See Rhyolite, Nevada, A Real Ghost Town

February 11, 2013

In our last few Insider’s Tips, we’ve covered some pretty phenomenal day trips from Las Vegas. From skiing to the oppressive heat of Death Valley, we’ve touched on many of the natural highlights within a two-hour radius of Las Vegas. However, there’s one little known town that we can’t resist sharing with Shows Las Vegas readers: Rhyolite, Nevada.

Rhyolite was a little town in southwest Nevada that was founded in 1904. It’s less than a two-hour drive away from Las Vegas, but the stark contrast of this ghost town (compared to the blazing neon lights of Vegas) will make you feel as though you’ve crossed to the other side of the world. And, in a way, you have.

Rhyolite was a boomtown that popped up and fell in a matter of just a few short years. Prospectors flocked to Rhyolite during a gold rush in the early 20th century. Further financial and investing woes hit the town shortly after the collapse of the mining industry in Rhyolite, and by 1920 virtually no one lived in Rhyolite. Hollywood used Rhyolite for filming cowboy movies and tourists from Las Vegas flocked to see the authentic ghost town.

Today, there is very little happening in Rhyolite, but it’s a fun day trip for kids, families, and history buffs especially. Be sure to visit the Goldwell Open Air Museum which is just south of the town’s limits. You won’t find the big, organized mid-20th century ghost town tours in Rhyolite, but we think that’s part of the little ghost town’s charm.

If you want to see a ghost town that hasn’t been transformed by Disneyification, then Rhyolite is the perfect town. While you may not carve time out of our schedule for this day trip if you only have three or four days in Rhyolite, it’s a great way to spend your time if you’re enjoying an extended stay in Las Vegas.

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