Did you know there are more ghost towns in Nevada than actual towns occupied by the living? Nevada is home to more than 600 ghost towns – by that count, it would take you years, if not a lifetime, to explore all the ghost towns in the state. During the 19th century, Nevada’s population boomed under the mineral rush out West, earning the state title of the “Silver State”. Unfortunately, most of the desert towns that popped up during the rush were later abandoned as business dried up and miners moved out of town. Buildings such as schools, houses, post offices, saloons, and mines were left behind. Luckily, some of those buildings survived, and now offer a unique travel experience for those willing to get off the beaten path.
From abandoned mines to quirky art installations to dusty saloons, Nevada is the perfect place to explore these abandoned towns with rich history and spooky undertones. Nevada is already full of hidden hot springs and cute small towns – why not add a few ghost towns to your Nevada road trip itinerary?
Looking for the best spooky ghost towns to explore in Nevada? Check out our top picks below!
Before heading out, be sure to check for road closures
Map of the Coolest Nevada Ghost Towns
Nelson (Southern Nevada)
Located just 45 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip, this is a great day trip spot to explore one the best ghost towns in Nevada. Originally called Eldorado by the Spanish inhibitors in 1775, gold was found and Eldorado Canyon became a hub for mining. A hundred years later, the town was populated by Civil War deserters and renamed Nelson, leading to an interesting (and scandalous) population full of wild characters. The Techatticup Mine was established during the mineral rush with gold, silver, copper – this area had one of the biggest booms in the entire state! Unfortunately the drama of the townspeople, including land disputes and fights that ended in murder, lead to its early demise and abandonment.
Now, this ghost town is home to an abandoned Texaco station, gift shop, mine tours, and old cars scattered throughout the property. You can book a mine tour over the phone by calling 702-291-0026 – these tours are $15/person and a minimum of 4 people are needed. Even if you don’t take a tour, Nelson is a must-visit just to walk around the abandoned buildings. The town has been a backdrop for many photoshoots, music videos, and even movies (you’ll notice a seemingly crashed small plane in Nelson – this is leftover from the movie set for 3000 Miles to Graceland).
Find it: 10 miles down NV 95, look for turnoff at road marker #165
Berlin (Central Nevada)
The remote town of Berlin has more than one type of resident ghost. Long before it was occupied by miners in the late 1800s, Berlin was home to a sharp-toothed carnivorous marine reptile who roamed the warm ocean waters inundating Nevada 225 million years ago. Berlin’s first ichthyosaur fossils were discovered in the 1950s, and excavations revealed giant remains of these ancient animals that reached lengths of 50 feet. Since the initial findings, approximately 40 ichthyosaurs have been uncovered in the hills above Berlin.
And the town itself? In 1897, in the post-dinosaur era, Berlin was founded as a small mining camp with a peak population of 300. A couple of local watering holes, a stagecoach station, a stamp mill, a school, and two blacksmith shops helped make up the 20-building town. Its downfall began shortly after, in 1907, when the miners demanded higher wages and were refused. Today, 13 old wooden buildings still stand and have been incorporated into Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, which has an extensive trail system and hosts guided tours to see ichthyosaur fossils.
The park also has camping spots and, since Berlin is a Nevada ghost town in the truest sense, these are the coziest accommodations you’re going to find. There are no restaurants, lodging, or services of any kind.
*Note: Berlins’ Ichthyosaur State Park is slated to be closed in Spring and Summer of 2021 for road repairs. Check for updated information before heading out.
Find it: 23 miles east of Gabbs, off NV-844.
Rhyolite (Southwest Nevada)
Rhyolite, located just outside Death Valley National Park, experienced an incredibly short-lived boom. Established in 1905 as a silver and gold town, its population quickly grew to 6,000 residents, but unfortunately for investors the value of Rhyolite’s ore was grossly miscalculated. During the initial frenzy three railroad lines were built, along with a handful of banks, a red-light district, and a stock exchange — all at a cost that far exceeded the value that was extracted from the ground over the town’s lifetime. In less than five years, Rhyolite was nearly abandoned with just a few hundred residents left.
In its heyday, there were over 53 saloons to choose from across the few blocks of town, and this sparked local resident Tom Kelly’s creative genius: Rather than chuck all those empty beer bottles into a landfill, why not use them to build a house? Over five and a half months, it’s estimated Kelly collected over 30,000 Adolphus Busch (now known as Budweiser) bottles and plastered them together with adobe mud. The result was the foundation of a three-bedroom house that Kelly eventually raffled off.
In 1925, Paramount Pictures took over the town, featuring the bottle house in two flicks — The Air Mail and Wanderers of the Wasteland. Following that, the house was lived in for many decades, but eventually fell into disrepair until it was acquired by the Bureau of Land Management and restored in 2005. While you can’t go inside the bottle house today, a visit to the site provides a glimpse into Rhyolite’s quirky past.
These days, though, Rhyolite is most famous for the Goldwell Open Air Museum, where art and history meet. In the 1980s, a group of artists led by Belgian sculptor Albert Szukalski traveled to the Amargosa Desert and created what could be considered one of the spookiest art installations in the American West. “The Last Supper,” Szukalski’s centerpiece, consists of a series of eerie ghost-like plaster figures draped in flowing white robes. The Goldwell Open Air Museum now hosts a diverse outdoor sculpture garden, which is free and open to the public 24 hours a day; for some freaky starlit photography opportunities, visit in the wee hours of the night.
Find it: 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, near the intersection of US-95 and NV-374.
Jarbidge (Northeast Nevada)
Set in a canyon that the Shoshone Indians believed to be patronized by an evil man-eating giant, this remote Nevada ghost town along the Idaho border is located over 20 miles from the nearest paved road. Founded by prospectors around 1910, Jarbidge drew in over 1,500 residents over the course of a 30-year boom that saw the town produce over $10 million in gold. Its growth wasn’t without hardship, though. In 1919, a basement whiskey distilling operation erupted in flames, burning 20 businesses and homes to the ground.
When you roll up to the main drag today, look out for the bar, trading post, and a B&B among the wooden shopfronts. You can also see the remnants of the jail, former brothels, and an old hotel. For an authentic look at modern-day Jarbidge, visit for the Halloween pig roast or for Jarbidge Days — the town’s largest annual celebration takes place every August, and features a parade, live music, local food, and a cowboy church service.
Sitting 8,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by the peaks of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the Jarbidge area offers everything from horseback riding and fishing in the summer to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter. There are also five riverside campgrounds near town for those who want to sleep under the stars.
Find it: 18 miles north of Jackpot on Highway 93.
Belmont (South Central Nevada)
Back in the 1870s, Belmont’s Cosmopolitan Saloon — a two-story watering hole and dance hall — was the place to be after a hard day’s work. Frequented by miners and controversial female entertainers known as hurdy gurdy girls, the bar stayed in operation through the 1930s before falling into disrepair as the mines closed and the town’s 2,000 residents moved on. Destroyed by vandals in the late 1980s, these days the Cosmopolitan is hardly recognizable.
However, there’s a new place to mingle in town — Dirty Dick’s Saloon. One of the few businesses in operation in Belmont, this Old Western bar is known for its strong Bloody Marys — recipe courtesy of Dirty Dick himself — and its 4th of July celebration that sees hundreds of bikers cruise into town.
Home to less than a few dozen residents, Belmont today is completely off the grid, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to see. Once the Nye County seat, the town has an impressive courthouse that was recently renovated, along with the 150-year-old remains of mill sites, a school, cemetery, and a church that’s an exact replica of the original from 1872. It’s also said that murderer Charles Manson once hid out in the courthouse — look closely and you’ll see his name etched into one of the door frames.
Find it: 46 miles northeast of Tonopah off State Route 376.
Metropolis (Northeast Nevada)
Most Nevada ghost towns experienced their boom and bust through mining, but not so in Metropolis. In 1910, the Pacific Reclamation Company had a vision for a utopian 40,000-acre farming community in the middle of the vast Nevada desert. Over the next two years, a Salt Lake City contractor was hired to build a 100-foot-tall dam, and Mormons from nearby Utah flocked to this visionary town. Soon after, Metropolis was a flourishing commercial center with a hotel, a school, and even an amusement park.
The glory didn’t last long, however. First, the town faced a serious drought thanks to a water rights lawsuit with the downstream town of Lovelock. Jackrabbits destroyed crops, Mormon crickets invaded by the millions, and a devastating fire raged through town. Then there was a little thing called typhoid. By 1950, Metropolis was completely abandoned.
All that remains today are the mysterious remnants of the Lincoln School, the foundation of the Hotel Metropolis, and a cemetery where many of the pioneer settlers are buried. Driving through Wells, where the nearest services are located, make sure to stop by Bella’s Restaurant & Espresso and order up a hearty plate of her famous chicken fried steak.
Find it: 14 miles northwest of Wells along County Road 754.
Goodsprings (Southern Nevada)
When you get to the 200-person town of Goodsprings, go straight to the Pioneer Saloon, the longest-standing bar in Clark County. Order a beverage, chat up the bartender, and get to know the local watering hole. Built in 1913, it’s the social hub of this desert town, and rife with history and ghost tales. This is the perfect spot to stop after a day of hiking or climbing at Red Rock Canyon!
The saloon’s most famous event took place in 1915, when a dealer caught a miner with a cheating hand. The dealer pulled out his gun and shot the miner three times, and those bullet holes are still visible in the wall. Some bar patrons even report seeing the miner’s ghost hanging out in the back of the bar, but we won’t comment on whether those tales have anything to do with imbibing one too many… The ghoulish stories have given rise to something beautiful: the secret spicy sauce slathered over Pioneer’s Ghost Burger, which has been featured on the Food Network.
Named after Joseph Good, a cattle rancher whose livestock once roamed the foothills of the Spring Mountains that sit above town, Goodsprings was a hub for zinc and lead mining and produced a total of $24 million in ore in the early 1900s. The mines continued production well into the 1960s, and thus the town was never completely abandoned. In addition to the saloon, other walkable sites include the Good Springs School, which is still in use today, the Mercantile Store, and the remnants of the Fayle Hotel, which burned down in 1966.
Find it: 34 miles southwest of the Las Vegas Strip along I-15.
Gold Point (Western Nevada)
Gold Point (also known as Lime Point and Hornsilver throughout history) is a history buff’s dream spot as a silver mining town originally settled in the 1860s, which successfully ran through the Great Depression until World War II. Mining operations then shut down due to a government order that stated all businesses non-essential to the war could no longer operate. From this point, the town cleared out and became abandoned.
The town had a second chance to come back to life after Herb Robbins, a Las Vegas local, decided to buy up homes in Gold Point in the late 1970s after winning the jackpot gambling. He and his friend purchased almost every building and overhauled the town, all while simultaneously acting as fire chief and sheriff.
Today, Gold Point includes buildings along Main St, a saloon, and even a functioning bed & breakfast (you can stay in an original miner’s cabin!). Located on the Nevada/California border, this ghost town is also one of the darkest sky areas in the state.
Find it: 175 miles north of Las Vegas on NV 95, off SR 266/774
Pine Grove (West Central Nevada)
The smallest ghost town on our list (and the most remote!) is Pine Grove – this abandoned mining town was established in 1866 by William Wilson. The area included 2 mills and was mined for gold and silver, although not much silver was ever found here. By the 1870s, the town population was close to 600 residents and included three hotels, a general store, several saloons, and a dance hall. Unfortunately after the passing of the Sherman Silver Act in in 1893 and the financial uncertainty that followed, the mines became unprofitable and shuttered. There was a small resurgence in the early 1900s, but by 1918 the town was once again abandoned.
Not many buildings remain in Pine Grove – a partial stamp mill, remnants of a hotel, and crumbling stone walls – but the real draw to visit Pine Grove is to be able to camp on the nearby public lands. How cool would it be to say you’ve camped at a real ghost town? There is stream-side camping available at the nearby Wilson Canyon Rest Area or you can stay on BLM land on Pine Grove Road. The road leading to this ghost town is dirt and requires a vehicle with decent clearance. Be sure to pack the car camping essentials and leave no trace if camping here.
Find it: 11 miles south of Yerington, on SR 208
Which of these ghost towns would you like to visit? Have you ever visited a ghost town? Leave us a comment below!