canada africa partner reservation The 10 Best Ghost Towns to Visit in Arizona

The 10 Best Ghost Towns to Visit in Arizona

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Ghost towns in Arizona tell the stories of the state’s past. An estimated 100,000 mines hide among the towering cacti and dusty roads of Arizona. These mines produced rich minerals, causing the populations of small towns to rapidly increase and then disappear as mining operations ended. The buildings they left fell into disrepair and left more than 200 ghost towns in Arizona.

Some of these Arizona ghost towns have survived thanks to restoration efforts. These are historical treasures you don’t want to miss. Discover the best ghost towns in arizona to learn about the lifestyle and history of this state’s Wild West past.

The 10 Best Ghost Towns in Arizona

Fairbanks

Take a tour of the once thriving city Fairbanks. The only building that is currently safe to enter is the restored 1920 schoolhouse. Inside, families can enjoy exhibits about the history of Fairbanks.

After passing the crumbling buildings, visit the historic cemetery. Modest graves are located on the mesa overlooking the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Consider taking a walk to the old mill. The 3-mile trail offers beautiful scenery and Old West adventure.

Chloride

This living ghost town is home to Arizona’s oldest operating post office and one of Arizona’s oldest cemeteries. Chloride was founded in 1862 when a deposit of silver ore was discovered. At its peak, more than 75 mines were active here.

Today, only a few mines remain, but the Historical Society preserves buildings from the past. Walk along the Old prison and the playhousethen head to some shops to find a unique treasure.

Then drive through the town to see the old houses, each with its own unique flair. Did you know that one of Chloride’s charms is in the hills behind the city? The boulders feature an interesting mural painted by artist Roy Purcell in 1966.

Jerome

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Jerome State Historic Park, photo by Tiffany Vaughn

In the 1920s, the bustling mining town of Jerome reached a population of 15,000, but this number quickly declined after the Depression hit. Fires and reconstruction changed the city’s appearance over the years. It has recently been transformed into a thriving artistic and tourist community.

Start at Jerome State Historic Park to get an overview of the area and its history. Then head down the hill to Audrey Headframe Park and look through the 1918 mine shaft.

Next, check out some of the cars and buildings from Jerome’s hay day Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. Then wander through the city to see ruins among restored buildings and new craft shops. Do you want to do more? Here are the best things to do in Jerome with kids.

Jerome is an easy day trip from Flagstaff. Read this article to discover what to do in Flagstaff with kids.

Goldfield

The best ghost towns in Arizona are Goldfield Ghost TownThe best ghost towns in Arizona are Goldfield Ghost Town
Goldfield Ghost Town, photo by Tiffany Vaughn

Rising twice above the city, this ghost town thrived once in the late 1800s and again in the early 1900s for just five years. In the 1980s, some buildings and the mine tunnel were reconstructed on the original foundations for a tourist attraction.

Although this Arizona ghost town has been called a tourist trap, it also offers a lot of history.

Start with a ride on the Superstition Narrow Gauge Railroad to hear the history of Goldfield and the Superstition Mountains. Then take a tour of the underground mine tunnel and learn about the life of a miner. Finally, head to LuLu’s Bordello to learn about the role of women in the 19th century. Stick around for cable cars, shopping and gunfights on weekends.

Goldfield is close to the thriving community of Mesa. These are our favorite things to do in Mesa, Arizona with kids.

Oatman

Wild Burros roam the streets, waiting to be fed by tourists in Oatman. These friendly fellows are descended from the pack animals used by early gold seekers in the area. Most shops sell feed and roots, as well as Route 66 souvenirs and handmade goods.

In 1915, some miners discovered a rich vein of gold, which helped the town prosper for a few years. Then a fire in 1921 burned most of the original buildings.

ViVisitors can still see the two-story adobe Oatman Hotel, built in 1902. Over the weekend, wild west shootings were witnessed from the wooden sidewalks lining the streets.

Explore the diverse lands of Arizona and check out our Top 10 Things to Do in Arizona.

Tombstone

No ghost town in Arizona attracts as many tourists as Tombstone, the town that’s too tough to die. The dusty streets conjure up images of gunfights and old Western films. First, take a stagecoach tour to hear an overview of the city’s history. Then head to the OK Corral and experience a reenactment of the infamous gunfight between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.

Did you know that the Tombstone Courthouse is now a state park and museum showcasing antiques and artifacts from the past? Explore here, take a tour of the bullet-ridden Bird Cage Theater or grab a bite to eat at Big Nose Kate’s.

Make sure you stop by Boothill Cemetery to read the restored gravestone inscriptions before heading out for the day.

Look for deals on family-friendly hotels in Arizona. As a partner of Booking.com, Trekaroo is happy to offer its readers the lowest rates.

Vulture city

The newly restored ghost town of Vulture City was once home to the largest producing gold mine in Arizona, as well as a lot of violence and shame. Legend has it that 18 men hung dead from the 300-year-old ironwood tree next to founder Henry Wickenburg’s cabin. Their crimes ranged from robbery to murder.

a city ​​tour guides visitors through the Assay Office, Cookhouse, Brothel and more restored buildings. Additionally, artifacts left behind by miners and residents of the past help show what life was like in a thriving Vulture City. Come visit us on a weekend (excluding summer) for a tour.

Wickenburg is just an hour northwest of Phoenix! Discover our Top 10 Things to Do in Phoenix with Kids

Bisbee

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Bisbee ghost town, photo by packbj

Bisbee was once world famous for its wealth of copper and mining operations that continued here until the 1970s. When the miners left, creative individuals moved in to turn the area into a haven for art, architecture, music and history.

Start your time here with a visit to the Bisbee Mining and History Museum. Housed in the old Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company headquarters, it gives families a history of the area. Take the time to explore and enjoy the city’s charm.

TThe main attraction is the Queen’s Mine Tour. Visit the mine and discover techniques, dangers and lifestyles of miners from the late 19th century.

Are you stopping in Tucson along the way? Read our guide to the Top things to do in Tucson with kids.

Castle dome

Castle Dome ghost town in ArizonaCastle Dome ghost town in Arizona
Castle Dome Ghost Town, photo by Tiffany Vaughn

Explore more than 50 buildings that have been restored to look like Castle Dome flourished in 1878. A self-guided tour of this Arizona ghost town guides families through stories of the past.

Some buildings even have mannequins that act out these stories. Other buildings include interactive elements such as costumes to try on or desks to sit at.

After exploring the town, wander the path past the abandoned mine tunnels. Here you will discover the cemetery, the bunkhouse and the rubble left by miners. Before you leave, you can visit the second floor of the doctor’s office for a beautiful view of the surroundings.

Check out our article Things to do in Yuma, Arizona to find more entertainment in the area.

Ruby

Ruby is one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state. You will not find tourist shops and souvenirs here. All that remains are remnants of a once bustling mining town.

After driving along a partially paved road, you arrive at Ruby, just four miles from the Mexican border. Check with the concierge before walking past mud-brick and wood-frame houses in various stages of disrepair.

If you visit between May and September, look at the sky around sunrise and sunset. For ten minutes, Mexican free-tailed bats cover the sky as they leave and return to their home in the old mine shaft.

There is no gas, water or mobile coverage and there are only well-maintained outbuildings, so make sure you bring everything you need. Consider enjoying a picnic next to Town Lake. Or take the time to fish or even swim here, depending on the season. Keep in mind that: Ruby is only open from Thursday to Sunday.

Tiffany VaughnTiffany Vaughn
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