Ghost Towns in Arizona

Ghost Towns in Arizona

Ghost towns provide fascinating time capsules, offering glimpses into life back then. Although Tombstone managed to emerge from its mining days to become a popular tourist destination, other desert towns may have fallen into disuse for various reasons.

Plan a visit to one of Arizona's finest Ghost Towns for an exhilarating adventure and discover their rich histories.

1. Two Guns

Two Guns, Arizona's most accessible ghost town, sits 30 miles east of Flagstaff along Route 66. Artifacts show Native Americans have inhabited this location as early as the 11th century while white settlers didn't arrive until mid-1800s. That's when they recognized its strategic location as the ideal spot to cross Canyon Diablo by wagon and then by motor cars.

Harry Miller was a businessman who took advantage of its growth by leasing it from an older family, the Cundiffs, for ten years and turning it into a tourist trap. Renaming it Two Guns after his twin Colt 1851 Navy Revolvers, Miller promoted it as a Wild West hangout where Billy the Kid and other outlaws once roamed free; growing out his hair and braiding it as Chief Crazy Thunder to further promote it as such, building chicken wire cages to hold mountain lions. There are tours into Canyon Diablo Cave now known as Apache Death Cave where 42 warriors perished during battle!

Two Guns' brief renaissance didn't last, and by 1971 Two Guns was falling into decay. Today the town is nothing more than an intriguing remnant with just enough remnants left behind to be intriguing.

The creepy atmosphere here is palpable, from crumbling road signs and crumbling stone buildings, to graffiti-laden signs advertising "Mountain Lions", to weathered chicken wire relics that ooze creepiness. Not only can visitors enjoy this spot's haunted ambience and desert scenery; legends surrounding its cursed Apache tribe make this stop more compelling still.

2. Chloride

Arizona ghost towns can be both terrifying and captivating, providing you with an opportunity to explore them and imagine life during the Old West. Many ghost towns serve as reminders of a more lively past; others, like Tombstone, have since become lively tourist spots thanks to Hollywood depictions of gunfights at O.K Corral from 1993 movie Tombstone.

Chloride, located in the Cerbat Mountains near Kingman, is another wonderful example of an Arizona ghost town. Once home to over 75 mines and sporting the state's oldest post office, today visitors can explore its ruins. A general store, saloon, photo shop and other buildings that are maintained by the Bureau of Land Management with tours available at their site.

Fairbanks, located just a short distance from Chloride, was once an active silver mining town until its industry collapsed in the 1880s. Subsequently, population decline and city decay occurred almost overnight. Today it only offers travelers an authentic western ghost town experience without an overwhelming crowd presence.

Goldfield is perhaps Arizona's best-known and most beloved ghost town, founded as a mining camp during the 1860s and evolving into an important railroad hub of the region. One of Arizona's most successful mining towns ever established, it even appeared in some Western films! Today it serves as a tourist attraction where visitors can tour a mine, pan for gold, ride the only narrow-gauge train in Arizona and witness Old West gun fights!

3. Gold King

Gold King, Arizona's ghost town located just an hour south of Sedona, offers visitors a two-hour guided mining tour experience. This derelict town contains abandoned structures such as churches, mines and even jail cells where 18 people were hanged during its history. Yet many visitors come here in search of glimpses into life during Arizona's old west era.

Ghost towns captivate tourists from around the globe. Not only is their atmosphere captivating, but also understanding its history can bring tourists from far and wide. While you could learn about Wild West history through reading vintage black-and-white photos alone, experiencing it first-hand would provide much greater insights.

Arizona ghost towns that stand out are those that have been well preserved and offer visitors a glimpse into the past. Jerome, perched atop a mountain, is one such ghost town. Although copper mines closed down long ago, Jerome remains an important tourist destination with a vibrant artist community thriving alongside historic structures including "Prostitution Row."

Other notable ghost towns in Arizona include Gleeson, Courtland and Ruby - with Ruby being notable due to being privately owned ghost town that can be visited for a fee. Ruby used to be a prosperous mining camp until 1939 when it's mines ran dry. After this point it has become deserted and ghostly haunted.

4. Hackberry General Store

Hackberry has earned itself the reputation as one of the most haunted towns along Route 66 due to its small population. Travelers visit it's general store, drawn in by its retro gas station and assortment of disrepair cars rusting away behind it. Visitors can even join an informative ghost tour to uncover more information about its mysterious history.

This landmark is an essential stop for anyone aspiring to travel on Route 66, even if just once. Many pass right by it on Interstate 40 without even stopping, yet those who stop are usually treated to an unforgettable experience.

The 1934 Hackberry General Store has become an irresistibly charming destination since its revival by artist Bob Waldmire in 1992. Once home to Conoco and later Mobilgas stations, vintage pumps now decorate its facade. Additionally serving as post office and diner for Hackberry town residents. Today it remains a main draw.

Apart from its store, this town features numerous ruins of hotels, trading posts, zoos and stone house/stores that date back to its popularity peak in 1920 before falling into decline over time. Now, these reminders of once vibrant communities serve as a testament of just how quickly towns can fade.

5. Ruby

Ghost towns hold something captivating about them that's quite captivating: their intriguing alleyways whisper of Western folklore and transport you back in time when life was very different.

The harsh climate proved inhospitable for farming, leaving no opportunity for community support; mining operations often proved unprofitable so people moved on. Then came the Apaches who quickly put an end to any hopes for newcomers and they quickly drove them away!

Some ghost towns proved too resilient for death. Tombstone is an example. With its dusty streets evoking images of cowboys and gunslingers such as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday duelling at the OK Corral. It has since become a tourist destination offering stagecoach tours, museum exhibits and even reenactments of gunfights between these legendary figures.

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