Rhyolite Ghost Town [Suggest Edits]
While not technically within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park, the spooky ruins of Rhyolite bring the mining history of the area alive. Two miners, E. L. Cross and Shorty Harris discovered that the local quartz deposits were laden with gold in 1904, and a gold rush soon followed. Rhyolite enjoyed an incredible boom, and the promise of quick riches and prosperity brought many to the area.
Soon, multi-story buildings were constructed, and infrastructure soon followed. Stores, an ice house, and a school were built for locals while restaurants and hotels were soon constructed for visitors. It took two electric plants to keep the town and the machinery required for mining up and running! Unfortunately, the economic downturn of 1907 was the beginning of the end for the mining town, and by 1916, all of the residents and former workers had left the town.
Today, there are many aspects of the town that are still visible, and those in cars have the ability to take in much of Rhyolite's crumbling main street. The old jail and parts of the 3 story bank are still intact, and a Bottle House was restored by Paramount Pictures in 1925. A tour through the ghost town is an interesting peek into the past, and may send a few goosebumps down your back!
Difficulty: On the Road
Gem Type: Historic Site