Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Urbex Underground
If you’re searching for ghost towns near Las Vegas, we’ve got you covered! Below are 15 different ghost towns you can explore near Vegas along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.
Since you’re probably staying in Vegas, we’ve included drive times for each location to help you plan your trip.
We rate ghost towns near Las Vegas based on their status. Here’s how our system works:
- Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
- Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
- Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
- Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
- Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
- Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.
Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Urbex Underground
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 4 min
Rhyolite was a mining town that sprang up during the Gold Rush, about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Its gold discoveries convinced many people to settle in this remote area. The town also had two electric plants, ice plants, and even a hospital. Unfortunately, by 1916, all the power was gone, so the town was left to decay.
The best time to visit the rhyolite ghost town is during autumn and spring. Visitors should avoid the blazing desert sun during these times of the year, which can reach 97 degrees. If you are traveling in the middle of the day, avoid the high heat of midday, and be aware of rattlesnake warnings. This area is not fenced off, so it can be dangerous to walk around.
Distance From Vegas: 38 min
This small, desert community was settled in 1886 by a mining promoter from Calico, California. The town’s original name was Goodsprings Junction, but it was later renamed Jean after its first wife.
Fayle opened a tent store to serve the miners and ore haulers, and in 1912 he bought an interest in his uncle’s store in Goodsprings. This store became known as Yount and Fayle Store. He then moved his family to Goodsprings, expanding his business and putting up a fence to keep the building from falling down.
There are some unique features of Goodsprings, including a cemetery, east of the water tower. Goodsprings isn’t completely abandoned and has a number of long term residents who hang out at the local saloons and general stores.
3. Death Valley Junction
Distance From Vegas: 1 hr 39 min
Death Valley Junction was originally a water stop on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, which operated from 1907 to 1940. In 1914, a 20-mile side spur was built between Death Valley Junction and the Ryan mines, which was operated until 1928. The Amargosa Cafe and Hotel are still operational today, but they’re in a dismal state.
This small, historic town is a perfect day trip from the city. You can explore Salt Creek and find rare pupfish, or visit the Harmony Borax Works for a glimpse of the past. And if you’re in town for the night, you can enjoy the amazing sky over Death Valley. You can easily take a day trip from Las Vegas to Death Valley. If you’re on a tight schedule, make sure you start early!
4. Panamint City
Distance From Vegas: 3 hr 31 min
This abandoned town is surrounded by small hills and has many interesting features. There is a lone surviving resident who enjoys sharing the history of this place. The town features old-style houses with rusty materials inside, as well as an abandoned soda shop. It is located in the mountains, so very few people know about it.
Visitors should be prepared with water, four-wheel drive, and expect to spend the day in the area. The first mile of the hike involves rushing water and bedrock falls. The rest of the hike is along an old vehicle route. There is a dependable water supply at Thompson Camp, an old cabin above Panamint City. While visiting Panamint City, don’t forget to bring enough water for the entire day. It’s an adventure that will take you several hours.
Distance From Vegas: 3 hr 37 min
Ballarat is a ghost town about 200 miles outside of Vegas. The small town was inhabited for a few years, but has since been abandoned due to its limited natural resources. In the past, this tiny town had three hotels, seven saloons, a school, jail, morgue, post office, and Wells Fargo station. Whether you want to experience the true ghost town, or simply appreciate its unique history, Ballarat has it all.
While there are no full-time residents, the small store is open most weekends and the town’s trailer park serves as campground headquarters for 4-wheelers. If you love camping and the outdoors, Ballarat is one of the best ghost towns in near Las Vegas to explore.
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 22 min
If you’re looking for a unique ghost town near Las Vegas, consider visiting Delamar. This Nevada ghost town is a great place to explore mine shafts, watch the sunset, or even spot UFOs. (yes seriously) It’s a real piece of Americana, and a reminder of the Wild West’s past.
The ghost town was once a bustling mining town. Sadly, most of the mining operations were ceased by the turn of the century. The town produced $13.5 million worth of gold between 1895 and 1900. By the 1930s, it was a ghost town that had a population of just under 3,000. However, a recent study revealed that gold production in the town had declined dramatically.
The trail to Delamar is relatively easy. The trail begins about an hour north of Las Vegas along US 93. It crosses varying terrain and rewards you with scenic views of a deserted town. There are sections where you’ll be rewarded with views of a dry lake bed. You’ll also cross the Ella Mountain, which is windy and narrow, but offers some flat spots to speed up your pace.
Distance From Vegas: 3 hr 15 min
Driving through the Mojave Desert on Route 40 to get to the big city, you might be surprised to discover that there are still a few people living in towns like Ludlow. This small town is located approximately halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but most people only stop for gas or food. A visit to this desert town is worth it.
Not a whole lot is left behind, making it one of the least exciting ghost towns near Las Vegas. However, if you’re already traveling along 40 or Route 66 its worth pulling off to check the area out.
Distance From Vegas:1 hr 40 min
Goffs was founded in the early 1900s as a railroad town. When the railway rerouted residents in Goffs relied on traffic from Route 66. When 66 was replaced by Route 40, the town rapidly declined.
Today there are tons to explore in Goffs, like the old rail building and numerous abandoned businesses scattered around the area. Goffs is a great ghost town in Las Vegas due to its easy access close proximity.
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 9 min
Pioneer started out as a modest mining camp and quickly evolved into a small settlement in 1908. Sadly a fire swept through town and destroyed much of the town just a year later. The population peaked at 2500 and then crashed to close to zero by 1941.
Pioneer is one of the most isolated ghost towns near Las Vegas and isn’t for a casual afternoon outing. While many of the buildings have been destroyed there are plenty of wild places to camp and a few decent ruins left to explore. Its unknown if the mines are still accessible.
Distance From Vegas: 40 min
The area was settled by Spaniards as far back as 1775, making this one of the oldest ghost towns near Las Vegas. Like many ghost towns near Las Vegas Nelson was settled when gold and silver was discovered in the area. The town was known for its lawlessness and saw violence throughout the Civil War and between locals.
Eldorado Canyon and Nelson Ghost Town are located just a forty-minute drive outside of Las Vegas. While these towns were built during the gold rush era, they have been restored by landowners since 1994.
In addition to mining history, Nelson is home to a historic mine and several abandoned buildings. While visiting these towns, don’t forget to pack your camera for some good photo opportunities. Nelson is one of the closest ghost towns near Las Vegas, making it easy to check out in a single afternoon!
11. St. Thomas
Distance From Vegas: 1 hr 24 min
St. Thomas was settled in the late 1800s, but unlike other ghost towns near Las Vegas, was completely submerged by Lake Mead in 1930. Due to historically low water levels the ghostly remains of St. Thomas are now visible for the first time in over 50 years.
This former mining town is a mile and a half hike from the lake’s shoreline, and is managed by the National Park Service. A day trip from Las Vegas allows you to visit the relics of the town without a long drive or a heavy backpack. Located in the Lake Mead Recreational Area, St. Thomas can be reached by car or on foot, and is worth visiting.
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 30 min
Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the ghost town of Calico is a must-see. During its heyday, the town boasted more than 500 mines and made millions of dollars. However, when the price of silver plummeted, the area became dormant and the mines closed.
Calico, which was once a ghost town, was purchased in the 1950s by Walter Knott. Today, five of its original buildings still stand and are used for various fee-based activities. You can even take a gold panning trip if you’re feeling nostalgic.
13. Silver Reef
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 19 min
f you’re in the mood for a little history, Silver Reef is the place for you. The town was a silver miner’s paradise in the early nineteenth century, when over $10 million in silver was discovered in the local area. The town of Rockpile, later renamed Silver Reef, had more than 2000 residents by 1879, but the local mill and railhead were over 100 miles away. Eventually, the Walker Brothers and William Barbee founded a mill to process the silver and crush the rock.
While many of the other ghost towns near Las Vegas have a touristy feel, Silver Reef is truly a unique place to visit. This small town is located fifteen miles northeast of St. George, Utah. There are various ruins as well as preserved structures and a museum to explore.
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 56 min
The town was established in the 1850s and featured crops of cotton, wheat, alfalfa, and corn. However, the town was ravaged by floods in the 1860s and 1870s, and residents were forced to relocate to higher ground, about a mile upstream. However, the early settlers did not abandon Grafton entirely; in fact, they rebuilt it, though they were forced to relocate because cotton production had taken a back seat to other food crops.
he Dixie region of Utah was settled by Mormons following Brigham Young. Many of these people fled persecution in their native countries and sought a place of peace and safety. Grafton was the home of five Mormon families, headed by Nathan Tenney. The last residents left the town in 1944. The town’s ruins are a testament to its history. The story of its early settlers makes Grafton a fascinating ghost town near Las Vegas.
The Ghost Town of Grafton is located just 20 miles from Zion National Park. You can reach Grafton by taking Hwy 9 from Rockville and cross the Virgin River on the historic iron bridge. This single-track iron bridge was built in 1924. The town lies at the base of low red cliffs of Moenkopi sandstone that separate the river valley from the arid rocky land.
15. Gold Point
Distance From Vegas: 2 hr 40 min
When Herb Robbins won the lottery, he bought homes in Gold Point. He renovated the town and acted as sheriff and fire chief. The post office, which served as a fourth-class post office for many years, eventually shut down. Robbins and his wife, Ora Mae, died in the year 1956 and 1980, respectively. During the late 1950s, the town was the site of several films that starred Herb Robbins and Sandy Johnson, including a remake of “Twin Peaks”.
A visit to Gold Point is like stepping back in time. While there is no living population, the town’s historic buildings have been lovingly restored over the years by locals. The townsite includes a saloon, the old post office, and many historic miners’ cabins. Located about three hours north of Las Vegas, Gold Point is a great place to spend the night or even the whole weekend!
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of ghost towns near Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.
If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.