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6 Best Ghost Towns Around Las Vegas Families Will Love 2024

Ghost Towns That Will Make You Feel Alive!

I don’t know about you guys, but I love a good ghost town. I never miss an opportunity to visit ghost towns during any road trip, even on the way to a Vegas family vacation. Hidden within the rugged desert landscape, these forgotten relics of the past hold secrets untold and stories waiting to be discovered, and I am here for it!

From the whispers of the wind through abandoned buildings to the echoes of bygone eras, exploring these ghost towns is like stepping back in time to a world where the Old West still reigns supreme. So grab your hat, dust off your boots, and join me on a journey through the best ghost towns around Las Vegas, where the past comes alive in the most hauntingly beautiful way.

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, Vegas.com). If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

Ghost Towns Around Las Vegas

Calico Ghost Towns Around Las Vegas

Calico Ghost Town

36600 Ghost Town Road, Yermo, CA

Alright, gather ’round, y’all, because I’ve got a tale to tell about Calico Ghost Town, the coolest ghost town around Las Vegas that’s perfect for families! From its heyday as a bustling silver mining town to its eventual decline and resurrection as a tourist attraction, Calico’s got a rich and colorful past that’ll captivate visitors of all ages.

At Calico Ghost Town, families can embark on all sorts of exciting adventures. You can explore the historic buildings and museums, hop aboard the Calico Odessa Railroad for a scenic ride through the desert, or try your hand at gold panning and gemstone mining.

You can’t leave without taking a 1000 foot self-guided tour through Maggie’s Mine. It is an easy family-friendly trail through the dimly lit mine, complete with realistic displays that demonstrate life as a miner. It is a little spooky being down there alone, but very cool too. For those who love a good ghost story, you can partake in on of Calico Ghost Town’s ghost tours.

Then test your balance and sense of reality at the Mystery Shack, where water runs uphill, brooms stand on end, and people can’t stand straight. It is truly bizarre, but a must.

Before you go, have a refreshing drink and lunch at Calico House Restaurant or Old Miner’s Cafe. There is nothing like a cold beer and juicy burger to make you feel alive in a ghost town.

Don’t want to leave? That’s fine. You pull up the RV or stay in one of their camper cabins for a fun glamping experience. Or you can do what we do, and continue on for a stay in Las Vegas.

So, if you’re looking for a family-friendly outing that’s equal parts educational and entertaining, be sure to check out my full family guide to visiting Calico Ghost Town with kids.

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Goodsprings Ghost Town near Las Vegas

Goodsprings Ghost Town

310 NV- 161, Goodsprings, NV

Goodsprings Ghost Town, located only 45 minutes from Las Vegas, is a 120 year old Clark Count mining town that’s just waiting to be explored! But what exactly can you do there? Well, hold onto your hats, because there’s plenty!

The main attraction is the Pioneer Saloon. It is the oldest bar in southern Nevada, dating all the way back to 1913. This iconic establishment holds more than a century of stories within its walls, like the tragic incident in 1942 involving actress Carole Lombard.

Her plane crashed nearby. The Pioneer Saloon is where her husband, Clark Gable, waited anxiously for news. Today, visitors view the memorial display set up in the dining room for this Hollywood couple. You can also still see the cigarette burns on the Brunswick bar counter that Clark Gable left during his time at the Saloon. While you’re there, be sure to try the famed Ghost Burger and soak in the historic ambiance.

All ages are allowed in the dining room or patio seating. However it is 21 and over in the Saloon. There is live music most weekends and souvenirs available for purchase. If you can’t make live music in Goodsprings, no worries. There are plenty of exciting restaurants in Las Vegas with live music just a short drive away.

But the Pioneer Saloon isn’t the only attraction in town. Thrill-seekers can kick up dust on adrenaline-pumping off-road tours, exploring the rugged terrain that surrounds Goodsprings. And for those with a taste for the eerie, the town is rumored to be a paranormal hotspot. Keep your eyes peeled for ghostly encounters!

History buffs will also be captivated by Goodsprings’ storied past. During WWI, the town thrived as a supplier of zinc and lead for the war effort, boasting a bustling downtown complete with a hospital, luxury hotel, and post office. While many original buildings have been lost to time, the Goodsprings Schoolhouse still stands as a testament to the town’s enduring legacy and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors are welcomed to take a self-guided historical site walking tour while in town. You can find the map on the website for the Historical Society.

Today, about 200 residents call Goodsprings home, carrying on the legacy of this historic town and welcoming visitors from near and far. So, whether you’re seeking adventure, a taste of history, or a brush with the supernatural, Goodsprings Ghost Town offers an unforgettable experience for all who dare to explore its dusty streets. Best part? Your close enough to be back in Las Vegas by dinner.

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Nelson Ghost Town near Las Vegas

Nelson Ghost Town

Nelson Cutoff Rd, Searchlight, NV 89046

Located just 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas is the quaint historic township of Nelson, NV. Here, take in the history and beauty of Eldorado Canyon or explore the Techatticup Mine, which also happens to be the oldest, richest, and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada.

The Spanish in 1775 were looking for gold in the area, coining the name El Dorado. Finding only silver, they bounced. However, in the mid-1800’s gold was discovered and the mine was taken over by prospectors. This lead to a lot of fighting for claim over the mine, making this a truly wild, wild west town.

Today, visitors can enjoy tours of the Eldorado Canyon and Techatticup Mine for a small fee. There are no restaurants on site, however, there are sometimes food trucks available. The town has restored many old buildings and is perfect for wandering around and capturing great photos. There is even a cool movie prop from the movie “3,000 Miles to Graceland,” to check out. You can also rent our the old church and BBQ area for private events.

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Pioche Ghost Town near Las Vegas

Pioche Ghost Town

Pioche, NV 89043

Pioche, affectionately dubbed “Nevada’s Liveliest Ghost Town,” beckons visitors with its rich history, colorful past, and intriguing attractions that make it a must-visit destination for families seeking adventure and exploration near Las Vegas.

During the silver boom, Pioche was one of the largest mining towns in the area, with a rough reputation to match. Once known as one of the most deadliest ghost towns, today visitors explore the haunting beauty of Boot Hill cemetery, featuring the intriguing “Murderers’ Row,” a solemn reminder of the town’s tumultuous past. Then set a part from the rest of graves is a set unmarked graves that are said to hold the remains of over 100 early inhabitants.

Additionally, Pioche boasts a collection of historic structures that transport visitors back to the turn of the 19th century. Among them stands Thompson’s Opera House, a grand edifice erected in 1873, alongside the elegant and haunted Mountain View Hotel dating back to 1895. The town’s 1912-era school building and the renowned “Million Dollar Courthouse.” Today, this architectural gem houses the Lincoln County Historical Museum, showcasing relics like the original train engines from the Jack Rabbit Mine.

For fun, check out Pioche many festivals and events, complete with live music and good food. You can also enjoy a round of golf at near by golf courses or scenic hike at the many surround state parks.

While you are in town you might want to stop and grab a bit with the family at Silver Historic Silver Cafe. Us living humans do get hungry, and there is no better place than this family-friendly historic 100 year old establishment.

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Rhyolite Ghost Town near Las Vegas

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite, NV 89003

About 2 outside of Las Vegas in Death Valley, is Rhyolite Ghost Town. Once a bustling mining town, Rhyolite rose from the desert sands in the early 20th century, fueled by the promise of gold and the dreams of fortune-seekers. Today, it’s a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and adventure-seekers alike, offering a glimpse into a bygone era.

Rhyolite’s story begins in 1904 when prospectors discovered gold-rich ore in the nearby Bullfrog Hills. News of the discovery spread like wildfire, and soon, a bustling town emerged in the desert, complete with saloons, hotels, and businesses. At its peak, Rhyolite boasted a population of over 5,000 residents and was considered one of the most prosperous mining towns in Nevada.

However, the town’s fortunes were short-lived. By 1910, the gold began to run out, and residents began to desert Rhyolite in search of new opportunities. Within a few short years, the once-thriving town had become a ghost town, its streets deserted and its buildings left to decay in the desert sun.

Despite its abandonment, Rhyolite remains remarkably well-preserved, offering visitors a glimpse into its storied past. The Tom Kelly Bottle House was Constructed entirely out of empty beer and liquor bottles, the Bottle House is one of Rhyolite’s most iconic landmarks, and was restored by Paramount Pictures in 1925. It stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the town’s early residents.

Once home to Rhyolite’s largest bank, the Cook Bank Building is a striking example of early 20th-century architecture. Visitors can explore its weathered walls and imagine the bustling activity that once filled its halls.

While the trains no longer run through Rhyolite, one the few fully intact old train station stands as a reminder of the town’s heyday. Visitors can explore the crumbling platforms and imagine the comings and goings of trains long since departed.

Rhyolite is truly a ghost town, therefore there are no restaurants or attractions to enjoy in addition to the cool historic sites. So, for refreshments, activities, and lodging, head to nearby Beatty, Nevada.

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Oatman Ghost Town near Las Vegas

Oatman Ghost Town

Oatman, Arizona 86433

For an easy road trip from Las Vegas is the Wild West town of Oatman, Arizona, where the spirit of the Old West is alive and kicking. Tucked away in the rugged desert landscape of the Black Mountains, Oatman beckons visitors with its colorful history, quirky charm, and resident burros that roam the streets with a swagger all their own.

Originally founded as a mining camp in the early 1900s, Oatman experienced a boom during the heyday of the Gold Rush. At its peak, the town boasted a population of over 10,000 residents and was a bustling hub of activity, with numerous mines operating in the surrounding hills.

However, as the gold veins began to dry up, Oatman’s fortunes waned, and by the 1950s, it had transformed into a ghost town. But unlike many of its counterparts, Oatman refused to fade into obscurity. Instead, it reinvented itself as a tourist destination, capitalizing on its rich history and unique charm to attract visitors from near and far.

We visited Oatman during our Route 66 family road trip and enjoyed our time exploring the town. The kids loved the wild burros, which are perhaps Oatman’s most famous residents. The wild burros that roam the streets are a beloved fixture of the town. Visitors can feed and interact with these friendly creatures, providing a unique and unforgettable experience.

Oatman is home to a number of historic buildings and structures that harken back to its mining heyday. Visitors can stroll along the wooden boardwalks and admire the architecture, including the Oatman Drug Company building and the historic Oatman Jail. Built in 1902, the Oatman Hotel is the town’s oldest structure and boasts a colorful past. Legend has it that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon here, and guests can still stay in the “honeymoon suite” today.

Throughout the year, Oatman hosts live reenactments of Wild West gunfights and other performances that entertain and delight visitors of all ages. It’s a chance to step back in time and experience the excitement of the Old West firsthand. We caught a gunfight show unexpectedly and it settled us, which was pretty funny. You can watch our experience in Oatman in our family travel vlog.

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That’s A Wrap!

As our journey through the best ghost towns around Las Vegas comes to a close, we’re left with memories of dusty streets, forgotten tales, and the enduring spirit of the American West. These ghost towns, with their weathered buildings and storied pasts, serve as reminders of the pioneers and prospectors who once roamed these lands in search of fortune and adventure.

While time may have taken its toll, the allure of these ghost towns remains as strong as ever, drawing travelers from far and wide to experience a taste of history and mystery in the desert. So as we bid farewell to these spectral remnants of days gone by, let us carry with us the echoes of the past and the promise of new adventures yet to come.

To help plan a truly memorable trip with your family, check out our Las Vegas family travel guides and Nevada Attractions.

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, Vegas.com). If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

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Best Ghost Towns Around Las Vegas for Families
Author

I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".

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