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Rhyolite, Nevada

Rhyolite Ghost Town

Rhyolite Ghost Town in Beatty, NV on February 21, 2020. Photo by Peter Stringer

Rhylolite ghost town is technically in Beatty, Nevada about 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, and while its remnants serve as reminders of the gold rush days of the early 1900s, Rhyolite is more of an art installation than anything else these days.

It’s hard to believe that at one point over 100 years ago, almost 5,000 people lived in Rhyolite, but reportedly at its peak, Rhyolite featured almost 50 saloons, a train station and a hospital. However, the boomtown shut down almost faster than it came to life in 1905; by 1910, things were trending downward as the gold dried up. Over the next few years business left town, and in what would be the death knell for rhyolite, in 1914, the power company turned off electricity.

By 1920, just 14 people remained.

If you’re making the trip from Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park, and want to see something a little off-beat, Rhyloite and the nearby Goldwell Open Air Museum are great add-ons to your itinerary. Photographers will love the juxtaposition of ancient ruins and new-age art; kids will get a kick out of the kitsch. Other attractions include Tom Kelly’s Bottle House, the Last Supper and Lady Desert- The Venus of Nevada who stands above the mountaintops like a giant Lego sculpture.

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Temperatures at Rhyolite can be extreme in the summertime! Also, be wary of rattlesnakes here, especially as temperatures start warming up in springtime. You’ll likely hear them, but might not see them until it’s too late!

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Rhyolite, Nevada, Beatty, Nevada 89003

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