Did you know you can explore a town in Nevada that was once submerged underwater? Does that sound pretty enticing?

This once-thriving town was submerged by water in the early 1930s. Because of the latest drought, the entire ghost town is now exposed. So, you’re probably curious as to what town we’re speaking of. Well, that would be the town of St. Thomas, one of the most fascinating cities under Lake Mead.

In 1865, St. Thomas was initially settled by Mormon pioneers. In 1871, because a land survey shifted Nevada’s state line, the Mormons moved out of town – quickly. Why would they do something as extreme as this? Well, when the state line was shifted, all of the Mormon settlements were situated in Nevada instead of Utah or Arizona. Nevada then tried to collect taxes from these residents for previous years. The Mormons refused to pay and relocated to Utah.

St. Thomas became a main stopping point between Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles, California, and it attracted new settlers because of its great farming land and numerous salt mining opportunities.

In 1928, President Coolidge authorized the construction of Hoover Dam. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, began to fill in 1935. By 1938, the waters had reached St. Thomas. When Lake Mead is completely full, St. Thomas lies 60 feet beneath the lake’s surface.

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At its peak, St. Thomas’ population was approximately 500. The town didn’t offer indoor plumbing or electricity. However, there was a school, church, grocery stores, post office and an ice cream parlor to accommodate the residents.

Since the construction of Hoover Dam, drought conditions have exposed St. Thomas on several occasions. This ghost town is quite interesting to explore. Keep in mind, if you do decide to check it out, don’t touch or move any objects. The objects left behind by early settlers are protected cultural artifacts.

Want to know more about one of the most fascinating cities under Lake Mead? Check out this video:

What are your thoughts on this underwater city? Did you know that it existed? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below — we would love to hear from you! For related content, check out our article highlighting some of the most fascinating abandoned places in Nevada — if you dare!

Also, check out our full list of abandoned destinations in Nevada — it’s a list of hand-picked abandoned sites throughout Nevada that you’ve never heard of.

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More to Explore

cities under Lake Mead

Does Nevada have any ghost towns?

Below is a list of ghost towns in Nevada:

  • Hamilton, White Pine County
  • Rhyolite, Nye County
  • Gold Point, Esmeralda County
  • Silver City, Lyon County
  • Unionville, Pershing County
  • Beowawe, Eureka County


There's something so alluring about ghost towns. These once-thriving locales have a way of preserving the past in a way that's equally fascinating and chilling. If you do plan to explore some of Nevada's ghost towns, always exercise caution. For more information about these places, check out our road trip that will take you to Nevada's ghost towns.

What are the best places to visit in Nevada?

Nevada is often famous for the city of Las Vegas, but it's also true that there are endless day trip destinations within the state. Some of the best places to visit in Nevada that aren't Las Vegas include:

  • Mount Rose Wilderness, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
  • Jarbidge Wilderness, Elko
  • Valley of Fire, Overton
  • Cathedral Gorge, Panaca
  • Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park, Baker
  • Lake Mead, Boulder City
  • Sloan Canyon, Henderson
  • Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark, Tonopah


Learn more about these bucket-list-worthy destinations in Nevada.


Explore Nevada