Nevada is best known for its mining history. After the discoveries of silver and gold throughout Nevada, towns continued to evolve. Unfortunately, as soon as the mines closed, residents packed their belongings and moved out of town. These former mining towns are considered “ghost towns.” In several ghost towns, only fragments of original buildings remain standing – giving us a glimpse into Nevada’s past. Some of these ghost towns even give off an eerie vibe.
For an up-close look at six of these Nevada ghost towns, follow the directions on this
Google Map. This would make a perfect weekend road trip!
1. Hamilton - White Pine County
We begin this ghost town road trip in Hamilton. In 1868, the town of Hamilton began after the discovery of silver ore in the area. Approximately 25,000 people migrated to the area the moment they learned about the discovery. In 1887, big-scale production ceased and people began moving out of town quickly. All that's remaining in this ghost town are fragments of buildings. Hamilton is located between Eureka and Ely, just off highway 50.
2. Rhyolite - Nye County
Our next stop is possibly the most famous ghost town in Nevada - Rhyolite. Rhyolite, founded in 1904, once had a population of more than 10,000. Unfortunately, the "Financial Panic of 1907" caused many businesses to shut down. The mines also eventually shut down, and even the power and light company stopped operating. The residents quickly moved out of town. A few of the remains left standing in Rhyolite include the following: a bottle house, the bank building and fragments from other original buildings. Rhyolite is located about one mile off Nevada State Route 374, approximately four miles west of Beatty.
3. Gold Point - Esmeralda County
We now arrive at Gold Point. This ghost town was called "Hornsilver" because it was a silver mining camp. Unfortunately, Hornsilver wasn't as successful as the founders had hoped it would be. They changed the town's name to "Gold Point" thinking the bad luck would turn around, but it didn't. Because the town's operators were dealing with many different issues and no resolutions were made, people began leaving town. Gold Point was once a town with a population of 2,000. Today, several original and restored buildings are some of the few things left in Gold Point. Gold Point is located about 300 miles south of Reno.
4. Silver City - Lyon County
We've finally reached Silver City. Silver City isn't a true ghost town just yet, but it's not too far off. It's actually a "living ghost town." Silver City was first settled in 1859. By 1861, the town's population was approximately 1,200. In 1869, upon the completion of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, the town's population was on the decline. When the railroad workers left town, they took their business with them. In 2000, Silver City's population was only 170. Many of the town's original buildings from the late 1800s are still standing today. Silver City is located near the Lyon/Carson border.
5. Unionville - Pershing County
Our next stop is Unionville. This ghost town's population was never more than 3,000. Also, the town was only around for ten years.
Unionville's best-preserved building is the schoolhouse, which was named Buena Vista. In addition to the schoolhouse, there are a few other original buildings still standing today. Unionville is located south of Mill City.
6. Beowawe - Eureka County
Sadly, our ghost town road trip is coming to an end. The last stop before heading back to Hamilton is Beowawe. The Central Pacific Railroad was responsible for the formation of Beowawe, which happened in 1868. The majority of the town's first residents were the construction workers who were building the railroad. In 1881, with a population of 60, Beowawe had reached its peak. At this time, the town had a church, store, elementary school, post office and library. Today, only a few buildings are left standing. Beowawe is located five miles south of I-80, on Nevada State Route 306.
What do you think? Does this sound like a road trip you’d be interested in taking?