, NV
Located 36 miles southwest of Las Vegas. I-15 to Jean and State Route 161.
A small milling community that sprang up in the 1890’s to service the Keystone Mine in the nearby Spring Mountains.
Located 57 miles south of Las Vegas on US 95.
This mining town began around 1879 and in 1907 was the most important community in southern Nevada. However, by 1910 depletion of high grade ore soon reduced the population of Searchlight greatly, and those remaining made a living from ranching or catering to the highway traffic.
St. Thomas, NV
Located 67 miles Northeast of Las Vegas in the Moapa Valley near Overton, off of the I-15
Founded 8 Jan 1865 by Mormon settlers sent by Brigham Young to the confluence of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers, St. Thomas had fewer than 500 residents, but was a popular stop along the Arrowhead Trail. The town and surrounding land was purchased by the Federal goverment in the 1930s to make way for Lake Mead. Most residents moved to nearby Overton. After the completion of Hoover Dam (then called Boulder Dam), the waters rose to cover the foundations of the town’s buildings. Today, when the lake low, the remnants of St. Thomas are visible.