Part of Nevada’s indelible charm and appeal is its rich heritage. And while time travel eludes us still, there is a way to step back into the Silver State’s astonishing past. Dotting the vast landscape of Nevada are countless ghost towns, and while some are marked only by indecipherable ruins and tumbleweeds, others are surprisingly intact. Either way, these remarkable places are portals into a Nevada of old and certainly worth a wander.
While most ghost towns in the West are left to the wear and tear of weather and time, Berlin is preserved by the State of Nevada
Of the many ghost towns in Nevada, Rhyolite by far lives up to the name. No one lives here. The tall stone and concrete buildings are in ruins. You can’t buy anything, stay anywhere or fill up your gas tank. But for photographers and people with a love for the Old West, Rhyolite is a dream. The few standing walls with their gaping windows are picturesque—and pretty much all that’s left of the once-thriving, early 20th-century city. The concrete jail, with its big iron door and barred windows, is still in good shape. A few wooden structures perch precariously.
A mining town that had its beginning in 1868, Gold Point thrived until the 1960s, when an accident shuttered the industry. Today, less than 30 residents welcome visitors to tour the town.
Dominating the skyline in Belmont, a 19th-century mining camp where ruins outnumber residents, is the 1876 Nye County Courthouse. The county conducted its official business here until 1905, when the county seat was moved to Tonopah. The two-story brick building is the centerpiece of the Belmont Courthouse State Historic Site. Belmont’s old metal jail cells with their heavy iron doors are stashed behind the courthouse. You can step inside the cells to get a feel of how uncomfortable it was to be a jailbird in the old days—baking in the summer and freezing in the winter.
Spectacular views from any location along the Spruce Mountain ridge, just east of Clover Valley. Climb through the white fir forest and mountain mahogany, explore the remnants of old mining towns and experience plenty of memorable riding.