THE 10 BEST Arizona Ghost Towns

Ghost towns in arizona.

  • Points of Interest & Landmarks
  • Historic Sites
  • Churches & Cathedrals
  • Monuments & Statues
  • Ghost Towns
  • South Mountain
  • Budget-friendly
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  • Hidden Gems
  • Good for Big Groups
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  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

1. Goldfield Ghost Town

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2. Oatman Ghost Town

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3. Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town

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4. Vulture City Ghost Town

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5. Chloride, Arizona

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6. Fairbank Historic Townsite

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7. Arizona Grand Golf Course

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8. Jerome, Az

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9. Swansea Ghost Town

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11. Perkinsville Ghost Town

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12. Gleeson Jail

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13. Gleeson Ghost Town

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

14. Valentine Station Gift Shop

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15. Two Guns, Canyon Dyablo Bridge

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16. Fairbank Historic Townside

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

17. Adamana Ghost Town

What travelers are saying.

katrina_dituri

Urbex Underground

27 Ghost Towns In Arizona [MAP]

Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Urbex Underground

If you’re searching for ghost towns in Arizona, we’ve got you covered! Below are 27 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Arizona along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

We rate ghost towns in Arizona based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

  • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers .
  • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone .
  • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
  • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families .
  • Semi-Abandoned : Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
  • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.

1. Adamsville

2. agua caliente, 4. bellevue, 10. hilltop, 11. lochiel, 14. swansea, 15. duquesne, 17. big bug, 19. goldfield, 21. castle dome landing, 22. chloride, 23. klondyke, 25. stanton, 27. vulture city, the anarchist’s guide to exploration.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of urban exploration, this book is for you. Learn how to uncover more abandoned places and the techniques used to capture their beauty.

33.012778, -111.441944 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Adamsville, Arizona, once a bustling farm town, was established in 1866 by Fred A. Adams, originally from New Mexico. Located in the Gila Valley, it was moved later to the Salt River Valley to capitalize on the fertile lands.

The Bichard brothers, notable entrepreneurs, built a state-of-the-art flouring mill and opened various stores, contributing to the town’s growth. Despite its modest size, Adamsville was once the hub of activity in the Gila Valley. However, the town was largely abandoned after the Gila River flooded it in the late 1800s, leading to its eventual decline.

What’s Left?

Today, Adamsville exists as a ghost town, having seen its population taper off considerably by the 1920s. Situated at an elevation of 1,450 feet on the south bank of the Gila River, west of Florence, the town offers a few relics for urban explorers. Among these remnants are an old cemetery and a smattering of ruins from buildings that once stood there.

32.985278, -113.324444 Status: Abandoned

ghost town in Arizona that are abandoned

Agua Caliente in Arizona was once a bustling resort town, particularly popular during the 1930s. Originally named after its natural hot springs, the area was first used by Native Americans before attracting white settlers.

In the 1940s, the town underwent a consolidation into three districts. Over the years, agricultural activities like farming and irrigation led to the depletion of the springs, contributing to the decline of the town. Despite this, the population remained mostly white throughout its history.

The ruins of the old Agua Caliente resort can still be seen today, along with some signs of life scattered throughout the town. The natural hot springs that once drew people to the area have diminished due to agricultural use, but the Pioneer Cemetery remains a historical point of interest.

Contrary to popular belief, the cemetery is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it does offer a glimpse into 19th-century life in the region. Visitors exploring the area can experience a touch of the past amid the remnants of this once-thriving resort town.

31.62062, -110.87613 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Alto, Arizona, has a rich history that extends beyond mere ruins. The town holds the distinction of being the home to the United States’ first female postmaster, Minnie Bond. Established as a small community, Alto flourished briefly but like many other ghost towns, faced a decline and was eventually abandoned.

Today, the area features various ruins scattered across an isolated stretch of the Arizona desert, inviting explorers to uncover its past. Additionally, a campsite is conveniently located just outside the ruins, making Alto an ideal destination for urban explorers who enjoy camping while delving into the historical aspects of the region.

33.33194, -110.94333 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns in Arizona that used to be boo towns

Bellevue, Arizona, located five miles south of Miami, was once a thriving mining community. Established in the 1880s, the town saw its peak population of about 300 people by 1925.

Bellevue boasted various amenities like a post office, an assay office, and two newspapers. However, a decline set in when several mines closed in 1927, leading to the abandonment of the community. Today, the town serves as an atmospheric locale for those interested in Arizona’s mining history.

Visitors to Bellevue can still find remnants of its once-prosperous mining era. The Gibson Copper mill stands in partial ruin, a testament to the town’s past, along with scattered ore piles.

While the post office and newspapers are long gone, these enduring structures and deposits provide a fascinating glimpse into what life was like during the town’s heyday. Explorers can walk among these historical markers, taking in the eerie atmosphere of this abandoned mining town.

32.58957, -109.96939 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

As you traverse Arizona, you’ll encounter various abandoned towns, each with its own unique tale. Bonita, located in Graham County, is one such intriguing ghost town. Unlike some forgotten locales that leave no lasting impression, Bonita offers both historical insight and natural beauty, making it a worthwhile detour for travelers.

To reach Bonita, visitors can take a dirt road that not only provides access to the town but also offers stunning vistas and opportunities to observe local wildlife. Due to the remote location and the condition of the road, caution and preparation are advisable for those planning a trip.

Once in Bonita, explorers will find the remnants of a community that once thrived here, an atmospheric setting that combines both the historical and the natural in a compelling way.

34.778611, -113.794444 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Arizona is home to numerous ghost towns that offer glimpses into the history of mining and the Old West, and Cedar is one such town. The community saw the establishment of its first post office in 1895, although it eventually forwarded its mail to the nearby Yucca District as the town declined.

Visitors to Cedar will find a wealth of rock ruins and mining remnants, offering an extensive look into the town’s past. Nestled in a canyon, the area is dense with both natural beauty and historical structures. A surprisingly large number of abandoned buildings are scattered throughout the town, making it a rich site for exploration and a deeper understanding of Arizona’s mining history.

35.303056, -114.139722 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Cerbat is an Arizona ghost town with a captivating history. Founded in the early 1860s, it flourished for a time and even served as the county seat in 1877 before the designation was transferred to Mineral Park. Despite its early promise, Cerbat eventually fell into decline and became a ghost town.

The area around Cerbat now features a cemetery that stands as a solemn reminder of the town’s past. Located adjacent to the ghost town itself, the cemetery is accessible only by a high-clearance vehicle due to the rough terrain. For those who make the journey, the experience offers a poignant look into the history and the lives that once populated this now-deserted community.

31.658889, -111.2725 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Situated 55 miles southwest of Tucson on the Arivaca Road, between Amado and Arivaca, Cerro Colorado is a mining district steeped in legend and history. The town is particularly famous for two things: the tragic massacre of mining workers by Mexican outlaws and its high-grade surface silver, which comes from the nearby Cerro Colorado Mine.

Today, Cerro Colorado remains a largely abandoned mining town in southern Arizona. The once-rich deposits that initially spurred the growth of small communities have since led to the cessation of mining operations.

For those who venture to this desolate area, the remnants of the town provide a compelling glimpse into the Wild West era, complete with all its complexities and contradictions.

31.46752, -110.7075 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Harshaw, Arizona, situated in the Coronado National Forest, was a thriving community during the early 1900s, buoyed by the gold and silver booms. As the price of silver fluctuated, the town’s population declined. In 1963, the Forest Service initiated a plan to help residents relocate to a more sustainable area, but the efforts proved unsuccessful, leaving only a few inhabitants

Located just south of Patagonia, Harshaw stands as one of Arizona’s most intriguing ghost towns. The majority of the town remains vacant, offering a haunting but captivating tableau for visitors.

Explorers can walk among the dilapidated buildings and the empty streets, each a silent testament to the community that once thrived in this challenging landscape.

31.99444, -109.2775 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

The Hilltop Ghost Town in Arizona offers a rich historical experience, particularly for those interested in the state’s mining past. Established as a mining community, the town was abandoned in the late 1920s after the closure of the local mine. Notable remnants like the old schoolhouse still stand, making it an intriguing destination for those looking to delve into history.

For those planning to explore Hilltop, caution is advised. The town’s deteriorating condition makes it unsafe for casual visits, and it’s recommended to explore the area only with an experienced guide.

While some buildings and structures are still accessible to the public, visitors should be mindful of the risks involved and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe exploration experience.

31.33565, -110.62397 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Lochiel, Arizona, is a small ghost town accessible via a dirt road, offering a unique window into the past. This tiny community once served as a border crossing, and while it may not appeal to all travelers, it holds a certain nostalgic charm for those interested in history.

The journey to Lochiel is a scenic one, offering beautiful landscapes and chances for wildlife spotting. Once there, visitors can find various ancient buildings standing in different states of decay. Depending on the time of day and the safety conditions, you may explore these abandoned structures to get a feel for what life was like in this once-bustling border town.

31.46176, -111.23707 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Ruby, Arizona, is a captivating ghost town that was abandoned in 1941. Originally a mining community, the town still features a number of well-preserved buildings left behind by the mining company, offering a glimpse into the area’s past.

To reach Ruby, drive a few miles from Arivaca, Arizona. The road turns to dirt halfway through the journey, but it’s well-maintained and easily navigable. Once there, visitors will find an abandoned mine along with a well-preserved mercantile, a three-room school, a playground, and other various structures.

This array of historical buildings makes Ruby one of the more well-preserved ghost towns in Arizona, offering an enriching experience for explorers.

32.52953, -111.44242 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

The Sasco ghost town in Arizona is a small, little-known mining town. Named after the Southern Arizona Smelting Company, Sasco was established in 1907 and operated until 1921. Sasco’s history is intriguing, and you should try to visit it when you’re in the area.

Despite its vanishing past, Sasco has some interesting ruins to explore. Although the ruins of the mining operation are still present, you can still see the old post office, hotel, and all other buildings associated with a mining operation. The plain concrete headstones are also some of the remaining. You may be able to spot a few of them on the ruins.

34.17001, -113.84604 Status: Abandoned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Sasco, a little-known ghost town in Arizona, was named after its founding company, the Southern Arizona Smelting Company. Established in 1907, the mining town thrived for a period before it ceased operations in 1921. The town’s history is both compelling and relatively obscure, making it an intriguing destination for those interested in Arizona’s mining past.

Although Sasco has largely faded into the annals of history, a number of intriguing ruins remain. Visitors can explore the remnants of the mining operation as well as the old post office, hotel, and other structures typical of a mining community. Among these remains, plain concrete headstones also dot the landscape, adding another layer to the town’s historical texture.

31.382453, -110.675328 Status: Abandoned

Duquesne, often referred to as “downtown” Duquesne, has been abandoned for nearly a century. This Arizona town was once a bustling mining community, complete with mines, various structures, and even a hotel situated off Duquesne Road in a forested area.

Today, the Duquesne Ghost Town offers a variety of ruins to explore. Notably, it was once the site of the Westinghouse Electric Company’s headquarters and the Bonanza Mine.

Visitors can also see the ruins of homes and businesses, including a house once owned by George Westinghouse himself. Additional remnants like a boarding house, a brothel, and an old cemetery add depth to the town’s layered history.

34.155, -112.70694 Status: Abandoned

Weaver, Arizona, was a gold mining town established in 1863 following the discovery of gold in the area. The town was named after Pauline Weaver, a mountain man, trapper, military scout, and prospector who led a group to discover gold on Rich Hill, situated on the town’s east side. Pauline Weaver became Arizona’s first white citizen and took up residence on the hill, where the cemetery still exists today.

Weaver remains one of Arizona’s more intriguing ghost towns, rich with old, crumbling homes and ruins. The town offers a treasure trove of exploration opportunities, making it an ideal location for history buffs, explorers, and photographers to capture the essence of a bygone era.

34.315, -112.066667 Status: Barren

barren ghost towns in Arizona

Big Bug, one of the oldest ghost towns in Arizona, was established in 1862 by Theodore Boggs and his family during the American Civil War. Originally home to around one hundred people, the town was eventually abandoned and now serves as a recreation area within the Prescott National Forest. It’s named after Big Bug Creek, which got its name from the large bugs that inhabited the region.

Though almost nothing remains of the original town, it still holds historical significance, particularly in relation to the nearby old mining camp at Providence. For those interested in relic hunting or historical exploration, the area where Big Bug once stood could offer some buried treasures. To visit, you’ll need to use GPS coordinates, as it is now primarily a recreation area.

34.916111, -110.323611 Status: Barren

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Obed, an Arizona ghost town, was once a bustling transportation hub, serving as a stage line to silver mines in the region. For those interested in history and old photographs, the town offers a window into its vibrant past when it was alive with activity and ambition.

Today, Obed stands as a hauntingly beautiful testament to the dreams of fortune seekers, offering an evocative experience for visitors. Although little may remain in the way of buildings or infrastructure, vintage black-and-white photos can offer a glimpse into what the town used to be. Obed is among eight must-see ghost towns in Southern Arizona, each offering its own unique history and atmosphere.

33.45724, -111.49188 Status: Commercial

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Goldfield Ghost Town is a reconstructed 1890s mining town in Arizona that offers a glimpse into the state’s gold mining history. Visitors can tour an authentic gold mine, witness Old West gunfights, and explore the history museum. Ideal for those interested in Arizona’s past, Goldfield offers a unique and immersive experience that’s not your typical tourist attraction.

Today, Goldfield Ghost Town serves as an entertainment and historical venue that’s not far removed from modern amenities. It is located close to the Superstition Mountains, providing visitors with stunning desert vistas.

Despite being a reconstructed town, it offers an authentic feel, complete with period-appropriate buildings and activities that transport you back to the 1890s.

34.7585, -112.1239 Status: Commercial

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

32.965, -114.463611 Status: Abandoned

famous ghost towns in Arizona

Castle Dome Landing, located northeast of Yuma, Arizona, was once a bustling mining community first discovered by American settlers in the 1860s. The town’s post office opened in 1875 but closed a year later. The mines reopened in 1890 and contributed significantly to lead supplies during World War I and World War II. Castle Dome Landing serves as an important chapter in the region’s mining history.

The site was eventually renamed “Castle Dome” and served as a transport depot for steamboats on the Colorado River, as well as a shipping and supply point. At one point, it even rivaled Yuma and was a lively destination during Mexican Independence Day celebrations. Today, visitors can explore a museum that showcases many elements of the town’s vibrant past, offering a glimpse into its rich history.

35.41395, -114.19859 Status: Historic

Most well known ghost towns in Arizona

Established in 1862, Chloride is the oldest continuously operated mining town in Arizona. At its peak, the town had a population of around three thousand, but by the late 20th century, the number had dwindled to about four hundred. The manpower drain during World War II significantly affected the community, leading to its decline as a mining town.

While the town is considered one of the best-preserved ghost towns, it is experiencing a resurgence thanks to tourism. Among the town’s attractions are colorful murals painted by Roy Purcell in the 1960s. A museum also offers insight into Chloride’s rich history. The vivid murals have largely retained their original colors, making Chloride a popular destination for tourists interested in history and art.

32.83534, -110.33231 Status: Historic

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Klondyke, Arizona, is located near the eastern entrance to Aravaipa Canyon and is a short day trip from Tucson. Established in 1905, the town was a thriving community with a population of about 500 people. It had essential amenities like a school, church, saloon, and a wooden store. However, like many ghost towns in the region, Klondyke declined as its lead and silver mines were exhausted.

Today, Klondyke remains largely abandoned with its unpaved roads as a testament to its past. While not much is left of the original structures, you can still see some remnants of the old community. The area offers a serene, isolated experience for those looking to explore a piece of Arizona’s mining history.

35.026389, -114.383611 Status: Historic

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Oatman, Arizona, is a historic ghost town conveniently situated near Las Vegas and California. Known for its year-round warm weather, the town can get particularly crowded and hot during the summer. It’s advisable to visit during the milder spring and fall seasons.

The Oatman Hotel, where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard honeymooned in 1939, was a famous haunt for local miners, who left their mark on the walls with signed dollar bills.

The town’s Main Street is a highlight for visitors, primarily because of the “wild” burros that roam freely. These burros are descendants of animals brought by early miners and were left to roam after the mines closed.

Stores in the area sell nutritional food packets specifically for the burros, so you can feed them safely. Be mindful, though; some of these burros are curious enough to poke their heads through open windows.

34.165278, -112.729444 Status: Historic

historic ghost towns in Arizona

Stanton, Arizona, was a thriving mining and stagecoach station in the 1890s, complete with a general store, a stamp mill, a hotel, and several other buildings. As the gold reserves depleted, the town went into decline. Now a modern-day ghost town, Stanton offers a unique atmosphere replete with ghost stories, and even includes RV hookup sites and a museum to showcase its mining history.

Unfortunately, many original structures were destroyed in the 1960s when a group of hippies moved in and used the old buildings for firewood. However, some of the town’s historical buildings have been restored, including the old dance hall and saloon. These restored structures offer a glimpse into the town’s vibrant past.

31.58055, -110.85888 Status: Privately Owned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Salero, located in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, is a well-preserved ghost town that is privately owned by Salero Ranch. Unfortunately, it is not open to the general public. Despite its restricted access, the town retains many of its original structures.

Although Salero is not open to public exploration, you can still see some of its preserved buildings from a distance. If you’re interested in Arizona’s ghost towns, consider taking a guided tour of other locations, as Salero is not accessible. These tours often provide valuable insights into the state’s mining history and can be a great addition to a trip that might also include the Grand Canyon or the White Mountains.

33.8172, -112.83246 Status: Privately Owned

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Vulture City is a unique, uninhabited ghost town that was once a mining community. Though the town itself is unsupervised, guided walking tours are available for those who wish to learn more about its history. The site is open to the public for limited hours, so planning ahead is advisable for anyone interested in exploring the town.

Visitors can wander through the town to explore various historic buildings and roads. The area is also known for its striking desert landscapes, complete with saguaros and beautiful sunsets. Interestingly, the site even allows for ceremonies like vow renewals, adding a unique, ghostly ambiance to the occasion.

Go out and explore!

That concludes our list of ghost towns in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places , or explore other ghost towns across the country .

There are 300 ghost towns in Arizona, however many of them have been reduced to rubble from years of neglect.

The scariest ghost town in Arizona is Two Guns, where the alleged ghosts of murdered natives haunt the nearby cave.

Yes, some ghost towns near Phoenix include Goldfield, Jerome, Vulture City, Weaver, Silver Bell, and Sasco.

The most popular ghost town in Arizona is Jerome. Once a booming mining town known for its rich copper deposits, Jerome is located high on top of Cleopatra Hill between Prescott and Sedona. Unlike many ghost towns, Jerome has evolved into a bustling tourist attraction and artistic community. It offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries, in addition to its historic sites. The town is often dubbed “America’s Most Vertical City” due to its steeply inclined streets, and it attracts many visitors interested in both its modern offerings and its rich history.

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The Many Arizona Ghost Towns You Can Visit

 People were drawn to Arizona because of the mining opportunities. Gold, silver, and copper were the natural resources that eventually led to  Arizona becoming a state . Prospectors left California, came to the Arizona territory and brought with them the people who would support the mining efforts — the people of mining towns. 

You Can Visit These Ghost Towns Near Phoenix

Here are some details and links about the more interesting Ghost Towns that are within about 100 miles of the Phoenix area. They are all day trips from the Phoenix area , although you may want to spend some more time at a few of them. Some of them are open to the public. They appear here in alphabetical order.

Note: The locations indicated might not be exact on Google Maps. You might have to look around the area to find ghost town remains or structures.

Still, today, there are people looking for lost treasures associated with some of these mines.

Bumble Bee - North of Phoenix

LunchboxLarry / CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Bumble Bee got its post office in 1879. There are still people here, and the interesting sights are either occupied or private property. There was never a gold boom here; Bumble Bee was a stage stop. The community built a fake set of ghost town storefronts to attract tourists but it is now abandoned. Bumble Bee is on the way to Cleator and Crown King.

Directions to Bumble Bee From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) North to the Bumble Bee cutoff.

You can see this location marked on a Google map.  From there you can zoom in and out, get driving directions, and see what else is nearby.

Cleator - North of Phoenix

Nic Lindh / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The Turkey Creek Mining District was where gold prospectors came in 1864. For a brief period there was a post office here. James Cleator came to Arizona in 1900. His son still owns the bar that the elder Cleator bought in 1905. In 1915 Cleator bought the town, previously known as Turkey Siding and became the postmaster. Cleator now has a population of 10 people. There are some other buildings and a school and a phone booth.

Directions to Cleator From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) north to the Bumblebee exit. Follow Bumblebee road (FSR 259) for about five miles to the town of Bumblebee. Cleator is about eight miles down the road.

Congress - North of Phoenix

Diann Bayes / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Flickr

Gold was discovered in Congress in 1884 and more than 400 men came to work the mines aided by the addition of the railroad. The Silver Dollar Saloon is where they spent their leisure time. There are remnants, an old mine, and a cemetery to be seen in Congress. There was an upper and a lower part to ​the town. The upper part of Congress is where the businesses were located, and the people lived in the lower part. A fire destroyed most of the businesses in Congress in 1898, but the mine was worked until the 1930's. The mine and the Old Congress Cemetery are not open to tourists.

Directions to Congress From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) to U.S.60 West to Wickenburg. Take U.S.93 to State Route 89 to Congress.

Copper Creek- South of Phoenix

Lepley  / CC / Wikimedia Commons

About 50 buildings supported about 200 people that lived in the copper mining town called Copper Creek that was begun in 1863. In 1907 the post office was established and it was closed in 1942. In 1908 the Sibley family built a mansion worth seeing in Copper Creek, but you have to be in good shape to walk there.

Directions to Copper Creek It is not easy from here. From Phoenix take I-10 East toward Tucson to 87 toward Florence. Take State Route 79 south to State Route 77 toward Mammoth. Copper Creek is about 12 miles east. A 4WD high clearance vehicle is essential.

Crown King - North of Phoenix

Jboeke  / CC BY-SA / Wikimedia Commons

The Crown King Mine's history began in the 1870's. In 1888 the post office opened. The gold mining town was named Crown King and had about 500 buildings, including restaurants and hotels. The railroad came to Crown King in 1904, but the town didn't last much longer as a mining community. Many of Crown King's original buildings remain. Today one can still visit the general store and saloon, a school and a cemetery in this summer home area in the Bradshaw Mountains.

Directions to Crown King From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) north. Take the Bumble Bee exit. You will pass the ghost towns of Bumble Bee and Cleator on your way to Crown King.

Fort Misery - North of Phoenix

Rosa Say / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Flickr

Fort Misery was built by a man who helped build the railroad to Crown King. The mining camp got its name because of the hard times that people experienced there. Fort Misery is one of several mining camps located near Crown King. People lived in Fort Misery until the 1920's.

Directions to Fort Misery Fort Misery is not too hard to find ​but requires a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) North to Crown King exit. The Fort Misery mine was five miles southwest of Crown King, 7 miles from what was the Old Senator Highway.

Gillette - North of Phoenix

Rickd248 & Sharond252 / CC / Flickr

Gillette can be found on the banks of the Agua Fria River. It was founded in 1878 and was a town of six streets. The Burfind Hotel was the largest structure in Gillette and now lies in ruin. Gillette was founded by the superintendent of the Tip Top Mine. About 9 miles away, the town was started to process the ore from Tip Top. In 1884 the mill was moved to Tip Top. Gillette was still a stop on the stagecoach route until the railroad made the stagecoach unnecessary.

It isn't easy to get to Gillette today, and a sturdy high-clearance vehicle is recommended.

Directions to Gillette From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) North to Route 69 going west. Gillette is about 5 miles west of the Table Mesa Exchange.

Jerome - North of Phoenix

Mike McBey / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Jerome is Arizona's most famous ghost town and is by far the largest. The post office in Jerome was established in 1883 and is still operating. Jerome was a copper mining town and almost 3,000 inhabitants lived and worked there in 1900 making it the fourth largest city in the Arizona territory. Jerome is actually an Arizona State Park . There is a museum, many original buildings, including the jail, and the mine to be viewed. It has become somewhat of an artist's colony since the Jerome Historical Society fought to keep the town alive. Today the Town of Jerome has a Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer fire department. There is much to see and do in Jerome — it will take an entire afternoon. If you intend to eat at the House of Joy (a former brothel) you need reservations weeks in advance. Nearby Clarkdale is where the smelter operation was built and where you can  take the Verde Canyon Railroad for a scenic train ride .

If you enjoy a glass of vino,  Jerome has several spots for wine tasting  that are well worth a visit.

Directions to Jerome To get to Jerome from Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) North to State Route 69 into Prescott. From Prescott take Alt 89 into Jerome. Any type of vehicle will do. For a fun drive back, take the winding mountain road out the other side of Jerome to 260 toward Camp Verde.

Octave - North of Phoenix

The mine at Octave is traced back to 1863. After producing millions of dollars worth of profits, the Octave mine was closed in 1942. There were various buildings in the town, but only one standing building remains. Octave is near the towns of Stanton and Weaver. Octave was known for its Friday Night dances. The land in Octave is privately owned.

Directions to Octave From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) to U.S.60 West to Wickenburg. Take U.S.93 to State Route 89 past Congress and take the turnoff toward Stanton and Weaver. Octave is at the end of the road. A high clearance vehicle is required.

Oro Belle - North of Phoenix

The Oro Belle Mining and Mill Company was started around 1898. One can still see foundations of buildings and the safe house, although the safe is gone.  The Oro Belle mine was shut down in 1908. The saloon, including the bar, are now in Crown King having been transported there in 1910.

Directions to Oro Belle Oro Belle is not too hard to find but requires a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) North to Crown King exit. The Oro Belle Mine was five miles southwest of Crown King, 3 miles from what was the Old Senator Highway.

Sasco Loop - South of Phoenix

The Sasco Loop is comprised of three towns: Sasco, Silverbell and Silver Bell. Sasco got its name from the Southern Arizona Smelting Company and the town's history began in 1907. Sasco was a smelter town, and had businesses and a hotel. The post office closed in 1919. At Silverbell there are still some visible remains of the town from the road, but the town is private property. About 3,000 people once lived there and the post office started up in 1904. Silver Bell was a copper mining town as late as the 1980's. 

Directions to Sasco Loop From Phoenix take I-10 East toward Tucson to Avra Valley Road Exit. Take a high clearance vehicle.

Silver King - South of Phoenix

Silver King is near Superior, AZ and is privately owned. Permission must be granted before anyone can have access. The post office at Silver King was established in 1877, and the postmaster and saloonkeeper were one and the same person. It was known as a peaceful camp. Mine production at Silver King reached its peak in 1886. There were enough people to support two hotels. The owners tried to shoot each other but were not successful. Silver King also had a church. Vandals burned down the most famous building in Silver King.

Directions to Silver King From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) go to U.S. 60 East toward Superior. A high clearance vehicle is required.

You can see this location marked on a Google map . From there you can zoom in and out, get driving directions, and see what else is nearby.

Stanton - North of Phoenix

Stanton had its first gold strike in 1863 and used to be called Antelope Station. Charles Stanton came to town, elected himself deputy, justice of the peace and postmaster and changed the name of the town. He was not popular and was shot to death. Stanton is now private property, basically an RV park. Check to see if visitors are allowed.

Directions to Stanton From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) to U.S.60 West to Wickenburg. Take U.S.93 to State Route 89 toward Yarnell. Stanton is six miles east of Arrowhead station.

Stoddard - North of Phoenix

The Stoddard-Binghamton and Copper Queen mines gave rise to the town of Stoddard, named for Isaac Stoddard. It is located northeast of Mayer, Arizona. A post office was operational in Stoddard between 1882 and 1907. By 1924 the town's inhabitants had gone. A school and a few buildings are left. At its peak, about 300 people lived in Stoddard. In 2012 public access to the mine was cut off due to private ownership.

Directions to Stoddard From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) north to State Route 69 to Mayer. A 4WD high clearance vehicle is required.

Tip Top - North of Phoenix

The Tip Top Mine was founded in 1875 and about 200 people are said to have populated the mining camp. There were several stores, a restaurant, a laundry and a saloon. A town called Gillette, now also classified as a ghost town, sprang up nearby Tip Top to support the mine operations.

Directions to Tip Top With great difficulty! From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) North to the Table Mesa Exit. After the Agua Fria crossing there are several miles of very tough terrain. Do not try to get to Tip Top without a 4-wheel-drive vehicle.

Vulture Mine - North of Phoenix

CEBImagery / CC BY-NC 2.0 / Flickr

The Vulture Mine is about 14 miles from Wickenburg, Arizona. In 1863 gold was discovered here. It is called the Vulture Mine because legend has it that a vulture felled by a gunshot landed near a gold nugget.

The Vulture Mine thrived through the 1890's and was still operational in the 1920's. In 1942 the mining here stopped. There are various buildings, a school and a hanging tree still to be seen there. There is an entrance fee to Vulture Mine and visitors can take a self-guided tour. An additional fee will allow you to pan for gold.

Directions to Vulture Mine From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) to US60 West. The turnoff is about 2.5 miles west of Wickenburg. Travel about another 12 miles to the Vulture Mine at the end of the pavement on Vulture Mine Road.

Weaver - North of Phoenix

Plazak / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Located along Weaver Creek, Weaver shares the Rich Hill area with Stanton and Octave. The town was named after Pauline Weaver, a guide, who happened upon a gold find. Thugs, thieves and criminals inhabited Weaver when the gold mine was exhausted. There is a cemetery there, and there are a few other items to see such as the walls of the Weaver post office.

Directions to Weaver From Phoenix take I-17 (the Black Canyon Freeway) to U.S.60 West to Wickenburg. Take U.S.93 to State Route 89 past Congress. Road to Stanton is on the right side, 2 miles after Congress. Then about 6 miles to Stanton. Weaver is 2 miles behind Stanton.

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Arizona ghost-town road trip: 5 former boomtowns worth the drive. Here's how to see them

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

You know you’re a real Arizonan if you have a favorite ghost town.

Back in the day, Arizona represented the raggedy edge of the frontier. Despite the harshness of the terrain, communities sprang up whenever ore was discovered. As long as gold, silver or copper flowed from the ground it seemed like boom times would never end.

Yet once the mines closed, towns struggled. Not all survived. Their sun-bleached bones dot the landscape. Discovering them is a journey back in time.

Ghost towns are not typical tourist destinations and therein lies much of their appeal. For the traveler who likes scenic beauty mingled with mystery and a soothing solitude, here are a handful of Arizona ghost towns worth a visit. Please tread respectfully and leave everything just as you found it for the next visitor.

Tubac: Explore one of Arizona's oldest communities in a day trip

Perched on the banks of the San Pedro River, Fairbank thrived as a transportation hub. It was the closest railroad stop to Tombstone and ran a stage line to the town with the thriving silver mines. Like most Old West towns, Fairbank also saw its share of violence.

The most famous incident occurred in 1900 when the Burt Alvord Gang tried a daring train robbery at the depot. But they were foiled by legendary lawman Jeff Milton. Despite catching a bullet that shattered his arm, Milton wounded one bandit and killed “Three Fingered Jack” Dunlop with a shotgun blast. Dunlop was one of the last outlaws buried in Tombstone’s Boothill Graveyard.

Fairbank held on until the 1970s when the last resident pulled up stakes. Today a half dozen structures including a large mercantile building, a schoolhouse and a few homes huddle in the mesquite groves above the river. The site is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management and is part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

The schoolhouse serves as a visitor center and museum but has been closed during the pandemic. Hiking trails lead through the woodlands along the river and past a spooky cemetery, always a plus for a ghost town. The site is free and open for self-guided tours.

Details: Fairbank is 10 miles west of Tombstone on State Route 82. 520-258-7200, www.blm.gov.visit/fairbank-historic-townsite .

Explore Arizona in 2021: A wanderer's wish list of the state's most beautiful places

On the south side of the Dragoon Mountains, the Chiricahua Apache people mined turquoise for jewelry and trade. Anglo prospectors continued the practice in later years. When John Gleeson discovered a large copper deposit in 1900, the small community boomed. In its heyday, Gleeson had 1,500 residents.

Around 1912, 15-year-old Joe Bono immigrated from Italy with his brother, Barney. They worked in Tombstone but soon moved to the more bustling Gleeson and opened a general store. Although time and the elements have gnawed the building, the name Joe Bono is still visible on the facade. That’s significant since the town of Gleeson was purchased in 2014 by another Joe Bono, the son of the store’s owner.

Bono remembers growing up in the town and wanted to preserve its history and the stories that are especially meaningful for him. His uncle Barney is buried in the Gleeson Cemetery.

In addition to the store, a few cabins still stand, and the foundations of the hospital and school. The centerpiece structure is the restored 1910 jail that serves as a museum. Bono opens the jail from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Admission is free and donations are welcome. Visitors are welcome to stop by Gleeson at any time.

Details:  Gleeson is 15 miles east of Tombstone on Gleeson Road. The road is mostly unpaved but can be managed in passenger cars during good weather. 520-609-3549, http://www.gleesonarizona.com .

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Kentucky Camp

Imagine spending a night in a lonely ghost town far from civilization. Kentucky Camp sits amid the grasslands that cloak the eastern flanks of the Santa Rita Mountains northwest of Sonoita.

It served as the headquarters for the Santa Rita Water and Mining Co. from 1902 to 1906. The company folded soon after the founder, James Stetson, mysteriously plunged to his death from a Tucson hotel window.

Now maintained by the Forest Service, the site includes five partially restored adobes. The headquarters building can be reserved for day use. A small rustic cabin can be rented through the “Rooms with a View” program . The cabin sleeps up to five people and has electricity but no water. The kitchen contains basic amenities like a refrigerator, microwave, hot plate and utensils. A vault toilet, stall for solar showers and outdoor sink are on site.

Since the Arizona Trail is routed through Kentucky Camp, you’ll enjoy daytime hiking and birding. Expect quiet evenings and dark night skies laden with stars. The cabin rents for $75 per night and reservations can be made at https://www.recreation.gov .

Details:  Kentucky Camp is off Gardner Canyon Road, which is 21 miles south of Interstate 10 on State Route 83. Go west on Gardner Canyon Road, drive 0.75 miles to Forest Road 163 and take FR 163 for 5 miles to the Kentucky Camp Gate. Park in the designated area and walk a quarter-mile to the town. 520-281-2296, https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/coronado .

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Vulture City

When prospector Henry Wickenburg spotted a quartz ledge in the desert, he discovered the richest vein of gold ore in Arizona.

Work began on the Vulture Mine in 1863. It would go on to produce 340,000 ounces of gold (and about 260,000 ounces of silver) during its operation. Ranchers and miners soon settled along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River and the town of Wickenburg was born.

Located 12 miles outside of Wickenburg, the ghost town of Vulture City is being restored and preserved. More than a dozen buildings around the original mine are still standing, including Henry Wickenburg’s old cabin. That ironwood tree shading the cabin earned notoriety as the Hanging Tree. It’s said that 18 men danced from the end of a rope slung over its branches for a variety of crimes.

Walk the graveled half-mile path to see the collection of weathered historic buildings surrounded by old mining equipment such as the stamp mill and headframe. Guided tours are offered at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Details: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily; closed March 21-27. 36610 355th Ave., Wickenburg. $15. 877-425-9229, https://www.vultureminetours.com .

In the southernmost part of the state, Ruby is one of Arizona’s best-preserved ghost towns.

Mining started around 1877 and proceeded in fits and starts for decades. Processing was hampered by lack of water. The mine produced gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper. Originally known as Montana Camp because the mining was done at the base of Montana Peak, the town became Ruby in 1912 when the first postmaster named it after his wife.

A history of violence hangs over the town. Between 1920 and 1922, three double homicides took place here and in the vicinity. They were known as the Ruby Murders and led to the largest manhunt in Arizona.

Today Ruby is open to the public for tours, fishing and camping. More than a dozen buildings in various states of disrepair remain. Two small lakes linger from the old mining days, although water levels are low during the current drought.

Ruby is about 12 miles south of Arivaca and the last few miles are on a rough dirt road. Be sure to pack water and food. Permits obtained in advance are required. Visit the website for directions and permit options.

Details:  Open Thursdays-Sundays. Admission is $15; fishing and camping permits cost $20 each. 520-744-4471, http://rubyaz.com .

Find the reporter at https://www.rogernaylor.com . Or follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RogerNaylorinAZ or Twitter @AZRogerNaylor .

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  • Travel Guide

12 Abandoned Ghost Towns in Arizona You Can Explore

Published: March 11, 2022

Modified: December 27, 2023

by Angela Magsajo

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Wide shot photo of Jerome, one of the ghost towns in Arizona, surrounded by plateau and with mountain ranges in the background.

There’s a cornucopia of abandoned cities and ghost towns in America . And you can find a number of them in Arizona. Ghost towns in Arizona consist of abandoned buildings and homes that hide in plain sight within the dry deserts and plateau of the old Wild West . Most of these abandoned towns are former mining sites during the mining boom in the 19th century. When the mineral seams gave out, however, plenty of these old towns was abandoned, with residents seeking job opportunities elsewhere.

Nowadays, we see abandoned towns in Arizona as top tourist attractions. When on a road trip through the Copper State, those on the hunt for unusual places stop by to visit. And while not all of these Arizona towns come with eerie stories, their desolate states will surely leave a haunting impression. If you’re looking for pit-stops when heading to national parks in Arizona or are simply wanting to explore spooky places on a day trip , you should definitely visit these Arizona ghost towns !

Wide shot of abandoned buildings and houses in Jerome, one of the ghost towns in Arizona, with mountains in the background.

Photo by Dan on Flickr

Dubbed as the “Wickedest Town in the West,” Jerome is a former mining town nestled within the Verde Valley. A once thriving copper-rich land, it was home to 15,000 residents during its heyday. Unfortunately, that number quickly dwindled down to a mere 50 by the late 1950s. Today, you can still see remnants of the town’s mining past with crumbling facades and bare foundations of buildings that greet visitors. 

But this is not the only reason why Jerome got its “ghost town” status. Jerome is also known as one of the haunted places in Arizona due to the several tragedies that struck the town, including fires and violent murders. At the center of this belief is the Jerome Grand Hotel , a former hospital reputed to be the home of spirits of patients and staff. Join ghost hunting tours and spirit walks and hunt down Jerome’s most famous haunted locations. You can even add gold panning at the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town to your itinerary for an experience like no other!

2. Tombstone

Dirt road with a giant wooden sign of Old Tombstone, an abandoned city in Arizona.

Photo by Anna Irene on Flickr

Situated in Cochise County , Tombstone is the “town too tough to die.” With its dirt road and dusty streets lined with old-time saloons, restaurants, and shops, the town looks straight out of old western movies. A popular tourist destination , it offers visitors a glimpse of the past with its ghost town museum and other attractions.

Explore the original underground silver mining grounds that turned Tombstone into one of the boomtowns of the 1880s. Hop on a horse-drawn wagon or stagecoach to explore the historic district. Alternatively, go on foot to visit the most haunted spots, including the area where the O.K. Corral shootout took place. Afterward, you can watch a reenactment of the gunfight at the local theaters or enjoy a meal at the Big Nose Kate saloon.

3. Oatman 

Wooden exterior of the Oatman Museum in Oatman, one of the ghost towns in Arizona.

Photo by Graeme Maclean on Flickr

What was once a bustling gold mining town is now home to more burros than people. Situated along the old Route 66, Oatman is a living ghost town with several residents still living on the site and running shops and restaurants that cater to over 500,000 visitors yearly. It’s one of the remaining Western towns in Arizona that exudes a Wild West atmosphere, with its rugged area lined with dusty streets, wooden sidewalks, and kitschy shops.  

It’s also home to the Oatman Hotel, a two-storey adobe hotel that is rumored to be where Old Hollywood supercouple Clark Gable and Carole Lombard allegedly honeymooned in 1939 . In fact, the suite that the lovebirds stayed in is one of the town’s top attractions! Some guests claimed to have encountered the spirits of the famous couple. And while it may not be one of the most romantic hotels in the world , it’s certainly a great stop for those looking for spooky and haunted places in Arizona to visit.

Stone exterior of the old jailhouse in Gleeson, AZ.

Photo by The Old Pueblo at English Wikipedia on Wikimedia Commons

Just 16 miles west of Tombstone in Cochise County , Gleeson is unlike other ghost towns in Arizona that were founded on gold, silver, or copper. Instead, the native tribes mined the area for turquoise. Before long, white settlers discovered that the land was also rich in copper, lead, and silver. This led to an increase in miners, prospectors, and consequently, the general population of the area.

After World War I, however, the demand for copper began to fall, which led to the closure of mines and the exodus of the town’s residents. Nowadays, we still see remnants of Gleeson’s booming past with ruins of its hospitals, schools, saloons, and a general store . The ruins of the town’s jail have since been restored and turned into a museum. 

Old time cars covered in dust parked outside stone bricked buildings in Bisbee, one of the living ghost towns in Arizona.

Photo by Mobilus In Mobili on Flickr

With a population of over 4,000 residents, Bisbee doesn’t exude the same eerie feel as the other creepy ghost towns on this list. Located in Cochise County, it was once a mineral-rich land that served as a mining settlement to over 20,000 miners, prospectors, and their families. After almost a century of mining, though, the mines ceased operations.

Nowadays, the town is home to an art and culture-rich community, but you can still get a glimpse of its mining past. Tour several of the museums to get an in-depth look into the lives of miners and settlers back in the day. Want a more immersive experience? Go 1,500 feet underground and explore one of the abandoned mines. Meanwhile, for those looking for spooky adventures for a Happy Halloween celebration , take part in one of the ghost hunting tours or haunted pub crawls. Looking for places to stay overnight or longer? Head on over to the Copper Queen Hotel , a historic hotel that dates back to 1902! 

Worn out vintage sign in Nothing, Arizona, surrounded by overgrown hedges.

Photo by W Lauzon on Flickr

With a population of, well, nothing, Nothing is as abandoned as abandoned places in Arizona can be. Located about a hundred miles northwest of Phoenix, it was founded in 1977 and, during its height, had a population of four . It was abandoned in 2005 but saw life again in 2008 when a businessman purchased the town and set up a pizza stand, gas station , and even grounds for an RV park for RV motor homes . 

Unfortunately, by 2011, the new owner closed up shop and Nothing was once again an abandoned town with only worn-out signs and collapsing structures. Since it never truly saw a boom in residents, there’s not much to see in this small town, but it does provide a nice break in scenery between the miles of dirt road between Wickenburg and Kingman. 

7. Fairbank

Exterior of the restored schoolhouse in Fairbank, AZ, one of the ghost towns in Arizona.

Photo by Brian Henderson on Flickr

Not to be confused with Fairbanks in Alaska , Fairbank is another abandoned town in Cochise County , located just 10 miles west of Tombstone and east of the San Pedro River. Fairbank played an important role in the development of Southern Arizona. The town served as a waypoint between the then bustling town and the rest of the state. Though when the mines in Tombstone dried out, Fairbank’s significance soon faded away too.

Today, the land is under the management of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Visitors can take a self-guided tour around the deserted town and its abandoned buildings and structures, including the restored schoolhouse from the 1920s, a railroad depot, and a few cemeteries. 

8. Goldfield

Old buildings, old-time vehicles, and a gigantic cactus erected beside the structure in the streets of Goldfield, a ghost town near Phoenix. 

Photo by Jasperdo on Flickr

Over an hour away from Seneca Lake — one of the best lakes in Arizona — you’ll find Goldfield. Situated within the city of Apache Junction,  it was a former gold mining town home to around 4,000 residents during its heyday in the 1890s. Nowadays, it serves as a tourist attraction for those who want to immerse themselves in the world of the old Wild West .

Begin your tour by hopping aboard an old-time train to learn all about the history of the Goldfield ghost town , while gazing at the beauty of the Superstition Mountains . Afterward, tour a 100-year-old gold mine or watch reenactments of historic gunfights. The town even has its own shooting range, complete with interactive targets! So, you take a turn at holding a firearm and shooting your shot.

9. Crown King

The facade of the general store at Crown King, a living ghost town in Arizona, with an American flag outside.

Photo by curtis roberts on Flickr

Perched on top of the Bradshaw Mountains, Crown King is one of the ghost towns in Arizona only accessible through a rough dirt road . But the journey to reach it offers incredible views and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities. Technically, a living ghost town , it was once a gold mining town turned into a tourist attraction and summer destination for residents living in nearby towns and cities. Unfortunately , several fires destroyed many of the original buildings and structures of the town.

One of the still-standing buildings is the Crown King Saloon on Main Street . First established in the 1890s, it currently serves as the main attraction for many visitors. The walls of the establishment are full of photos showing the history of the area. As such, not only can you get delicious food and beer, but you can also learn about Crown King and Arizona’s history . 

10. Vulture City

Abandoned wooden structure, surrounded by overgrown weed and a cactus found in Vulture City, one of the ghost towns in AZ.

Photo by Christine Olson on Flickr

Established in 1863, Vulture City was once a thriving gold mining town and home to one of the most productive gold mines in the state’s history. The mine’s closure in 1942 caused its residents to relocate and soon afterward, Vulture City was a ghost town. While the land that the town is on is now privately owned, visitors can still explore the remnants of the once-booming town through self-guided tours. Although, if you want to learn more about the restoration process of the town, guided tours are also available.

11. Swansea

Ruins of buildings surrounded by plateau and overgrown bushes at Swansea, AZ.

Photo by Space][rucker on Flickr

Swansea is one of the Western towns in Arizona that sits near the Arizona- California border . It was once a thriving mining town and was even home to a gold and copper mining company. Just like most Arizona ghost towns , though, it was soon abandoned after the mining company went bankrupt. On top of that, the dry surroundings and lack of water sources contributed to the town’s demise.

Today, the BLM is working to preserve and restore what’s left in the area, including old mine shafts. Visitors are free to explore dozens of abandoned buildings and structures and learn all about its history from the plaques installed by the BLM.

12. Agua Caliente

Abandoned building of the Agua Caliente Resort. 

Photo by Marine 69-71 on Wikimedia Commons

Unlike other ghost towns in Arizona, Agua Caliente wasn’t a mining town. Instead, it was a prominent tourist stop thanks to a natural hot spring , which was originally used by Native Americans. However, by the 19th century, white settlers and travelers discovered the soothing and healing properties of the spring. A 22-room resort was built in the late 1890s with a swimming pool filled with water sourced from the hot spring. 

The Wild West town continued to thrive as a tourist destination until the hot spring dried out due to irrigation and farming. Nowadays, you can still find remnants of the resort, as well as other ruins of old buildings and a cemetery.

Uncover the Best Ghost Towns in Arizona Today

Arizona isn’t just home to national and state parks or the Grand Canyon . Its rich history also makes it home to several abandoned places. This includes former mining towns and settlements that are now just deserted hamlets left in desolate states. While many may have forgotten about these Arizona ghost towns, plenty of curious explorers still  find their way to them. Scattered along the landscape of the Wild West , an array of these small towns in Arizona even come with eerie stories of tragedy. Visit Arizona today and you might come into contact with some of its ghostly residents. 

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Travel Inspiration for Adventurers

jerome old west town

The Old West Ultimate Guide to Arizona Ghost Towns

Explore the Old West – Arizona ghost towns invite you to take a trip into the desert’s past. At one time this area was booming with mining towns.  We have compiled some of our favorite areas to experience Arizona’s old western influence and ghost towns by the areas they are located in.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

I love visiting historical sights and buildings because I get to imagine what it must have been like to live there years ago. The old west was dusty, wild and they didn’t have air conditioning. If you want to learn how the natives cooled off with no AC check out Wupatki Native American Ruins ,

Arizona is part of the Old West, also called the Wild West and The American Frontier. You can find old western towns across the state of Arizona.

Are there any Arizona Ghost Towns to Visit?

Arizona’s old west towns are still populated, some are just not as populated as they once were at their peak. Many are still considered “ghostly” due to their history.

Yes, there are still several Arizona ghost towns you can visit today.

13 Arizona Ghost Towns

Let’s take a road trip to some of the coolest old western towns in Arizona.

  • Rawhide Western Tow n
  • Goldfield Ghost Town

Tortilla Flat

  • Wickenburg (Vulture City)

Old Tucson Studios

Arizona’s ghost towns.

The following old western towns are near the city of Phoenix .

Rawhide- Recreated Old West Town

Rawhide is a convenient spot in the city to experience a recreated old west town. Bring the whole family for a day of fun at Rawhide.

Experience what life was like in Arizona in the 1880’s with mock shoot-outs, pan for gold, go on a stagecoach ride, a burro ride, a train ride or pet the animals at the petting zoo.

It is free to enter the old west town, and you need to purchase ticket for the attractions, so you can purchase a wrist band or pick attractions a la carte’. Great family fun activity in Phoenix.

Arizona Old West Goldfield Ghost Town & Tortilla Flat

A visit to Goldfield Ghost Town is a great way to start your old west trip. Located on the Apache Trail. Visit a 1890’s ghost town  located in the same spot as an authentic town once stood.

Tortilla Flat is located along the historic Apache Trail. It is a reconstructed stagecoach stop with a general store, a saloon, a tiny museum, restaurant all along a wooden boardwalk. One of the few places that sells prickly pear ice cream.

Let’s Explore Ghost Towns on the Apache Trail

goldfield arizona ghost town

Wickenburg Arizona Old West Town

True West Magazine ranked Wickenburg in the Top Ten True Western Towns. Wickenburg prides itself in staying true to their old western roots.

They have several annual “western” events including The Gold Rush Days & Rodeo, Bluegrass Festival & Fiddle Championship, and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. If you’re here drive out to see Vulture City. Explore the Old West in Wickenburg. ..

The following old west and ghostly towns are in Southern Arizona.

Ok, Old Tucson Studios isn’t really an old west town, but it is a cool replica of Tucson in the 1860’s. The studio was originally created in the late 1930’s for movie sets. In the 1960’s it was restored and reopened as both a film studio and a tourist attraction.

Today you can see old movie memorabilia, buildings from movie sets, watch  stuntman shows.

The Tough Too Tough To Die: Tombstone

Tombstone is most famous for the gunfight at OK Corral between the Earp brothers and the McLaury brothers. Tombstone is an old west town that was once booming because of all of the silver in the mines. It is also the location of “The World’s Largest Rose.” Let’s Explore Tombstone …

arizona old west ghost towns Old Tucson Studio

The Boom & Bust Town of Clifton

The mining town of Clifton is a cool piece of Arizona boom and bust history. It was once a lively copper mining town, but visiting Clifton now is like taking a step back in time. Let’s Explore Clifton …

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

The following old West Ghost Towns in North Central Arizona.

The “ghostly” town of jerome.

Jerome was once known as a bustling rowdy copper mining town. Today it is a tiny vertical town with wonderful views of the Verde Valley. There are museums and many historical buildings to explore.

Jerome’s population dwindled down to as few as 50 people after the mines closed in the early 1950’s. Today it is a popular tourist destination where you can experience the old west mining town and take in the gorgeous views. Find out More Adventures in Jerome. ..

Prescott Arizona an Old West Town

The oldest rodeo is held annually in Prescott. In addition, if you’re looking to see cowboys and bull riding visit Prescott the week of July 4th to be part of a tradition since 1888. Let’s Explore Prescott …

jerome arizona old west ghost towns

You can find a few old western Arizona ghost towns in the northern part of the state, including:

An old mining camp-chloride ghost town.

Just outside of Kingman and Route 66 is Arizona’s oldest mining town, Chloride . Chloride was a mining town in the late 1800’s. Due to the popularity in mining, more than 5,000 residents called Chloride home at its peak.

More than 50 mines operated around the small town of Chloride producing gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc.

chloride arizona

Visiting today, it is hard to believe this dusty town was once bustling and 2,000 people once called this tiny town home. Today around 250 residents call Chloride home.

The town is considered Arizona’s oldest continuously inhabited mining town. Chloride is considered a living ghost town . You can see the remains of the Santa Fe stagecoach. The post office has been in operation since 1873.

Chloride has a couple of restaurants, some shops and an and an Inn. Re-enacted gunfights can be seen on Saturdays.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Arizona Ghost Towns Route 66

Oatman is a cool town located off the classic Route 66. Wild burros hang out on the wooden boardwalks downtown. If you want a true old west feeling, a trip to Oatman should be on your list. Let’s Explore Oatman …

A silver mining town from the late 1800’s, Hackberry is a cool historical ghost town is along Arizona’s Route 66 .

Take a road trip to see remnants of Arizona’s old west past.

oatman arizona old west ghost towns

Where are the Cowboys in Arizona?

Are there any cowboys left.

Visitors often ask, where are the cowboys in Arizona? The best places to see cowboys or cowgirls in Arizona are at bull riding events and horse shows. Wild horses still live here and if you’re lucky you can often see them in the Tonto National Forest or near the Salt River.

Cave Creek and Wickenburg are towns near Phoenix that have definitely retained their old west flair. If you’re wanting to see cowboys or girls in Arizona, we know a few places you may want to check out.

Bull Riding

  • Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek has live bull riding every Wednesday and Friday night.
  • Hogs and Horses in Cave Creek often has Wild West Shows and live bull riding as well.
  • The Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon in New River has live bull riding every Saturday night.

If you want an authentic old western experience, stop by the Hitching Post in Apache Junction. Every Thursday and Saturday night they have live bull riding.

Horse Shows

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show  is an internationally renowned annual event in Scottsdale. This event has over 25 demonstrations and shows and thousands of Arabian horse lovers converge upon Westworld in February.

This post uses affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking an affiliate link we may receive small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All opinions remain our own.

Visit These 11 Creepy Ghost Towns In Arizona At Your Own Risk

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Monica Spencer

Monica is a Diné (Navajo) freelance writer and photographer based in the Southwest. Born in Gallup and raised in Phoenix, she is Tódich'ii'nii (Bitter Water People) and Tsi'naajinii (Black Streak Wood People). Monica is a staff writer for Only In Your State, photo editor for The Mesa Legend, and previously a staff writer for The Navajo Post. You can reach her at [email protected].

More by this Author

The mining boom of the late 19th century saw the rise of dozens of small towns and settlements across the Arizona Territory. These later led to small communities and business ventures becoming established as Arizona moved into statehood and modernity, especially when Route 66 was opened. However, nothing lasts forever and many of these places were later abandoned. Today, they are creepy ghost towns in Arizona .

A ghost town is defined as an abandoned place with some structures still standing. Some areas continue to house a small number of residents and these are typically referred to as living ghost towns.  If you are looking to explore some spooky, abandoned towns in Arizona, check out some of these ghost towns.

1. Chloride

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

3. Fairbank

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

5. Goldfield

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

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Hike Through A Ghost Town Cemetery On Fairbank Loop In Arizona

Hike Through A Ghost Town Cemetery On Fairbank Loop In Arizona

Hike To An Abandoned Village At Wupatki National Monument In Arizona

Hike To An Abandoned Village At Wupatki National Monument In Arizona

Moss Wash Trail In Arizona Leads Straight To An Abandoned Mansion

Moss Wash Trail In Arizona Leads Straight To An Abandoned Mansion

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

10. Seneca Lake

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

11. Two Guns

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

What do you think? Do you want to visit these Arizona ghost towns? Do you know of any other ghost towns in Arizona? We’ve put together a convenient Arizona Ghost Town Road Trip to visit some of them in one route. Are you brave enough to pack up your car and hit the road to visit them?

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Creepy ghost towns in arizona.

What are the creepiest places in Arizona?

There are quite a few creepy places to visit in Arizona if you're into that kind of thrill. Many people don't know that there is an abandoned mansion in the state that you can hike to and check out for yourself. Located in the Hualapai Mountains and right next to an abandoned mine, this shell of a building is certainly eerie. Another spooky ghost town in Arizona to visit is Vulture City. As if the name wasn't already off-putting, there is an old hanging tree there that adds to the creepy ambiance. Some people even say ghosts linger in the area.

Can I go ghost hunting in Arizona?

If you like visiting haunted places in Arizona and trying to experience paranormal activity, you're in luck. Arizona's most notoriously haunted town, Jerome, has a ghostly tour you can take. This former mining town has many stories of ghosts, and Ghost Town Tours Jerome is eager to tell you all about them. These tours range from walking tours with a history of the area and its supposed spirit residents, or night time experiences with special equipment that'll give you a true ghost hunting experience. You can learn more about these AZ ghost hunting tours here .

What are the most haunted places in Arizona?

There are more spooky spots than just abandoned places in Arizona. One of the most notoriously haunted places - and certainly the most spine-chilling to visit - is the Yuma Territorial Prison. This place has been known for its negative experiences since the days it was actually operation. Conditions were awful there, and many prisoners died within its walls. Causes of death ranged from tuberculosis to suicide, and others being shot while attempting to escape. Needless to say, these walls have harbored truly negative energies over the years and it's known as one of the most haunted spots in Arizona. Today, it's a state park you can visit for yourself. Learn more about the Yuma Territorial Prison here .

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Explore Arizona

Downtown Globe

Arizona's Ghost Town Getaways

You needn't travel far in Arizona before coming across a ghost town or two. Try these quirky towns for the perfect spooky—or just plain perfect—day trip.

Arizona's 19th-century mining boom gave rise to several towns that bustled with near-instantaneous commerce (and, in some cases, debauchery), but whose rapid growth ended abruptly when precious metals were depleted or sheer bad luck caused residents to move on. Today, many of these outposts are little more than abandoned buildings. Yet others have taken on new life, drawing artists and free spirits who embrace their town's haunted past and welcome outsiders in search of spooky tales and Old West lore. In a state full of ghost towns, you have your pick from the famous (Bisbee) to the infamous (Tombstone). Below is a list of some of Arizona's most distinctive ghost towns, each with its own quirks and curiosities. But mind your step as you explore these towns' haunted hulls, or you might end up a permanent resident.

Globe-Miami (about 90 miles east of Phoenix)

Not all ghost towns are unpopulated, as the very-much-alive residents of Globe and Miami can attest to. But as mining operations have slowed in the area, the towns—known collectively as Globe-Miami —are luring guests in by drawing the ghosts out. By day, shop for antiques downtown or browse original art at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts . Nighttime belongs to the ghosts. In Globe, volunteers host monthly ghost tours of the 1910 Gila County Sheriff's Office & Jail , which has seen its share of death, frequently the result of vigilante and mob justice. In nearby Miami, the Bullion Plaza School once served as the segregated school for the town's Mexican-American children. Closed in 1994 due to structural issues, it's slowly being restored, and portions have turned into a history museum with displays that rival larger institutions.

Stay: A former turn-of-the-century boarding house for miners and merchants, the Chrysocolla Inn B&B offers modern-day travelers a peaceful place to stay only two blocks away from downtown Globe. Guests can choose from six rooms, named after gems and minerals such as turquoise and amethyst (with matching color schemes), and relax among the Inn's two garden patios.

Gleeson (SE of Tucson, 16 miles east of Tombstone)

Once home to a turquoise mine favorited by Tiffany and Co. in the mid-1880s, all that remains of Gleeson today are some private ranches, a nearly collapsed general store, and an old jail. The jail was restored and operates as a museum with local artifacts and lore, open on the first Saturday of each month or by appointment. Travelers to Gleeson take note: It's one of several stops along southern Arizona's Ghost-Town Loop Tour that also includes Fairbank, Tombstone, and St. David. Visit www.gleesonarizona.com for more information. Stay: Tombstone Monument Ranch captures the look and feel of an Old West town … but with much nicer bedding and amenities. Guest rooms are designed to look like old storefronts - perfect for those wishing to live out their "Westworld" dreams, minus the robots.

Gold King Mine and Ghost Town (29 miles west of Sedona)

Formerly the town of Haynes, Arizona, the Gold King Mine is part museum, part mining camp. A $5 admission gets you into the site, which also includes a display of vintage cars, trucks and abandoned mining equipment. Self-guided tours take you through exhibits such as a 1914 sawmill, a mineshaft and an array of old buildings that once served as the dentist's office, school, and garage. Kids are welcome, and families can take part in a blacksmithing demonstration or try their hand at gold and gem panning. Stay: Gold King Mine may not be haunted, but ghost seekers can take their chances with a night at the Jerome Grand Hotel , just 45 minutes west of Sedona. The hotel began life in 1927 as the town's hospital, and two different psychics claimed to have felt the ghost of the "head nurse" lingering about.

Chloride (23 miles NW of Kingman and Route 66)

Ghosts likely outnumber residents in this western Arizona town of 350 - give or take. Considered the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in the state, Chloride is home to cattle ranches, brightly painted cliff murals, dark skies and a hand-built ghost town within a town: Cyanide Springs.

Stay: Get the full roadside hotel experience at Shep Miner's Inn , a historic 1800 adobe inn originally designed for passengers on the Butterfield Stage Line. Furnishings are sparse, but guests compliment the inn's charm, comfort, friendly staff and hearty meals provided by the attached restaurant, Yesterday's.

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ghost towns around phoenix arizona

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Arizona , Western US & Canada · June 9, 2022

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona

Arizona’s history is etched with cowboy tales and Wild West lore. While many of the dusty streets have since been paved over, there are still legends and ghosts that refuse to die. And they continue to live on in some of the coolest ghost towns in Arizona!

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or book a tour through the link then we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We really appreciate your support!

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Simply Wander #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

1. Tombstone

Arizona is known for its many boomtowns. When mining was at its peak, boomtowns dotted the Arizona landscape.

As the mines began to close, these boomtowns were abandoned almost just as quickly as they popped up.

As a result, there are nearly 300 ghost towns that remain in Arizona.

While many have fallen into desolation, several ghost towns have been restored and are now lively tourist destinations.

One of which is the legendary town of Tombstone, an 1880s silver mining boomtown.

With over 400,000 tourists visiting each year, Tombstone continues to live up to its nickname, “The Town Too Tough to Die”.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Tombstone Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Tombstone was once the epitome of the Wild West, with outlaws ruling the streets and Geronimo and his Apache warriors ruling the surrounding mountains.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Tombstone #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

And Hollywood helped to make Tombstone a tourist destination when it brought the infamous gunfight at O.K. Corral to the big screen in the 1993 movie Tombstone .

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Tombstone #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Today, Tombstone is a collection of original and restored buildings.

Visitors can see a re-enactment of the gunfight at O.K. Corral, stop by the infamous Bird Cage Theater on Allen Street, grab a bite to eat at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, and visit the Boothill Graveyard.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Tombstone #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

To learn more about Tombstone’s dark history, book an adult’s only walking tour , or a more family-friendly walking ghost tour .

You can even stay at the nearby Tombstone Monument Ranch. This fun dude ranch looks like a miniature replica of the real town of Tombstome and includes meals and horseback rides!

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Tombstone #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

For more information about visiting Tombstone, see our guide 11 Things You Can’t Miss on Your First Trip to Tombstone Arizona .

During its heyday, Jerome was one of the largest copper mines in the west and was nicknamed ‘The Billion Dollar Copper Camp’.

It was also one of the richest cities in the US with a thriving population of around 15,000.

Today, Jerome is the largest ghost town in America and is home to a mere 450 residents.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Jerome #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

One thing that sets Jerome apart from other ghost towns is that it is a living ghost town.

Many restaurants and hotels have been restored and run profitable businesses, yet several buildings have been preserved in their state of ruin.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Jerome #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Not only was Jerome considered one of the richest cities, but it was also considered the ‘Wickedest Town in the West’.

This mountainside perch was filled with brothels, saloons, gambling, boozing, brawling, gun fights, and everything in between.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Jerome #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

The Jerome Historical Society has placed plaques on various buildings that tell about the history of the building and interesting stories about the town.

And trust me, there is no shortage of interesting stories about the town.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Jerome #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

When visiting Jerome, be sure to grab a drink at the Spirit Room Bar, sample some homemade fudge at OJ’s Copper Country Fudge, see the Sliding Jail, visit Jerome State Historic Park, and eat a burger at the Haunted Hamburger.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Jerome #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

If you’re brave enough, you can even spend the night at the haunted Jerome Grand Hotel or Connor Hotel!

If you want to delve deeper into the history of Jerome and enjoy a more immersive experience, I would recommend taking a walking history tour or ghost shuttle tour .

For more information about visiting Jerome, click the link for our First Time Guide to Jerome Ghost Town !

3. Goldfield Ghost Town

The town of Goldfield was founded in 1893 when gold was first discovered in the Superstition Mountains.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Goldfield quickly grew and the main street was soon lined with saloons, a boarding house, a blacksmith shop, a brewery, a butcher shop, a general store, and a school house.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

However, after only five years the mine veins faulted and the town was abandoned while the miners went in search of gold elsewhere.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Goldfield got a second chance at life in the early 1920s during an attempt to reopen the mines.

Over the years, miners and treasure seekers have also drawn to the area in search of the elusive “Lost Dutchman Mine”.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

The city finally boarded up its doors for good in 1926. It then sat vacant until the 1980s when the town was reconstructed as a tourist attraction.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Today, the buildings you see at Goldfield Ghost Town are only replicas of an 1890s gold mining town, but the history of the area is still authentic.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

While the structures are not originals, it is still fun to step back in time to see what life would have been like back then.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Visitors today can enjoy a meal at the Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon, tour an underground mine, ride the Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad, see a gunfight re-enactment, aim for targets at the shooting gallery, ride a zipline over the desert, and so much more!

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Goldfield Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

For more fun places to go in the Valley, see our guide 101 Things to do in Phoenix and the East Valley with Kids !

4. Chloride

Chloride is another example of a living ghost town. In 1920, Chloride had a population of around 2,000 people.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Chloride Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Today, Chloride has a population of less than 400, but the citizens have taken pride in preserving the history of this old mining town.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Chloride Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Chloride was founded in 1862 when silver ore was discovered in the surrounding mountains.

During its peak, Chloride had over 75 mines including, silver, gold, lead, zinc, and turquoise mines.

A few landmarks that visitors can see today include the original local jail from 1860, the oldest continually-run post office in Arizona, and the oldest continually-run church in Arizona.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Chloride Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Cyanide Springs is also a fun little stop. It’s a replica of a miniature ghost town with an old saloon and other building fronts.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Chloride Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Stop in at the general store to pick up some local treats and admire the miniature scale model of the town.

The friendly cashiers are always willing to share any history or stories of the town if you ask!

If you have time, take the dirt road a little way up the mountain to discover some brightly-colored murals painted on boulders by a local artist.

Chloride is located about a half-hour outside Kingman on the way to Las Vegas. If you’re looking for more things to do in the area, check out our guide 7 Unique Things to do in Kingman Arizona .

5. Santa Claus

Santa Claus is a unique ghost town. Unlike many of the other ghost towns in Arizona, this one did not begin as a mining town.

Instead, it was the brainchild of an LA real estate developer and her husband.

In 1937, they founded Santa Claus, Arizona in an attempt to attract buyers to the desert.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Santa Claus Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

The Christmas Tree Inn was at the heart of Santa Claus and the surrounding land was parceled out and put up for sale.

For several years it was a thriving tourist attraction where it felt like Christmas every day of the year.

Kids could even visit Santa year-round and mail letters postmarked from Santa Claus.

However, by 1949 no one was buying up the surrounding land and the town slowly fell into disrepair.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Santa Claus Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Today, this Christmas-themed ghost town is a depressing collection of graffiti-covered buildings. You’ll find a few traces of chipped red and green paint and ghostly wisps of holiday cheer.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Santa Claus Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

While there isn’t much left to see, it’s a quick roadside stop just off US-93 between Kingman and Henderson, NV.

It is also only a few miles from Chloride, so it’s easy to visit both ghost towns at the same time.

Bisbee is an old historic mining town filled with history, lurid tales, and even a few ghosts.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Bisbee Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

It is located only about 30 minutes from Tombstone so it’s easy to combine both in just one trip.

In 1877, Bisbee began as a small mining camp but quickly grew until it became known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps”.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Bisbee Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Bisbee soon became one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing gold, copper, silver, and zinc.

At the height of production, Bisbee was responsible for producing almost 1/4 of the world’s copper.

It was home to over 20,000 residents and was the largest town in the Southwest between St. Louis and San Francisco!

The mines supported the town of Bisbee for almost 100 years before the resources were depleted. In 1975, the mines were shuttered for good.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Bisbee Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Today, visitors can tour the Copper Queen Mine and visit the 1,000-foot-deep Lavender Pit. The Mining & Historical Museum is also worth a stop.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Bisbee Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

You’ll also want to stroll along Main Street where it feels as if everything is frozen in time.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Bisbee Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

A Guided E-bike Tour is a great way to see the town and learn the history from a local.

For a unique experience, you can even spend the night at the historic, and supposedly haunted, Copper Queen Hotel !

Over the years, Bisbee has become a mecca for artists and free-spirits.

You’ll find colorful murals around the city and even an outdoor art museum that is hidden in an alleyway.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Bisbee Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

For more recommended things to do, see our Bisbee Travel Guide .

7. Two Guns

Two Guns is an obscure roadside stop along Route 66.

It’s a ghost town of sorts with the dilapidated remains of a trading post, gas station, and even a zoo!

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Two Guns Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

It is also the grim site of the Apache Death Cave.

During the Route 66 boom, a shrewd businessman tried to capitalize on the gruesome attack in the cave.

He marketed it as a tourist attraction and began selling real skulls from the cave.

This eerie ghost town is located just off I-40 between Flagstaff and Winslow on the rim of Canyon Diablo.

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Two Guns Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

Supposedly, Billy the Kid even hid out in Canyon Diablo after he stole money in a train robbery. It is rumored that the money is still buried somewhere in the canyon.

Today, there is not much left of the once thriving trading post and Route 66 tourist attraction.

However, the weathered remains of the mountain lion enclosure are pretty cool!

7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona | Two Guns Ghost Town #simplywander #arizona #ghosttown

You can also visit the nearby Canyon Diablo ghost town and see the remains of this old railroad town.

For more of the best Route 66 stops, see our guide 12 Must-see Stops on Route 66 in Arizona !

A few more of the best ghost towns in Arizona

  • Vulture City: Vulture City was once the site of Arizona’s most successful gold mine which led to the founding of Wickenburg. Guided tours are available on the weekends where you can visit sites such as the 300-year-old ironwood tree where 18 men were sentenced to hang to death.
  • Swansea: The ghost town of Swansea is located near Parker. It was settled in 1909 as a small copper mining and smelting town. Due to the remote location, this ghost town is considered one of the creepiest ghost towns in Arizona.
  • Nothing: Nothing is located on US-93 between Wickenburg and Wikieup. The term ghost “town” is used loosely, since all that remains is an abandoned gas station and a couple of signs. But it is worth a quick stop just to take a photo of the original sign to prove you saw Nothing in Arizona!
  • Fairbank: Fairbank was once a bustling railroad town and the closest train depot to Tucson. Today, visitors can take a self-guided walking tour to see historic points of interest like the old school house.
  • Oatman: One thing that makes Oatman unique is the wild burros that roam around the town. These donkeys are descendants of those brought in by the original miners that settled this town!
  • Castle Dome: Castle Dome was once bigger than Yuma but is now a a well-preserved ghost town. Visitors can tour over 50 restored buildings filled with artifacts.
  • Ruby: Ruby is located near the Mexico boarder by Nogales. It is a privately owned ghost town, but visitors can tour the abandoned mining town for a fee. If you visit from May-September, you can even witness hundreds of Mexican free tail bats emerging from the old mines at dawn and returning at dusk.
  • Cochise: Cochise was once a busy railroad town. In the 1880s, trains along the Southern Pacific Railroad would stop here for coal and water. A handful of original buildings and an operating train track still remain
  • Ghost town trail: The ghost town trail east of Tombstone takes you to the ghost towns of Gleeson, Courtland, and Pearce.
  • Where are the best ghost towns in Arizona? Click on the link for a map of all of the best ghost towns in Arizona.
  • How many ghost towns are in Arizona? There are approximately 300 ghost towns in Arizona. Many are the remains of old mining boomtowns or railroad towns.
  • What is the scariest ghost town in Arizona? Jerome is arguably the most haunted ghost town in Arizona. It was once considered the ‘Wickedest Town in the West’ and many of the notorious residents never left!
  • What is the most popular ghost town in Arizona to visit? Tombstone is the most popular ghost town in Arizona to visit. Nearly 450,000 tourists visit Tombstone each year.
  • What ghost towns are near Tucson? The closest ghost towns to Tucson are Tombstone, Bisbee, Fairbank, Cochise, Courtland, Pearce, Gleeson, and Ruby.
  • What ghost town is near Sedona? Jerome is the closest ghost town to Sedona. It is located about 35 minutes southwest of Sedona.

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Ghost Towns

12 Ghost Towns in Arizona with Wild & Woolly Histories

By D.T. Christensen Last updated October 20, 2023

ghost towns of arizona

Arizona’s boom-and-bust mining history left hundreds of ghost towns in its wake. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting ones still around today.

Since 1872, more than one million mining claims have been registered in Arizona, and that’s not including the thousands of years indigenous peoples mined the state for turquoise, copper and other minerals.

Needless to say, mining is at the heart of Arizona’s history — as a region, territory and state — and a century-plus of mining ambitions left ghost towns scattered throughout the Copper State.

Many abandoned towns are concentrated in key areas where precious minerals were once found in abundance: in Yavapai County, where more than 20 ghost towns lie within 25 miles of Prescott, and in southern Arizona, where towns like Tombstone, Bisbee and Ruby once thrived.

Each of these ghost towns has unique stories and timelines — some were gone within a few years, and others survived into the 21st century as revamped tourist destinations. Some were visited by presidents, and others were backdrops for famous personalities and events in Western history.

A Note About Exploring Arizona Ghost Towns

Many ghost towns in Arizona are open to the public and safe to visit. Others, especially more obscure spots, are remote and often located near old mining operations.

If you’re hunting for out-of-the-way ghost towns, keep an eye out for abandoned mine shafts and other pitfalls around old mining camps. According to the Arizona State Mine Inspector , which offers info on safely navigating mine land, there are some 100,000 abandoned mine openings in the state, and it’s not always obvious where they are.

Over the years, several people have died after falling into old mine shafts, so it’s worth keeping an eye out while you explore the backroads and hills of Arizona.

Ghost Towns in Southern Arizona

Honorable mentions : Paradise, Agua Caliente, Fairbank, Castle Dome City, Charleston, Cochise, Contention City, Gleeson, Pearce, Total Wreck, Millville

1. Dos Cabezas

dos cabezas arizona cemetery

Named for two prominent peaks in the Dos Cabezas Mountains to the north, this camp was one of Arizona’s longest tenured mining towns. By the late 1870s it had a post office and typical mining camp merchants — and a number of hopeful frontier families.

“The town of Dos Cabezas has twenty four houses and the population in the district numbers about 175 men and 125 women and children,” reported The Arizona Citizen in February 1880. “There is a good two-story hotel, presided over by Jos. Maley, whose good cheer is the delight of all travelers.”

Mines in and around the Dos Cabezas mountains supported the town, which grew to hundreds of residents within a few years. The town maintained law and order but had its share of mining camp scrapes.

In May 1879, a young man named Meyers was killed by Pat Cannon, a “quite generally known” person in the Arizona Territory, who gave Meyers a “heavy blow with a gun barrel, fracturing his skull and resulting fatally,” reported The Arizona Citizen .

While many mining camps died after a few years, Dos Cabezas survived well into the 20th century, even thriving when a nearby copper mine was established in 1907. Dos Cabezas didn’t really become a ghost town until the 1960s, when the mines were no longer productive and most residents moved on.

Today, there’s a well-maintained pioneers cemetery in Dos Cabezas, as well as adobe ruins and old mines. For ghost town seekers looking to spend the night, there’s a pleasant bed and breakfast on Highway 186.

Related read : 15 Native American Ruins in Arizona that Offer a Historic Glimpse into the Past

ruby arizona ghost town

Deep in the Oro Blanco Mountains just a few miles north of the Mexican border, Ruby is a storied ghost town with a violent past: in a 1965 issue of Frontier Times , writer James A. Long described Ruby as “an open invitation to trouble with renegades, gun-smugglers and murderers.”

Before it was Ruby, it was Montana Camp, a small but lively community sprung up near the Montana Mine in the 1870s. Julius F. Andrews took over the local camp store in 1895, applied for a post office and when it was granted in 1912, renamed the town Ruby after his wife, Lillie B. Ruby.

The following year, Andrews sold the store and post office to Philip M. Clarke, who built a new store and post office some 400 yards away, on the hill of a “padre’s grave.”

The local Mexican population believed the store to be cursed, and in February 1920, two Canadian brothers hired as shopkeepers for Clarke — Alex and John Frazier — were attacked in the store. Alex was murdered at the scene, and John died from his injuries the following month.

Local law enforcement had no leads, and the working theory was that Mexican bandits had looted the store and fled across the border, something that was not uncommon in that region.

Just over a year later, in August 1921, the new owners of the store, Frank and Myrtle Pearson, were ambushed by “seven armed Mexicans,” according to Frank’s sister Irene. The bandits killed Frank, forced Myrtle to open the store’s safe before killing her, and as they left, knocked out five of Myrtle’s gold front teeth.

Yet again, there were few leads in the case, but one day, Arizona Ranger Oliver Parmer got wind of an outlaw trying to cash in gold teeth at a cantina in Sasabe, Mexico. Eventually, Arizona officials and Mexican law enforcement took in Manuel Martinez and Placido Silvas for the murders.

Martinez was sentenced to death and Silvas to life in prison, but before their sentences were fulfilled, the duo escaped while being transported to the Florence prison. After they were caught in the desert some 40 miles away, Martinez was hung, and Silvas spent the rest of his days behind bars.

Back in Ruby, the Montana Mine employed about 300 men at its peak and population estimates ranged between 1,200 and 2,000, including women and children. Despite its remote location, Ruby prospered for a time, but by the 1930s, a lack of water limited mining operations. The Montana Mine finally shut down in 1941.

Today, Ruby is on private property, but you can get a permit for a day tour or overnight camping trip — check out the caretaker’s website for more information.

3. Tombstone

tombstone arizona ghost town

In some respects, Tombstone is hardly a ghost town: each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to “The Town too Tough to Die” to catch a glimpse of Old West history.

But like most mining camps in Southern Arizona, Tombstone had humble origins. Back in 1877, prospector Ed Schieffelin, on his march from California to Camp Huachuca with the cavalry, scoped out the San Pedro Valley and thought it looked like the kind of place you’d find silver. He may have been right, but for years prospectors avoided the area because of local Apache bands.

Schieffelin took his chances in the desert, and when he was told he’d only find his own tombstone, he used that moniker to name one of his first claims (the other was Graveyard, though it didn’t produce like his Tombstone claim).

Several other claims in the area quickly produced more silver, and in short order Tombstone became one of the most bustling camps in the West. The mines in the region would produce upwards of $80 million in silver bullion through the 1880s. By 1882, more than 7,000 residents could get liquored up at some 150 saloons and restaurants around town, and it was as rowdy as it sounds.

In the mid-1880s, the mines around Tombstone began to flood, and eventually production ceased. Less than one thousands residents stuck around by the turn of the century, but a few decades later, as Western nostalgia ramped up, Tombstone reinvented itself as a tourist destination for history buffs around the country.

Naturally, the gunfight at the O.K. Corral is Tombstone’s main claim to fame, but plenty of colorful characters and events took place in town over the last part of the 19th century.

Today, Tombstone retains the sepia-toned vibe visitors often picture in ghost towns, but at its peak, it was a colorful, metropolitan community that rivaled San Francisco in terms of style and flair.

“If you look at clothes left from that period, if you look at wallpaper samples and paint samples and books, people have very wild use of color, they use lime green and purples and very jarring color schemes,” said Tombstone movie production designer Catherine Hardwicke in John Farkis’s book The Making of Tombstone .

Despite its touristy air, Tombstone retains much of its pioneer past: in 1962, the Tombstone Historic District was named a National Historic Landmark District and today preserves several key buildings and artifacts from its heyday.

If you’re a fan of Tombstone the movie, check out our favorite Tombstone quotes , what Doc Holliday meant by “ I’m your huckleberry ,” and see how much of Tombstone is a true story .

Related read : 6 Tombstone Filming Locations You Can Still Visit Today

bisbee, arizona

Bisbee’s reinvention, like Tombstone’s, saved it from the fate most Arizona ghost towns faced, and today it’s a lively artistic community home to an eclectic mix of residents and local businesses.

In 1877, an army expedition in the Mule Mountains found mineral deposits that would eventually become the mines around Bisbee, including the Copper Queen Mine. Over the next decades, millions of pounds of silver and copper would be dug from the mines (as well as some gold), and Phelps Dodge didn’t officially cease mining operations until 1975.

Bisbee had its share of frontier shenanigans, and because it was close to Tombstone and the “Cowboys” of Cochise County, residents of Bisbee were sometimes the target of their mayhem. On December 8, 1883, six outlaws rode into a Bisbee general store, robbed the place and killed five people within just minutes.

“Besides the carnival of blood instituted by the gang, they robbed the store mentioned of about $3,000 in money,” reported the Arizona Weekly Star . “The entire transaction occurred in the space of five minutes. The reports of the rifles were followed by the immediate departure of the bandits, and before the citizens could realize the danger that was upon them they had rode far out into the night.”

Five of the men would be caught and hung, and the sixth — John Heath, leader of the group — was taken by a mob and lynched in February 1884.

By the 1970s, the arts and tourism took place of mining operations, and Bisbee became an under-the-radar haven for local creatives. Visitors today can still tour the Copper Queen Mine and explore the town’s historic roots at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum .

Ghost Towns in Central Arizona

Honorable mentions : Clifton, Goldfield, Gillett(e), Ehrenberg, Silver King, Weaver

jerome arizona ruins

When Al Sieber supposedly staked an unofficial claim on Mingus Mountain back in the 1860s, it was hardly the first mining foray in the area: Sinagua people had mined various minerals there for more than one thousand years, and evidence suggests Spanish explorers explored the area in the 16th century.

Things didn’t really take off for the mines around Jerome until the early 1880s, but when they did, blossoming operations catapulted the hillside camp into one of Arizona’s largest towns.

Life in Jerome was fraught with peril: mining made the ground unstable, fires ran rampant in the late 19th century, and the market for copper swung wildly year to year. But the town managed to stick around well in the 20th century, and in the 1930s, Jerome had some of the nicest mining town amenities in Arizona, including a modern hospital and well-appointed digs, including the Jerome Grand Hotel. William Andrews Clark, owner of United Verde Copper Company, was for a brief time the richest man in the world because of the amount of ore his mines produced.

In the early 1900s, it was also one of the few mining camps that relied on electricity and railways to transport ore, making it one of the more efficient operations in the Territory. At one point, the Verde Mining District employed more than 800 men and was the largest copper producer in Arizona.

Mining wrapped up in the 1950s, but the dwindling population was rekindled by the same Western nostalgia that brought tourists to towns like Bisbee and Tombstone. In Jerome, visitors flocked to the “sliding” buildings that moved due to dynamite explosions over the years, and today many of these old buildings are found many yards from where they were originally built.

Like many mining camps, Jerome had its seedy underbelly, and in fact, there was a “tenderloin district” where brothels and madams prospered. The most famous of these was “Belgian” Jennie Bauters, who was shot by a jealous lover on September 3, 1905.

Legend has it that Jennie was the richest woman in the Arizona Territory at the time of her death, and today you can still visit Jennie’s Place in Jerome, one of the few historical buildings that survived the fires that plagued the town in the late 19th century.

Related read : 8 Interesting Facts About the Arizona Rangers

Tip Top Arizona

In 1875, two prospectors working on Cottonwood Creek in the Bradshaw Mountains established the Tip Top silver mine, and for a few years it was a bustling camp in Yavapai County.

“On my arrival at the Tip-top mine, I found the liveliest mining camp in Arizona, with Gen. Gillette in command,” wrote C.E. Hitchcock in a 1877 edition of The Weekly Arizona Miner .

A post office opened there in 1879, and at its peak Tip Top housed between 200 and 500 residents, six saloons, a hotel, restaurant, a number of merchants, and even a school. Ore was first processed at nearby Gillett, but a stamp mill and assay office were eventually founded on-site.

Unlike some of the more rowdy mining camps in Arizona, Tip Top was relatively low key, but did have its moments of violence. In 1879, James Miles, a Tip Top resident, was arrested for the murder of a man named Shannon, a Texan working in the area.

“Yesterday being pay-day he visited Tip Top, partook rather freely of the flowing bowl, met Miles at the saloon of Johnny Bostwick, had trouble with him, and finally struck him in the face with his hand when Miles pulled a revolver and Shannon was shot through the breast killing him almost instantly,” reported The Weekly Arizona Miner .

Tip Top stuck around until 1895, when the post office closed and the mine played out. Today, there are ruins and foundations around the mine, but as of 2020, the road to Tip Top was closed to the public.

7. Vulture City

Vulture City, Arizona

When 44-year-old, Austrian-born Henry Wickenburg staked his claim for the Vulture Mine in 1863, he likely didn’t know it’d go down as the “Comstock of Arizona,” and the richest gold mine in Arizona history.

Wickenburg supposedly discovered the quartz ledge when he was out looking for his lost burro, and spotted a vulture circling overhead. When he got to the bird, he looked down and to his amazement, spotted gold right on the ground.

“Nuggets of all sizes littered the desert next to the quartz outcrop,” wrote Kent J. Keller in a 1991 issue of True West magazine. “In about an hour, Wickenburg, picked up nearly a flour-sack full of gold nuggets.”

From 1863 to 1867, the Vulture Mine produced more than $20 million in gold and silver, and grew Vulture City — about 14 miles south of Wickenburg — into a raucous mining camp. At one point, it was home to 1,500 miners and their families.

In its heyday, the mine was a popular spot for local prospectors, even attracting Jacob Waltz, the “Lost Dutchman” to its operations. Some theorize that the gold Waltz “found” in the Superstitions was actually ore taken from his time at the Vulture Mine.

Vulture City and nearby Wickenburg both grew into sizable communities, but by the 1880s, the Vulture Mine played out and was sold to a New York-based mining company. They continued working the mines, while Wickenburg farmed and ranched on the nearby Hassayampa River.

On May 14, 1905, Wickenburg was found shot to death, likely by suicide, though some suspected he was murdered. The Vulture Mine was finally closed in 1942 when the government enforced a moratorium on gold mining in order to focus on war efforts.

Today, you can tour the remains of Vulture City, where you’ll see a handful of buildings, as well as the “Hanging Tree,” an ironwood tree 18 men were allegedly hung from over the years for “high grading,” or stealing gold ore from the mine.

Related read : 15 Western-Inspired Things to do in Prescott, Arizona

8. Congress

congress arizona

In May 1901, President William McKinley visited Congress during a six-week tour of the West shortly after his second term began. It may seem a strange destination now, but at the time, Congress was touted as one of the next premier gold mines after Tombstone and other operations around the Territory had begun to falter.

McKinley’s three-hour tour included a walk into a mine shaft and a photo with Arizona’s signature saguaro cactus, then the 25th president of the U.S. headed back to Phoenix for more media opps.

Congress was established in 1884, but didn’t take off until the late ’80s, when Diamond Joe Reynolds sunk his financial resources into the area. By the time the president visited in 1900, there were 30 active mines around Congress, and the train station connecting the town to Phoenix — Congress Junction, some three miles away — had also become a popular stop in the region.

If you’ve driven from Phoenix to Prescott through Congress (instead of taking I-17), you’ve likely noticed how dry and rocky the community is. This was fine for mining operations, but living comfortably in that part of the desert was another matter. Residents back then — about 500 people in 1905 — all had to get their water from the same, small source.

“All water for the camp was obtained from a small spigot in front of the company’s store in ‘Mill Town,'” wrote James and Barbara Sherman in Ghost Towns of Arizona . “Each family had a fifty-gallon whisky barrel which could be rolled up the hill to the faucet, filled with water, then allowed to roll down the hill by its own weight.”

The mines — which would produce more than $8 million in gold — and post office all closed by the 1930s, and Congress Junction, the town’s railroad stop, became what is now known as Congress, where a handful of businesses and residents still remain.

Ghost Towns in Northern Arizona

Photo: Chloé Stein/Unsplash

Named after Olive Oatman , the young woman kidnapped by Tolkepaya Yavapai in February 1851, Oatman is a former mining camp located on historic route 66 in the Black Mountains of northern Arizona.

Like Jerome and Bisbee, the town’s become a quirky stop on Western road trips: visitors come to see burros wandering the dusty streets between the few historical buildings left standing, including the Oatman Hotel (formerly the Durlin Hotel).

Mining in the area dates back to the 1860s, and in the early 1900s, a number of profitable mines put Oatman on the map. The region produced more than $13 million in gold in its few decades of operation.

The mines shut down in the 1920s and most folks left by the 1950s, when I-40 was routed around Oatman, cutting out most of its passing tourists. Today, resident burros outnumber the humans living here — no doubt part of its timeless appeal as a route 66 pit stop.

Related read : Skeleton Cave: Exploring the Salt River Cave Massacre Site

10. Chloride

chloride arizona

Arizona’s first incorporated town and oldest still-inhabited mining town is just north of Kingman, on the western flank of the Cerbat Mountains. It’s a small, kitschy road stop now, but beginning in the 1860s, it was a profitable mining district that produced silver — including silver chloride, the town’s namesake mineral — zinc, lead, gold and turquoise.

Their post office opened in 1871 and is the oldest operating P.O. in Arizona, though there aren’t a whole lot of people around to send letters these days. At its peak, Chloride had about 75 nearby mines and was home to an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 people, but like most boomtowns, the mines played out within a few decades.

In the 1920s, famous Western author Louis L’Amour sought work at the Tennessee Mine, one of Chloride’s best producers up until the 1940s. But while he was in town, a fire ripped through the main drag.

“We had come over, thinking of trying for a job at the Tennessee Mine, but the town caught fire and I found myself sloshing water over some very hot roofs,” L’Amour wrote in his memoir, Education of a Wandering Man . “The water was passed up to me from below, and taken from barrels kept for the purpose along the streets. There weren’t enough barrels and we lost a good fight.”

If you drive through Chloride today, check out the historic museum, Shep’s Miners Inn , some of the old buildings still standing, and the murals painted by artist Roy Purcell east of town.

11. Two Guns

Two Guns arizona

There’s no other way to put it: the history of Two Guns is batshit crazy, though it’s less of a ghost town than a ghost “pit stop” along I-40, about halfway between Flagstaff and Winslow.

Long before it was a midcentury tourist trap, the area around Two Guns and nearby Canyon Diablo was home to various indigenous groups, including Navajo and Apache, who would often skirmish in the region that bordered both tribes’ homelands.

According to legend, in one 1878 battle, a group of Apache raiders on the run from Navajo holed up in a cave in Canyon Diablo. Upon discovering the Apache, the Navajo group trapped their enemies in the cave, blocking the entrances and lighting desert brush on fire to suffocate the warriors inside. Apache who attempted to flee were shot down on sight.

“In a wild rage the Navajos poured a stream of bullets into the cave mouth but of course hit no enemy,” wrote Gladwell Richardson in Two Guns, Arizona . “Again the passageway was refurbished with flammable material and kept burning furiously like the pits of hell. At first not too much smoke poured up through the cracks but finally it drifted against the starlit sky unabated. The last desperate measure of the Apaches to escape death by asphyxiation had failed.”

In the early 1880s, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad came through just north of Two Guns, in Canyon Diablo, and for a time the railroad workers created a makeshift town that was just as wild and murderous as anywhere else on the frontier. Railroad workers waiting for the line to reorganize its financing had plenty of entertainment in the desert, including 14 saloons and a number of brothels and gambling halls.

In the 1920s, the spot now known as Two Guns was purchased by Earle and Louise Cundiff, who built a store, restaurant and gas station right off the highway. A few years later, the Cundiffs leased some of the land to Harry E. Miller, who had even more ambitious plans for the highway stop. Among other ventures, Miller built a zoo, complete with mountain lions and Gila monsters.

“He has a Gila monster farm, an interesting and rapidly growing zoo of southwestern animal and reptile life, and plans soon to put in a moving picture plant, to show along with the movies, slides advertising the more scenic points around Flagstaff,” reported The Coconino Sun in March 1925.

The following year, Miller and Earle Cundiff got into an argument over the terms of their lease, and Miller shot and killed Cundiff. Miller was acquitted and moved on, and Louise Cundiff would later open a new, improved gas station and zoo.

Strange but true.

For a few decades small roadside businesses lingered at Two Guns, but by the 1960s there weren’t enough tourists stopping to support the Cundiffs’ grand vision. A fire in 1971 destroyed the service station, and today there’s all sorts of wild graffiti on the ruins of the nearby KOA and other buildings.

If you have the time, it’s well worth reading Richardson’s full account of Two Guns, especially if you’re heading out to the area on a classic route 66 road trip.

Related read : 10 Fascinating Facts About Jack Swilling, the Founder of Phoenix

12. Goldroad

goldroad arizona

Just a few miles north of Oatman on historic route 66 lies Goldroad, a low-grade gold mine that produced more than $7 million in the early 1900s. Gold mining in the area dates back to the 1860s, but it wasn’t until prospector Jose Jerez went out looking for his burro — much like Henry Wickenburg — that he stumbled upon the claim that would become Goldroad Mine, around 1899.

At its peak, Goldroad was home to about 400 residents, mostly miners housed near the mines. Today, there are numerous mines throughout the area, and one recent visitor said he stopped at the main Goldroad Mine, which is still in production, to take photos. “Just drive safe throughout his road. It has a huge history of lives lost along the stretch from the mine all the way to Cool Springs Station.”

If you’re on that stretch of historic route 66, you can stop at Sitgreaves Pass View Point just before Goldroad for sweeping views of the surrounding desert.

What to Read Next

  • 7 Facts about Johnny Ringo You Won’t Learn from Movies
  • 10 Famous Guns of the Old West, from Revolvers to Rifles

20 Wild West Towns Where You Can Still Experience the Frontier

  • 8 Murderous Facts about John Wesley Hardin
  • 17 Old West Insults, from Greenhorns to Bluebellies and Everything in Between

References & Further Reading

OldWest.org strives to use accurate sources and references in its research, and to include materials from multiple viewpoints and angles when possible.

  • Austin, N. (2020). Arizona Ghost Towns: 50 of the State’s Best Places to Get a Glimpse of the Old West . Arizona Highways Books.
  • Heatwole, T. (1991). Ghost Towns and Historical Haunts in Arizona . American Traveler Press.
  • Hinckley, J., & James, K. (2010). Ghost Towns of the Southwest: Your Guide to the Historic Mining Camps and Ghost Towns of Arizona and New Mexico . Voyageur Press.
  • Richardson, G. (1968). Two Guns, Arizona . Blue Feather Press.
  • Sherman, J. E., & co-author, S. B. H. (1988). Ghost Towns of Arizona . University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Tatterson, S. (2018). Abandoned Arizona: Ghost Towns and Legends . Arcadia Publishing.
  • Varney, P. (2010). Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps: A Travel Guide to History . Arizona Highways Books.

by D.T. Christensen

D.T. Christensen is the founder and editor of OldWest.org, a history website committed to sharing and preserving stories of the American West. He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, studied journalism at Northern Arizona University, and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and kids.

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7 Ghost Towns in Arizona With Camping Nearby

Old, colorful western town with men dressed as cowboys

This article about ghost towns in Arizona is brought to you by GCI Outdoors. Their camping chairs are perfect for sitting around the campfire while you listen or tell spooky ghost stories .

In the 1800s, Arizona was the place to be to strike it rich. Underneath the saguaro-studded surface lies vast ore, gold, silver, and copper deposits. Large mines brought in workers from across the country and helped to establish turn of the 20th century boom towns. Brothels lined the dusty streets, saloons helped miners drink their sorrows away, and gunfights rang out as miners brawled over booze, women, and money.

In modern times, these cities are remnants of their former glory and draw tourists instead of prospectors. Most were founded in the late 1800s or early 1900s, except for one. Seneca Lake saw its rise and fall in the 1970s.

Ghost Towns in Arizona You Won’t Want to Miss

Old abandoned building with carriage and blue sky in background

From Vulture City to Swansea, each town has unique attractions and plenty of history. And each has camping nearby so you can make an overnight trip to one, or plan an Arizona road trip to visit them all.

1. Vulture City, Arizona Ghost Town

Old car and abandoned building in Vulture City, Arizona

In 1863, prospectors discovered gold in Vulture City, which eventually turned into the most productive gold mine in Arizona history. At its height, Vulture City held 5,000 residents and had a fair share of crime. At one point, 18 men were hanged near the home of Vulture City’s founder, Henry Wickenburg. The mine saw reductions in productivity in the 1900s and permanently closed after World War II. Now the buildings are decaying and visitors can take a two-hour walking tour through the mine.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Camp Nearby: Constellation Park

Just 15 miles north in the city of Wickenburg, visitors looking for camping in Arizona can stay at Constellation Park . These sites are primitive and dry, so if you’re looking for amenities, this isn’t the place. However, you’ll get quite the deal — sites are only $8 a night, and many will accommodate a Class A trailer. Campers can dump at the Fast Mart 76 and fill-up water jugs just across the road.

2. Jerome, Arizona

Jerome holds a special place in the history of ghost towns in Arizona. Due to the undersea volcano that developed 1.75 billion years ago, Jerome sits atop a deposit rich with copper and other minerals. Prospectors and ranchers turned these deposits into a fortune in the early 1900s. As the mine prospered, it invested in the town to create worker stability by building baseball fields, a swimming pool, and a public park. In the 77 years of operation, UVX produced 33 million tons of minerals including copper, zinc, and silver. While the population reached nearly 5,000 in the 1930s, its population now is a mere 444.

Camp Nearby: Potato Patch Campground

Rarely can you find a U.S. Forest Service campground with hookups, which is why Potato Patch Campground stands out among campgrounds in the area. Resting on the western edge of the Coconino National Forest (and just 20 minutes from Jerome), it might be hard to find a better campground near ghost towns in Arizona. For instance, campers with bigger rigs can stay in Loop B, and those with smaller setups can pick from other available sites. One of the best parts of Potato Patch is the elevation — at nearly 8,000’ Potato Patch stays nice and cool for campers to escape the heat of Phoenix.

3. Tombstone, Arizona

Two men walking under Old Tombstone sign in Arizona

If you’re a Western movie buff, you’ve likely heard of Tombstone, AZ. You might know it as the backdrop for the 1957 classic, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The town’s history lends itself to be the perfect setting for a classic Western, having hosted actual gunfights, brothels and one of Arizona’s largest silver mines for decades. While the town boomed and busted in the early 20th century, visiting Tombstone now feels like stepping back in its heyday. Saloons line dirt roads and swinging barn doors draw tourists into late-1800 style bars and shops like a general store and post office to give you an authentic Wild West feel. Three staged gunfights each day reenact the feel of Tombstone back in the day.

Camp Nearby: Tombstone RV & Campground

The tourist-friendly Tombstone RV and Campground puts campers within walking distance of the kitschy western town while providing modern amenities like a swimming pool, level hook-up sites, and a camp store. There’s even a shuttle service to avoid downtown parking, or if you choose to imbibe some of those strong, old-west brews.

4. Fairbank, Arizona

Fairbank acted as the friendly neighbor and gateway to nearby Tombstone, with the closest rail line and railway station to what was, at the time, the largest city in the western U.S. Before the railway came in, a Native American settlement called Santa Cruz stood in this spot. Now, after the rise and fall of Tombstone, Fairbank is managed by the BLM and is an outcropping of abandoned buildings–allowing visitors to picture a town that once was a travel hotspot for the better part of the 20th century

Camp Nearby: Tombstone Territories RV Resort

The Tombstone Territories RV Resort — just two miles from the ghost town of Fairbank — offers giant sites for RVs of all sizes. All sites are pull-through and keep spending to a minimum–$33 for a single night with discounts for Good Sam, Military, and AARP members. There are tons of amenities onsite too, like an indoor swimming pool, a nearby river, disc golf, a dog park, and billiards in the clubroom.

5. Seneca Lake, Arizona

Old buildings in Seneca Lake, Arizona

Different from other ghost towns in Arizona, Seneca Lake isn’t a story of boom-and-bust, but instead of default and destruction. Seneca Lake’s designers intended it to be a resort town, equipped with a 90-room motel, golf course, and riding stables. Unfortunately, after building a trading post, restaurant, bar, and gas station, the borrowers defaulted on their loan and now all that remains of Seneca Lake is abandoned buildings and the promise of what could have been.

Camp Nearby: Timber Camp Recreation Area and Group Campground

This campground, managed by the Tonto National Forest , offers a spacious group site that can also be used as 13 individual first-come-first-serve campsites when a group doesn’t have a reservation. Visitors heading to Seneca Lake from the national forest will be just under 20 minutes from the ghost town. Ponderosa and pinyon pine offer shade and respite after a long day in the Arizona sun.

6. Two Guns, Arizona

Abandoned stone building in Arizona

Rife with money and glory, Two Guns holds the story of a man who appropriated Native American culture and history and paid the price for it. When Route 66 started making its slow construction toward Arizona, Harry Miller decided to buy land and make his fortune on tourism. He braided his hair and called himself “Chief Crazy Thunder”. He was later mauled by not one, but two mountain lions, and bitten by a Gila monster — a reptile with a poisonous and infectious bite. There’s plenty more mystery wrapped up in Two Guns that you’ll have to see for yourself.

Camp Nearby: Meteor Crater RV Park

If you’re coming out of Two Guns and heading east, you’ll drive by Meteor Crater RV Park just three minutes down the road off I-40. The park is nearly a desert oasis. With a gas station, country store, and large, secluded sites that perfectly blend convenience and comfort. As the name suggests, you can find the world’s “best preserved” meteor crater just feet away from your RV site — a natural wonder that will leave you in awe.

Swansea’s life as a town was tumultuous and short-lived. Though ore was discovered in the 1860s, the remote location kept prospectors from pursuing extraction until the railroad came to nearby Parker and then Bouse. This alone spurred the growth of Swansea in a short amount of time–allowing the development of an auto-dealership, a saloon, theatres, and a smelter. After less than ten years from serious development, the holding company collapsed. Even though a new owner bought the town in 1914, the town met its ultimate collapse after World War I. Just like many ghost towns in Arizona.

Camp Nearby: Buckskin State Park

Getting out to Swansea is a trek, and while there’s plenty of BLM land nearby if you want to camp primitively and for free , you’ll want to stay west in Parker if you’re looking for hook-ups and amenities. Check out Buckskin State Park , a good 45 miles away, which has immediate river access to beat the Arizona heat and spacious pull-thru sites. Leave the rig here while you venture further out to abandoned Swansea.

This article was brought to you by GCI Outdoor.

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Megan Walsh

Megan dreams of one day being a professional recreationalist, and welcomes any and all tips on how to get there. When she isn’t climbing, skiing, or enjoying shavasana, she’s drinking coffee and furiously typing away at her computer––or watching Netflix. Her work has been featured in Climbing Magazine, Utah Adventure Journal, and on Moja Gear.

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20 BEST GHOST TOWNS IN ARIZONA YOU SHOULD VISIT

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The ghost towns in Arizona are the brilliant icons of the past of the Old Wild West.

If you want to be transported back to dusty streets lined with wooden buildings, horses, and cowboy vibes, these coolest ghost towns in Arizona will give you exactly that but so much more.

These abandoned Arizona mine towns, enriched with distinct past, is one of the best getaways you can plan with your family for a unique holiday, traveling back in time to gold rush days in Arizona.

Most of Arizona’s best ghost towns are conveniently accessible and ideal for a short weekend drive.

Although there are over two hundred ghost towns in Arizona, only a few are well-preserved as historic sites, making them perfect for adding to the best Arizona landmarks and your bucket list.

You can easily also add these Arizona ghost towns as quick stops on road trips.

And add visits to some of the best national monuments in Arizona and Az national parks along the route, stretching your trip for almost a week if you wish!

Whether looking for a quick weekend getaway from Tucson, Phoenix and Sedona or stops along the best Arizona road trip routes, this post takes you through the best ghost towns in Arizona worth your time.

Do you prefer Arizona ghost tours to explore hassle-free, check the best tours here !

Table of Contents

TOP GHOST TOWNS IN ARIZONA

Located south of Flagstaff and in the dense Black Hills mountains within the Verde Valley at over 5000 feet, Jerome is one of the top ghost towns in Arizona.

Nicknamed the most vertical city, Jerome is also the largest ghost town in the United States.

If you want to be introduced to the culture of Arizona ghost towns, Jerome is the best place to be as it is one of the best mining towns symbolising the Old Wild West.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Founded in 1876 with the discovery of gold and copper deposits in the area, Jerome attracted large numbers of migrants from everywhere, mainly miners, gamblers, and old-west bad boys. 

This large-scale migration brought a wide boom, leading to the construction of many saloons and brothels.

Here are some of the best tours I recommend to explore Jerome conveniently:

✅ Historic Tour of Jerome from Sedona(Likely to sell out)(4.9/5 50+ reviews🤩) – Enjoy fantastic mining history, charming architecture, and desert scenery on an intimate small group tour running for 4.5 hours. Find more details here.

✅ Jerome History Walk (5/5 50+ reviews🤩)- If you are in the city, I highly recommend this top 1-hour tour that gives you the best highlights of the city. Check out more details here.

✅ Wild Wild West Tour of Jerome (4.9/5 50+ reviews🤩) – This 1.5-hours Wild Wild West Tour of Jerome takes you to historical spots. Check out more details here .

✅ Jerome Tour from Sedona (4.9/5 10+ reviews🤩) – Learn about Jerome’s history, and see the sights, explore, and have lunch. On the way, you’ll stop at the ruins of Tuzigoot National Monument, an ancient Sinagua pueblo. Check out more details here of this 5-hours tour .

✅ Pandora’s Box Ghost Adventure(4.7/5 60+ reviews🤩) – Increase your chances of experiencing paranormal activity during a ‘Pandora’s Box’ ghost tour that focuses on stories of murder, lust, and revenge on this 2-hours tour. Check out more details here.

The mines near Jerome were rich in copper rather than silver, with the mines producing 3 million pounds of copper per month, and during its peak time, the town inhabited over 15000 people.

Jerome got rightly nicknamed ‘The Billion Dollar Copper Camp’.

It grew into one of the richest cities in the US at this time, and over 70 years, these copper mines in Jerome generated over a billion dollars worth of precious metal.

Recommended – 28 Fantastic Things To Do In Jerome, The Wickedest City

Eventually, in the 1950s, the mines began drying up. As expected, the town’s population dwindled to less than a hundred, 

Jerome was designated a National Historic District in 1967, and artists began to flock to the town in the 60s and 70s. 

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Today, Jerome is home to 450 residents, making it the largest populated ghost town.

It is a vibrant community with old buildings of the 1800s renovated into art galleries, museums, coffee shops, antique shops, craft stores, gift and curios shops, and wine bars.

Join one of the guided tours to cover the highlights of Jerome, where you will also hear many eerie and interesting tales of this mining town and its past inhabitants.

For history lovers, I recommend this excellent walking tour with a local guide .

Do you know? Jerome is also one of the most haunted towns in Arizona.

There are many popular ghost tours(read my detailed guide) , and if you are here for the first time, I recommend you join one.

No time to read the guide? This ghost tour is the one highly recommend if you only have time for one ghost tour in Jerome. Check out more here .

Some of the most haunted places with bizarre and sad histories include the Ghost City Inn, Mile High Grill & Inn, a former brothel, and the Conner Hotel .

The tour guides will tell unbelievable stories and grim events in these spots.

If you are daring, stay overnight at the Jerome Grand Hotel , also rumoured to be haunted by the spirits of patients, dead miners, and staff.

Even if you’re not into the paranormal, there are many attractions worth visiting in Jerome.

Start from downtown Jerome, home to some galleries, restaurants and tasting rooms — and the famous “Haunted Hamburger” restaurant, worth stopping for lunch or dinner.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Visit the Jerome State Historic Park, home to Douglas Mansion, built in 1916 by a mining magnate.

Check out the unique Sliding Jail, a historic building and a museum constructed in the 1920s.

Over the years, the building has slid down the hill about 200 feet to where it rests now.

The mining museum contains many excellent artefacts, photographs, and ancient equipment belonging to the miners, giving glimpses of the past of the mining town.

If you are with kids, head to the nearby Audrey Headframe Park to admire stunning views of the mountainous landscapes from the glass viewing platform over a 1918 mine shaft. 

WHERE TO STAY IN JEROME?

✅ Connor Hotel 🏨 is one of my favourites I recommend for couples and families. Featuring a bar on site, this historic inn is 20 minutes’ walk from Jerome State Historic Park.

All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen cable TV with satellite channels. Free WiFi is available. Check prices here .

Bisbee , located near the Mexican border only about 30 minutes from Tombstone, is one of the unique ghost towns in Arizona that has gained popularity in recent years.

Located southeast of Tucson Bisbee in Cochise County, nestled in the rolling mountains.

Bisbee does not exude the typical charm of any Arizona ghost town, as the town is home to over 4000 residents currently.

But the rich past of Bisbee and its excellent location and all-year-round pleasant weather make it one of my favourite Arizona mining towns.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Bisbee was accidentally discovered in 1877 by a group of US Army scouts and cavalrymen who stumbled upon the presence of significant amounts of lead, copper, and silver. 

The word soon spread resulting in a large influx of migrants looking to make the most of these minerals.

In a few years, Bisbee became known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps,” with a mining settlement for over 20,000 miners, prospectors, and their families.

Recommended – 25 Best Things To Do In Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee became one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing gold, copper, silver, and zinc, producing almost a quarter of the world’s copper.

It was the largest town in the Southwest between St. Louis and San Francisco.

After a century of prosperous run, the mines gave away as the mineral reserves depleted, with the last mine being shut forever in 1975.

Today, most of the rich historic past of Bisbee is well-preserved, thanks to the efforts of the residents.

Walking through the old-fashioned downtown lined with whimsical art galleries, bustling shops, unique museums, cute cafes, bars, and restaurants.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Tour the museums of Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, and Bisbee Restoration Museum to get an in-depth look into the lives of miners and settlers back in the day.

Or better, join the world-famous Queen Mine Tour, which takes you 1,500 feet underground to explore one of the abandoned mines.

Here you will get your hands dirty wearing mining hats and slickers and riding the train deep underground to search for precious metals.

Stop at Central School, and Lavender Pit, and for some spooky experiences, you can visit the Bisbee Seance Room, a Victoria parlor for the paranormal.

BEST TOURS TO EXPLORE BISBEE

✅ Half-Day Arizona Wine Country Tasting Tour – I highly recommend this day tour for all wine lovers. Taking a wine tour from Bisbee or Sierra Vista to Arizona’s picturesque wine country of Sonoita-Elgin makes a fantastic day. Read more details here to book.

✅ Guided E-Bike Tour of Bisbee, Arizona (Rating – 🤩5/5, 30+ reviews) – Join a small group and ride around Old Bisbee to learn about the town’s history, art, and architecture with guides for 2 hours. Book here .

✅ 1-Hour Tour Old Bisbee City Cart (Rating – 🤩5/5, 40+ reviews) – This is an interactive 1-hour ride through Old Bisbee, highlighting the infamous and not-famous stories and sights that make Bisbee the charming beauty it is.  Find more details here.

✅ 3 Hour Private Bisbee Pub Crawl (Rating – 🤩5/5, 10+ reviews) – Find out more here to book .

Join the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour strolling amidst ancient buildings and listening to the gory tales sending a chill down your spine.

Or spend overnight at the historic Copper Queen Hotel, dating back to 1902, which is rumoured to be haunted as well.

Halloween is one of the most popular times to visit Bisbee as the whole town comes alive with many themed parties, haunted tours, and markets.

WHERE TO STAY IN BISBEE?

✅ Letson Loft Hotel – Letson Loft Hotel 🏨 is one of the best hotels in the town. Rooms also offer a kitchenette with a fridge, a microwave and a toaster.

You can also enjoy activities in and around Bisbee, like hiking and cycling. Find more details to book here .

One of the popular ghost towns in Arizona, Tombstone is a pretty town close to Bisbee in Cochise County.

It shares a common past of the Wild West and origins, with Tombstone also being discovered in the 1880s.

Tombstone, famously nicknamed the “town too tough to die,” was one of the leading silver mines during the era.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Within two years of establishment, Tombstone became one of the primarily populated towns.

It was home to more than a hundred saloons, over a dozen gambling halls, a bowling alley, many brothels, four churches, theatres, and large public office buildings. 

Tombstone was a haven for lawless gunslingers, smugglers, cowboys, miners, and immigrants. It was abandoned in 1892 when the mines dried up.

Recommended – 20 Fun Things To Do In Tombstone, Arizona With Your Kids

Today, Tombstone is one of the most popular ghost towns in Arizona, receiving 400,000 tourists visiting each year.

Another thing that made Tombstone attract tourists happened after being the filming venue showcasing the infamous gunfight at O.K. Corral in the 1993 movie Tombstone . 

You can experience the old west architecture in Tombstone on one of the excellent guided tours .

Or better, how about explore the town on this historic Tombstone Trolley bus ?

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Admire the old-time saloons, restaurants, and shops lining the old town area, especially around East Allen Street, lined with boutique gift shops and eateries. 

Theatre enthusiasts should visit Schieffelin Hall.

You can also attend one of the underground mining tours.

✅ Join mysterious tours to feel spooky at Boothill Cemetery .  

Check out the iconic Bird Cage Theatre on Allen Street, a raucous saloon littered with bullet holes thanks to the infamous fight, where they regularly reenact the gunfight.

If you plan to stay overnight, I highly recommend staying at Tombstone Monument Ranch.

WHERE TO STAY IN TOMBSTONE?

✅ Katie’s Cozy Cabins 🏨 – Located in historic Tombstone, this inn is 5 minutes’ walk from O.K. Corral and Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. This self check-in property features a porch with a swing with each bungalow.

There is a fully equipped kitchenette, a bathroom with a shower and a sofa bed in the living room of each accommodation at Katie’s Cozy Cabins. Find the reviews and book your details here .

Locate near the Arizona-California border is the former mining town Swansea, one of the worth-visiting ghost towns in Arizona, known for its rich gold and copper mining history.

Under preservation by the Bureau of Land Management, Swansea in western Arizona near the Bill Williams River.

It was named after the Welsh hometown of founder George Mitchell at the time of its establishment in the 1870s. 

Within a decade, Swansea grew in size, as did the revenue.

Swansea had a post office, many saloons and restaurants, car dealership shops, theatres, a lumber company, and an electric light company.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

But unlike the other Arizona mining towns, Swansea expanded only for about 30 years since its founding around the Great Depression.

It is partly due to a lack of a stable water supply after incurring bankruptcy in 1911.

Today, you can check out old mine shafts, dozens of abandoned buildings, two cemeteries, miners’ homes, vintage cars, foundations and adobe structures and learn about its past from the plaques installed.

Note that it is one of the most remote Arizona ghost towns compared to others on the list, but if you like to explore minus the crowds, you will love this place.

WHERE TO STAY IN SWANSEA?

✅ Harbour Inn – This inn is a 5-minute drive from Buckskin Mountain State Park and a 10-minute drive from Parker Dam.

It offers tourist maps, free Wi-Fi and suites with kitchens. Check out deals here.

Located   40 miles east of Phoenix, Goldfield is a beautiful hamlet and the gateway to the Superstition Mountains in the legendary Valley of the Sun. 

Only a short drive from Mesa and Apache Junction , Goldfield is one of the best ghost towns in Arizona known for its well-preserved mining history, apart from its beautiful location.

Unlike some Arizona ghost towns, you will see that Goldfield is not abandoned but is well-preserved. 

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

The Goldfield Ghost Town & Mine is one of the best day trips from Scottsdale you can plan, as it is only about 10 miles away.

Goldfield was founded in 1893 when gold was first discovered in the Superstition Mountains after prospectors struck gold here.

At the time of the founding of Goldfield, miners discovered massive amounts of gold worth at least three million dollars leading to a sudden frenzy and building of the town in a short span.

Goldfield colourfully expanded to include many saloons, brothels, offices, a hotel, a theatre, a general store, a schoolhouse, and a brewery.

However, this mega success did not long last. Goldfield was one of the shortest-lived mining towns as the mines dried up, leading to people abandoning it only five years after its founding.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Note that Goldfield may not be to your liking if you are not into touristy towns, but it is worth checking out for all the many activities, historic buildings and family-friendly events.

BEST TOURS TO EXPLORE IN GOLDFIELD

(Best Combo Tour) Private Half-Day Apache Trail Tour with Pickup(5/5 20+ reviews🤩) – If you are in Scottsdale, join this private guide and hike through the Superstition Mountains, taking in the unique scenery and learning about the fauna and flora of the Sonoran Desert for 4 to 5 hours, also stopping at Goldfield. Check more details here.

Apache Trail Day Trip Including Dolly Steamboat(5/5 40+ reviews🤩) – Make the most of your trip by carving out time for this day tour of the Apache Trail from Phoenix. Travel down the trail, and stop at Tortilla Flat, the Superstition Mountains, and Goldfield Ghost Town. Check out more here .

Check out the famous museum, an old train steamer, mine tours, daily gunfight reenactments, the historic schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and old-style saloons alongside horses and wagons.

The historic town offers many old-west attractions where you can pan for gold.

Try the period costume with your kids. Try zipline to take in the bird’s-eye view of Goldfield.

WHERE TO STAY IN GOLDFIELD?

✅ Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Mesa East 🏨 – Set in Ciela Grande Mobile Home Park, Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Mesa East features views of the pool with excellent reviews.

Each accommodation at the 3-star hotel has mountain views and free WiFi. Check out details here.

One of the latest additions to the mining towns in the state was Ruby, now one of the best well-preserved ghost towns in Arizona.

It is a pretty city worth stopping by, near the north of the Mexico border amidst the beautiful Coronado National Forest.

Although miners discovered rich deposits of gold and silver in 1854, mining was limited as the area was Apache territory.

Ruby became a spot on the map when quartz was discovered in the 1870s.

Miners even formed a settlement called “Montana Camp” just below Montana Peak.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Soon, prospectors found large amounts of gold, lead, and zinc in the nearby hills enticing many migrants to settle here.

This lead to another mining town in Arizona that came into existence in 1912 and was named after the wife of a mining merchant.

The Montana Mine in Ruby was the largest mining camp in southwest Arizona at the time, producing zinc, lead and 80 ounces of silver per ton.

Home to more than a thousand people, Ruby was also notorious for its many illegal activities with the border towns in Mexico.

The town is also best known as the location of the infamous Ruby Murders and the subsequent manhunt in the 1920s.

As the mining business dwindled in the mid-20th Century followed by the closing of the Montana Mine, Ruby turned into a veritable ghost town.

Ruby was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975; later, the remaining residents began working on restoring sections of the town to its former glory.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Ruby is a privately owned ghost town today.

You can explore its past with a permit and an admission fee; where you can see more than two dozen buildings, making you dive into the history of this town.

Among the prominent landmarks and old west buildings include the post office, a jail, a school, a warehouse, the courthouse, and mine machinery.

If you visit from May-September, you can witness hundreds of Mexican free-tail bats emerging from the old mines around sunset.

After touring Ruby for a few hours, you can enjoy fishing at the two private lakes nearby that are regularly stocked with bluegill, catfish and largemouth bass. 

The town also offers camping grounds near the lakes, where you can enjoy birdwatching and stargazing.

One of the best stops you can make on your road trip along the famous old Route 66 is Oatman.

It is one of the best ghost towns in Arizona, named after a woman, Olive Oatman, who lived among the local Yavapai and Mohave Native American tribes.

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Oatman is one of the few towns in the Wild West that joined the extensive list of mining towns in 1915, much later than the other towns, when more than ten million of gold was discovered.

This boom and the subsequent expansion of Oatman continued for the next fifty years, with hundreds of prospectors and mining families calling the town their home.

Situated along the old Route 66, Oatman is now a living ghost town with many residents.

Traveling from Las Vegas? Then I highly recommend this Oatman Mining Village/Museums & Scenic RT66 Experience(5/5 50+ reviews🤩) , a day trip covering the best of Route 66. Check out more here .

It is one of the most-visited Arizona ghost towns, with nearly half a million visitors visiting to relive the golden days yearly.

Oatman is known for exuding the Wild West vibes on its dusty streets and wooden sidewalks laden with historical buildings, antique shops, museums, and more.

Arizona ghost towns near me

Another notable feature of Oatman is the friendly wild burros wandering the streets.

Among the top attractions you should visit is the Oatman Hotel, a two-storey adobe hotel which survived the fire of 1921 and is also believed to be haunted.

There is a restaurant, saloon, and gift shop on the premises.

WHERE TO STAY?

Casa Bonita Arizona – Casa Bonita Arizona is located in Mohave Valley, 15 minutes from Oatman, and offers a private beach area, a casino and a bar.

This property offers access to a patio, free private parking and free WiFi. Check out more details here.

Located on the edge of the Navajo Nation, Two Guns is another popular stop off Route 66 and must be on the list of the best ghost towns in Arizona.

It is situated between Flagstaff and Winslow on the rim of Canyon Diablo.

Two Guns is home to the remains of a trading post, gas station, and also a zoo, along with being the grim site of the Apache Death Cave.

It is probably one of the ghost towns in Arizona with a sad and eerie history.

Although it was one of the oldest inhabited areas with large populations of Native Americans dating back to the 10th century, Two Guns was an obscure town to the rest of the world until the mid-1800s.

ghost towns in Arizona

In 1878, the nearby Canyon Diablo was the site of a mass murder of Apaches by their Navajo enemies; the site where the Apache hid out became known as the Apache Death Cave.

Two Guns was initially founded as a work camp for crews building the railroad over Canyon Diablo. 

Due to its proximity to the Canyon and the illegal activities, Two Guns became notorious for its lawlessness, burglars, thieves, gamblers, and murderers.

Today, Two Guns is a quiet, abandoned town where you can see the remains of a campground, trading post, zoo, old cottages, and a burned-out service station.

Check out the locations of the grim past, the abandoned Canyon Diablo Bridge and Apache Death Cave close to the town.

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort – Offering an indoor pool and 3 restaurants, Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort is located in Flagstaff, 20 minutes from Two Guns.

Free WiFi access is available. Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is 30 minutes’ drive from the resort. Check out more details here.

Chloride, nestled in the Cerbat Mountains near Las Vegas and Kingman, is the oldest continually lived-in mining town in Arizona and has the state’s oldest continually operated post office.

If you want to be transported back in time to experience the rustic past of the Old Wild West, Chloride is the best place to be.

ghost towns in az

And it is also one of the less-crowded towns, so if you want to avoid the touristy AZ ghost towns, you will love Chloride for its more authentic charms.

Established in 1863 as a silver mining camp, Chloride had over 75 mines, including silver, gold, lead, zinc, and turquoise mines, with over two thousand people calling the town their home. 

Like the other mining towns in Arizona, Chloride was a bustling city with all amenities and fleeting businessmen and traders.

As the mines were getting depleted the town suffered a major fire outbreak in the late 1920s, and by the 1940s, most of the town was shut.

But unlike most ghost towns in Arizona on this list, it never became fully uninhabited following the closure of the silver mines in the 1940s. 

Stroll the streets of the old town, especially Tennessee Street of Chloride, home to an old saloon, a playhouse, an undertaker’s office.

Check out the antique jail dating back to 1860, Lavender Lace’s Boarding House for Fine Women, and the oldest continually-run church in Arizona. Stop at the famous Mineshaft Market.

mining towns in Arizona

One of the quirky attractions in Chloride is the town cemetery where you can see the graves topped with old telephones.

Do you know? Many old buildings on the main street area feature in popular movies and music videos as Chloride is one of the famous filming locations in AZ.

I recommend you stop at the famous Purcell Murals, a series of colourful murals running for a mile and a half along the dirt road up the mountain.

Created by the local artist Roy Purcell in 1966, this art named “The Journey” covers 2,000 square feet of cliffside granite home to quirky art in all forms and sizes, ranging from mystic symbols to birds and armour.

Chloride also celebrates Old Miner’s Day to celebrate their mining heritage, with a few residents being the descendants of the original settlers.

WHERE TO STAY IN CHLORIDE?

✅ Grand Canyon West Hotel Sheps Miners Inn 🏨 – Located in Chloride, Grand Canyon West Hotel Sheps Miners Inn features barbecue facilities.

With free WiFi, this 4-star hotel has a garden and a bar. The accommodation provides karaoke and room service. Check out more details here .

CASTLE DOME

Get transported back in time to the days of the gold rush of the 19th-century Wild West with a trip to the ghost town of Castle Dome City at the Castle Dome Mine Museum, one of the  top things to do in Yuma AZ .

Located about an hour’s drive northeast of downtown Yuma, Castle Dome is more than just a museum.

One of the prominent ghost towns in Arizona, Castle Dome was a larger town than Yuma, back in its prime, 

you will find more than fifty buildings atop over 300 abandoned mines, recreated to showcase the lives of the inhabitants that occupied the mining district of Castle Dome in the 1860s and 1870s.

ghost town in Arizona

Explore the buildings, including homes, original saloons, blacksmith shops, general stores, hotels, a bank, post office, shops.

Stop at the church, home to unique artefacts, to learn more about the town’s history, which was eventually abandoned in 1978

You can choose from various experiences, from a self-guided walking town tour to a more adventurous underground mine tour.

Check out some authentic artefacts, ancient tools, gems and mining equipment from the mines below on these tours, one of the top Yuma attractions you can enjoy with your kids.

Hampton Inn & Suites Yuma – This Yuma, Arizona is located at the intersection of Interestates 95 and 8. The hotel offers a free hot daily breakfast and guest rooms with free high-speed internet access.

It is loved by couples and families, check out more here .

While Prescott may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of abandoned towns, this city in Central Arizona has its share of the history of the Old Wild West, making it worth including on the list of the ghost towns in Arizona.

If you look closely, you will see plenty of the past, from Victorian architecture to Whiskey Row saloons.

mining town in Arizona

One of the popular places known for its ghost history is the famous Palace Saloon, established in 1877.

This intricately decorated heritage structure, now a popular bar, is known for being haunted by spirts, including former guests of the saloon.

You can join one of the many night tours in Prescott that will take you through its eerie past as you explore many haunted neighbourhoods filled with landmarks home to ghosts and grim tales.

Hampton Inn Prescott – Hampton Inn Prescott is minutes from Buckey Casino and historic Prescott town centre.

Popular attractions, including Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monument are within driving distance of the Prescott Hampton Inn. This hotel has hundreds of excellent reviews. Find more details here to book.

OFFBEAT GHOST TOWNS IN ARIZONA

Vulture city.

Vulture City, located northwest of Phoenix, on the site of the old Vulture Mine, is one of the best ghost towns in Arizona.

It should be on your bucket list because it is the largest gold mine discovered in Arizona ever.

Established in 1863, Vulture City was once a thriving gold mining town for over 80 years, and over 5,000 people settled here, inspiring the founding of nearby Wickenburg.

While Wickenburg is still a large town today, Vulture City quickly dwindled once the mine was shut down during World War II in 1942.

Many of the town’s buildings were eventually restored and preserved.

Although most of the town is now privately owned, you can still explore the remnants of the once-booming town through self-guided tours. 

best ghost towns in Arizona

Stroll through rustic streets lined with saloons, gas stations, brothels, homes, hotels, offices, storehouses, 

I recommend signing up for guided tours on the weekends to explore the 300-year-old ironwood tree, located near Henry Wickenburg’s cabin, where 18 men were sentenced to hang to death. 

The cabin and many areas in the town are rumoured to be haunted.

So do not be alarmed if you feel spooky when you are here.

If you want a fuller experience, take the two-hour guided walking tour of the mine.

My Place Suites – Offering a year-round outdoor pool, My Place Suites is located in Wickenburg. Free WiFi access is available.

Wickenburg Municipal Airport is 10 minutes’ drive from the property and 15 minutes from Vulture City. Check out more here.

One of the offbeat ghost towns in Arizona is located atop the Bradshaw Mountains.

Crown King is one of the ghost towns in Arizona only accessible through a rough dirt road, which makes it a thrilling stopover for families.

Unlike the other Arizona mining towns, the gold mining in Crown King began very late in the 1890s, but during its peak period, the Crown King mine produced over $2 million worth of gold.

On this drive to Crown King, you will be treated to spectacular views of the mountains and rich wildlife.

haunted towns in Arizona

Once the gold ran out around the 1950s, the population in the town dwindled to almost zero, and later on, became of the summer getaways for tourists thanks to its excellent temperatures.

Today, only about a hundred people live here full-time, and you can explore its historic streets lined with well-maintained buildings, offices, and shops.

Among the top landmarks is the Crown King Saloon on Main Street constructed in the 1890s.

After checking out the galleries containing rare collections of the mining past, savour the best food and beer here

Stop at the General Store and the red-brick schoolhouse. There are some newly added trails if you want to hike, go mountain biking or horseback riding. 

If you are visiting Tombstone , add a stop to visit Gleeson, only 16 miles west of Tombstone in Cochise County, and one of the offbeat ghost towns in Arizona.

Unlike other Arizona ghost towns known for being the treasure troves of gold, silver, and copper, Gleeson was a rich mining area with turquoise. 

The town was even initially called Turquoise but was changed to Gleeson in 1894.

ghost towns of Arizona

Later on, prospectors also found large amounts of copper, lead, and zinc, resulting in the production of copper products, which led to the growth of Gleeson during WWI.

Gleeson was also a temporary containment area for prisoners that were imprisoned in Gleeson Jail, on their way to Tombstone, which is now a museum.

After World War I, however, the demand for copper began to fall, resulting in the closure of mines and the abandonment of the town. 

Today, you can still see some of the preserved and renovated structures, including an old general store, hospital, school, saloon, and cemetery.

Silver Spur Homestead – Silver Spur Homestead is located in Tombstone and offers a terrace, barbecue facilities and a shared lounge.

Fairbank, named for Nathaniel Fairbank of Chicago , who financed the railroad, was once a bustling railroad town and the closest train depot to Tucson and Tombstone and the nearest stagecoach station to Bisbee.

Fairbank served as a depot and post office in the late 19th century, thriving as these mining towns flourished during that time. 

However, after Tombstone and Bisbee became more of a ghost town, Fairbank also dwindled into one.

The town, located in the San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area, is now on Bureau of Land Management land, and you can explore the ruins on a guided tour.

Arizona mining towns

See the remains of a general store, saloons, butcher shop, post office, quartz mill, stable, railroad bridges and platforms, and a Wells Fargo office. 

Visit the small schoolhouse that has been turned into a museum by the BLM to learn more about the town and the area surrounding it.

AGUA CALIENTE

Agua Caliente, located north of the Gila River near the town of Hyder, which translates to hot water in Spanish, is a unique ghost town of Arizona in many ways.

Unlike other mining towns, Agua Caliente was one of the famous tourist spots of the mid-19th century, known for its natural hot springs preserved and used by Native Americans. 

By 1897, a 22-room resort was built in Agua Caliente, with a swimming pool fed by the hot springs. Travelers and locals used the resort for its healing properties.

old mining towns in Arizona

After the water was used for farming, the hot springs eventually dried, reducing the town to an abandoned one. 

However, you can still see some of the past remains of the hotel, stone buildings, and the Agua Caliente Pioneer Cemetery.

Tip Top Mine and town, located amidst the hills to the northwest of Phoenix are one of the accident-formed towns due to the discovery of rich minerals by travellers and explorers.

Some prospectors unveiled large deposits of copper and silver leading to the birth of Tip Top Town, which was home to over a thousand people with the mines earning up to 1,000 ounces of silver per ton of ore.

Between 1876 and 1884, Tip Top was one of the three most active mining towns in Arizona with the other two being Tombstone and Wickenburg. 

Tip Top had six saloons, three stores, four restaurants, a school and the first brewery in Arizona during its peak years.

Arizona ghost towns

But Tip Top’s glory was short-lived as the tides turned at the end of a decade, crumbling the town to the grounds.

Tip Top is now one of the ghost towns in Arizona known for some well-maintained remains of the rich mining history.

You can see the ruins of a few mines, an old head frame, many tunnels, and small buildings, including the historic 1878 Burfind Hotel.

KENTUCKY CAMP

A historic district in Sonoita, Kentucky Camp attracted the prospectors in the late 1870s when they struck gold, resulting in the birth of the town with over five hundred miners settling here for gold extraction.

Since many migrants from the back east named gulches in the area after their respective homes, Kentucky Camp got its name.

goldfield ghost town az

Listed on the U.S. National Register Of Historic Places since 1995 and run by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Kentucky Camp is worth stopping by although it was a short-lived mining town.

Explore the remains in the town on a short walk. Kentucky Camp is a popular place for mountain biking and hiking. You can also enjoy camping on the site with the proper permits.

Nothing, on US-93 between Wickenburg and Wikieup, as the name indicates, has zero population, and it is your typical abandoned town worth visiting for its eerie vibes while visiting Wickenburg.

Located about a hundred miles northwest of Phoenix, Nothing is one of the offbeat ghost towns in Arizona, which has a maximum population of about five.

It is also one of the youngest ghost towns in the state, the town of Nothing was only established in 1977 and has been uninhabited since 2005.

old western ghost towns in Arizona

Since there was never a boom in residents, there’s not much to see in this small town, except for an abandoned gas station, a convenience store, some dilapidated structures, and a couple of signs. 

One of the highlights while visiting Nothing is the beautiful desert AZ panoramas that you will pass through between Wickenburg and Kingman. 

Another hidden gem on the historic Route 66 is the Hackberry General Store, one of the offbeat ghost towns in Arizona to visit.

Hackberry began as a mining town in 1874 and was a thriving town for nearly 40 years and also a leading automobile-oriented town, and now, as a few residents residing amidst the well-maintained remains of this mining history.

It is worth taking a short walking tour to check out a collection of historic cars, garages, a general store, a music hall, a motel, and gas stations.

GHOST TOWNS IN ARIZONA MAP

ghost towns around phoenix arizona

Chief Editor and CEO

Veronica Samuels is a travel content creator from San Francisco, but calls Arizona her home as she moved to the Grand Canyon state after a series of trips made her fall in love with Arizona inspiring her to move.

She created Wander In Arizona to share first-hand information about traveling to the many fantastic cities, trails, national parks, monuments and more as she continues to explore.

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The ghost towns in Arizona are unique attractions that intrigue urban explorers and history fans. They provide the opportunity to explore abandoned locations and transport yourself back in time to an era from the past while soaking in the region’s history. Much like the surrounding area in the southwest United States, Arizona is home to one of the country’s largest collections of ghost towns. This is due to a combination of mining towns often being abandoned when the mines dried up and the warm, dry conditions being perfect to preserve them.

However, despite their allure, many Arizona ghost towns are hidden gems that remain unknown due to their remote locations, making them difficult to reach to being so dilapidated that people simply aren’t advised to visit them. You’ll love our list of Arizona’s best ghost towns to visit. From famous tourist ghost towns to the dilapidated ones well off the beaten path, exploring a ghost town is a highlight of the “Grand Canyon State”.

Top 3 Ghost Town Tours

1- goldfield ghost town & mine, 2- tombstone, 3- vulture city ghost town, 4- gold king ghost town & mine, 5- hackberry, 7- fairbank, 9- chloride, 10- gleeson, 11- swansea, 12- tip top mine / gillett, 13- agua caliente, 14- two guns, 15- seneca lake, 17- kentucky camp, 18- nothing, 19- castle dome landing, arizona ghost towns.

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The 20 Best Ghost Towns In Arizona

route 66 arizona ghost towns signs saying 'ghost town informaion' and 'saloon'

Established in the 1890s, the Goldfield Ghost Town & Mine is about 10 miles (16 kilometres) east of Scottsdale.

While not deserted like most ghost towns, it was abandoned in 1926 and has been restored and preserved in historic fashion to keep its Wild West spirit and experience alive.

In the town, visitors can enjoy horse riding, exploring the museums, gift shops and the town itself, drinking at a historic saloon, and going on a zipline.

Outside the town, you can tour the old gold mines, try your luck gold panning, or test your aim at the shooting range.

Goldfield Ghost Town & Mine is along the Apache Trail at 4650 North Mammoth Mine Road, Apache Junction, Arizona, 85119.

arizona ghost towns near tombstone wide street with people and horse and carriage

Founded in 1877, Tombstone is to the southeast of Tucson.

Originally a thriving mining town, it was all but abandoned in 1892 when the mines dried up.

It is the largest wild west town still in existence, having been restored and turned into a tourist attraction.

You will find legendary sites like the O.K. Corral, historic saloons, cemeteries, theatres, parks, churches, and buildings among the attractions.

Explore museums and art galleries, enjoy a historic gold mine tour, and even a Wild West-themed amusement park.

All of this makes Tombstone the best place to visit the old west, no matter how you want to see it.

Vulture City is northwest of Phoenix, on the site of the old Vulture Mine, the largest gold mine discovered in Arizona ever.

Established in 1863, the city thrived until 1942, when the mine dried up and was abandoned.

Having fallen into disrepair, many of the town’s buildings were eventually restored and preserved for future generations.

Now, visitors will see stone and abode buildings that contained saloons, gas stations, brothels, homes, hotels, offices, storehouses, workers’ residences and mess halls.

Those wanting a fuller experience can even take a two-hour guided walking tour of the mine.

Vulture City Ghost Town is at 36610 355th Avenue, Wickenburg, Arizona, 85390.

haunted ghost towns in arizona aerial view of Jerome in autumn

Located near the town of Jerome, between the Coconino and Prescott national forests, the Gold King Ghost Town & Mine is home to a small collection of dilapidated buildings, broken-down classic cars and trucks, and the remnants of the mine itself.

Some buildings are kitted out with artefacts dating back over 100 years to give an authentic experience.

There are statues and a gift shop installed to cater to more traditional tourists; this is a fabulous little attraction that sees fewer visitors than it deserves.

Gold King Ghost Town & Mine is at Perkinsville Road, Jerome, Arizona, 86331. A guided ghost walk around Jerome will have you hunting for ghosts using EMF readers and Spirit Boxes. Check it out here .

best preserved ghost towns in arizona Old car wreck left abandoned at the Hackberry General Store

Hackberry is a small, unincorporated town along the historic Route 66 that began as a mining town in 1874.

It was largely abandoned in 1919 and almost became a ghost town, although it’s home to a small population.

A collection of historic cars, garages, gas stations, and fuel pumps will let visitors embrace its legacy with the motor industry.

Sites like a general store, music hall, motel, and 1920s coal kiln will allow you to stock up and enjoy a historic southwest town.

arizona ghost towns

Bisbee is a town near the Mexican border that differs from most ghost towns because it still has a reasonably large population.

It qualifies because there are plenty of preserved sites that convey its historical significance as a mining town.

With the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, Bisbee Restoration Museum, Copper Queen Mine, Central School, and Lavender Pit, you can see historic buildings and sites from the past.

Learn about the structures, history and industry, and see first-hand how a former mining town can evolve instead of dying.

creepy arizona ghost towns Aged and rusted iron stake is bent across cut old, dry logs.

Founded in 1881, Fairbank was an important town as it had the closest rail station to Tombstone and the nearest stagecoach station to Bisbee, making it a vital link between both towns.

Its popularity peaked in the 1920s before declining when the nearby mines began to close.

Finally abandoned in the 70s, it is the definition of a ghost town, with no residents, just dilapidated buildings remaining.

The remnants of a general store, saloon, post office, hotel, schoolhouse, stable, outhouse, railroad bridges and platforms, and a few houses are all that is left to explore.

Join the Bullets and Bordellos Ghost Tour to uncover Tombstone’s dark history and learn about its scary past.

ghost towns in arizona Classic wooden Route 66 sign in Oatman, Arizona.

Settled around 1910, Oatman exploded in 1915 when more than $10 million of gold was discovered.

It thrived for almost 50 years until the mines dried up and it was all but abandoned.

Now it survives only on its history and proximity to Route 66.

Historic buildings and sections of the mines remain for visitors to explore its past, while motor enthusiasts will enjoy the views of Route 66 from up in the hills.

Wild burros roam the town, creating a unique experience, while a gift shop sells handcrafted souvenirs to remember your trip.

You can join an organised tour to Oatman along Route 66 here .

Established in 1863 as a silver mining camp, Chloride is the oldest continually lived-in mining town in Arizona and has the state’s oldest continually operated post office.

In the late 1920s, much of the town burned down in a fire.

A small collection of mines and buildings remains, including a playhouse and jail.

There’s a collection of brightly coloured painted boulders in the surrounding area, creating a unique mural for visitors to see and explore.

Join this Arizona Ghost Towns and Wild West Day Trip if you’re visiting Las Vegas.

Originally founded as Turquoise in 1875, Gleeson was a booming copper mining town until the mines ran dry in 1939, during World War II, and it was all but abandoned.

Visitors will find the remains of a cemetery, hospital, jail, saloon, the foundations of a school and evidence of the mining.

A small population also remains and sells handcrafted rattlesnake products, making for a truly unique experience.

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Located on the California border, Swansea is a small ghost town that only existed for 30 years in the early 1900s.

Vandalism and weathering have caused severe damage to many of the town’s sites, yet remains of adobe buildings, cemeteries, mine shafts, miner’s homes, vintage cars, and foundations make it an eerie but enjoyable destination for ghost town lovers to explore.

Tip Top Mine and Gillet are a pair of ghost towns in the hills to the northwest of Phoenix.

The former is home to the remnants of the mine and several small buildings, while the latter boasts what is left of the historic 1878 Burfind Hotel.

Between the two, they provide plenty of unique sites for fans of ghost towns to enjoy.

Agua Caliente was established in 1744 near some hot springs that gave it its name, which means “hot water”.

After starting small, the town grew into a ranch and then a resort with a 22-room hotel and swimming pool, but it eventually closed when the hot spring waters dried up.

While some of its 2,700-acre area remains as farmland, most is unkempt and abandoned.

With its vast size and a collection of ruined buildings, including the hotel, caretaker’s quarters, a stone house and store, and various other dilapidated sites, it is an incredible place to explore.

A tiny ghost town off Route 66, on the edge of the Navajo Nation, Two Guns is a great place to stop while seeing other sites.

With the remains of a campground, trading post, zoo, old cottages, and a burned-out service station, as well as nearby attractions like the abandoned Canyon Diablo Bridge and Apache Death Cave, you can see how fast a town that was thriving as recently as the 1970s can decline.

Seneca Lake is unique in that, rather than a town, it is an abandoned 1970s summer camp.

While time and vandalism have taken a toll on the site, it is still an exciting place to visit, backdropped by stunning natural beauty.

It’s especially fun for fans of the horror classic Friday The 13th.

Founded in 1877 as the Montana Camp, Ruby was a thriving mining town that produced a variety of metals yet is perhaps best known as the location of the infamous Ruby Murders and the subsequent manhunt in the 1920s.

It’s one of the state’s most well-preserved ghost towns where you can travel around a range of complete buildings.

There’s a jail, school, houses and a mine building complete with all of its machinery and workings.

Kentucky Camp was a mining camp founded in 1905 that only lasted seven years before being deserted.

A historic district in Sonoita, Kentucky Camp has been listed on the U.S. National Register Of Historic Places since 1995.

With the United States Forest Service required to maintain its buildings, it is a fabulous place to explore well-preserved structures and artefacts that help to teach you about the area’s past.

One of the youngest ghost towns in the state, the town of Nothing was only established in 1977 and has been uninhabited since 2005.

Never having a population higher than four people, the main sites in Nothing are a gas station and convenience store, as well as some other dilapidated structures, making it a quick yet unique place to stop right beside the highway.

Castle Dome Landing was settled as a mining and railroad camp in 1863 before the state of Arizona was founded.

Its spot as a port for steamboats on the Colorado River and the lead from its mines during the two world wars helped it stay active longer than most mining towns.

While the town was eventually abandoned in 1978 and the port submerged beneath its waters, much of the town is now a living museum.

More than 50 buildings have been restored to look how they did in 1878, with mannequins and artefacts bringing the stories of the past to life.

Settled in 1883 by John Henry Cordes, the town of Cordes began to empty in the 1940s and was abandoned entirely in 1950.

With a few buildings still standing and descendants of the town’s founder still said to live in the area, it is a small ghost town with a truly haunting atmosphere.

ghost towns near phoenix arizona false teeth and tools

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10 Ghost Towns in Arizona that are Actually Worth Visiting

Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

With its rich history in mining, Arizona is home to over 200 ghost towns. Unfortunately, majority of these have been reduced to nothing more than the rubble of building foundations or no longer have any trace of civilization and have simply reverted back to empty land. Here are 10 of our favorite ghost towns that have been well preserved (considering Arizona’s harsh climate) … and are actually worth visiting.

Oatman Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the Oatman Ghost Town: americanexpeditioners.com/burros-oatman-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the Ruby Ghost Town: americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Clifton Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the cliffside jail in Clifton Ghost Town: americanexpeditioners.com/cliffside-jail-clifton-ghost-town/

4. Vulture City

Vulture City Mine Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the Vulture City Mine Ghost Town: americanexpeditioners.com/vulture-city-mine.php

5. Castle Dome Landing/City

Castle Dome Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the Castle Dome City Ghost Town: americanexpeditioners.com/castle-dome-city-ghost-town

Jerome Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of Jerome: americanexpeditioners.com/jerome.php

Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

8. Tombstone

Tombstone Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of Tombstone: americanexpeditioners.com/tombstone-arizona/ americanexpeditioners.com/tombstone.php

9. Fairbank

Fairbank Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the Fairbank Ghost Town americanexpeditioners.com/abandoned-fairbank-ghost-town-arizona/ americanexpeditioners.com/fairbank-ghost-town.php

10. Goldfield

Goldfield Ghost Town, Top 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting - American Expeditioners https://americanexpeditioners.com/top-10-ghost-towns-arizona

See our trip report & photos of the Goldfield Ghost Town: americanexpeditioners.com/goldfield-ghost-town.php

Visit our ghost towns tag for more abandoned sites not listed here.

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#1 RATED GHOST TOUR IN PHOENIX

Are you ready to experience spine-tingling accounts of hauntings during visits to Phoenix’s most haunted destinations? The Phoenix Ghost Tour draws on stories of murder, suicide, tragedy, and unexplainable mysteries. Join us and see why Phoenix is one of the most haunted cities in the Southwest!

Phoenix is a city with a troubled history and a rich modern culture. On our Phoenix Ghosts Tour, you’ll learn about the city’s dark history as well as hear blood-chilling stories of some of the most well-known spirits and legends that downtown has to offer. Get an insider’s look into the local legends and resident spirits that haunt the streets of downtown Phoenix.

Ghost Tour Meeting Location : At gate near Teeter House at 622 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Tour Duration : 1hr. across 1 mile

To Order : Press "Book Now" to see all available dates and times.

Ghost tours are held nightly throughout the year, and are rain or shine!

The Experiences You've Heard About

Tours are available daily year-around from the afternoon to late at night. Some are offered throughout the day based on season.

Phoenix Ghosts: Phantoms, Psychopaths, & Poltergeists Tour

Walk the shadows in the valley of the sun.

Phoenix is famous for sunshine, world-class resorts, fine dining, and breath-taking views of the scenic Superstition Mountains. However, the desert is as beautiful as it is unforgiving, and there it has as many tales of tragedy and mystery as it has saguaros.

On our ghost tour of downtown Phoenix, you will visit some of the most famous haunted locations the city is known for – The famous Hotel San Carlos, the Rosson house, and more. Civilizations have risen and fallen in the Valley of the Sun for 2000 years, and on our tour you’ll hear stories of those that came before, those that followed them, and those who have been unable to eternally part with the city. You’ll learn the secrets of many of Phoenix’s most supernatural sites and discover the oft unheard stories of how they came to be.

All of our stories are drawn from eye-witness reports, research, journalistic investigation, and local legends. We’ve dug deep into the history of each of the locations on our tour, and pride ourselves on bringing the most famous and well-known stories of the paranormal as well as personal accounts from those that experienced it for themselves.

Visit our About Us page to learn more about Phoenix’s history and why our tour is the best!

What draws ghosts to Phoenix?

Ever since the mysterious disappearance of the original inhabitants of the valley, the Sonoran desert has been a place of supernatural activity and spiritual unrest. The original inhabitants of the greater Phoenix people were the Hohokam, who developed the first major civilization of the Salt River Valley. They built an urban civilization with ball courts, monuments, and an advanced irrigation canal system that is still partly in use to this day. The Hohokam were a prospering civilization rivaling the greatest of Mesoamerican societies, right up until their mysterious disappearance in the 15th century.

When the first European settlers arrived, the desert was once again an untamed wilderness, drawing many dangerous and unsavory people in the city’s early history. Residents drank heavily, gambled, and walk the streets of the burgeoning town armed. Violence was common, and justice was swift, rough, and personal. Elections for public office sometimes ended in shootouts.

Any city with a history this steeped in mystery and violence is bound to have eddys of supernatural energy pooling throughout its history. Phoenix’s very name implies the depth of its history as a place where spirits rise, and the shadow of the Superstition Mountains cuts a dark scar across the so-called “Valley of the Sun.” Experience the macabre history of the city in person as you walk the haunted streets and hear the stories of many of its most terrifying events. Reserve your walking tour today for an experience you will never forget!

With so many tours and activities to choose from Phoenix, how do you choose which ones to book?

You want to hear about ghosts!

Both believers and skeptics are welcome on our tour! We guarantee that you’ll experience chills as you hear about some of the most terrifying stories the city has to offer. We can’t guarantee you’ll have a supernatural experience of your own while walking with us, but we’re confident even the most experienced ghost hunters will learn something to freeze their blood in their veins while joining us on our haunting tours. All the stories we share with our guests are drawn for a combination of local legends, careful research, and eyewitness accounts of the supernatural. We encourage you to share with us any experiences you have, and let us know if you witness any supernatural activity yourself!

You want to hear about Phoenix!

Both visitors and residents of Phoenix can learn more about the unique history of downtown Phoenix! Phoenix Ghosts combines historical research and entertaining storytelling to give you an inside look at some of the lesser-known stories of the city of Phoenix. Our tour is as educational as it is exciting, and is suited for adults, teens, and kids alike! Everyone has something to learn about the history of Phoenix, as well as its spirits and ghosts!

You want something different!

You’ve visited the resorts and golf courses. You’ve hiked the mountains and biked the trails. You’ve unwound in the Botanical Gardens and enjoyed Scottsdale’s nightlife. Now, it’s time for something different! Our tours are a refreshing change of pace from the more conventional offerings in the city, and you’ll walk away from our tours with a renewed interest in the city and its many stories, as well as a few tales to share with your friends!

You want to walk the night!

Sunsets in Phoenix are legendary, and the nights can be cool and refreshing. Follow up a night of fine dining with something more exciting than another trip to the movie theater. Our tours can fit into anyone’s schedule, as we provide tours every day of the week. Each tour is about an hour and a half long and makes a perfect date, family event, or night-cap to a day of hiking and sight-seeing. See our Tour Details page for more information about the length, duration, and location of our tours .

You want an unforgettable addition to an outing!

Phoenix Ghosts offers a standard and extended tour that can fit into any gather’s schedule. Our team is educated, informative, and happy to help customize the content of the tours to better suit your event’s themes. Just let us know what you are most interested in, and we’ll work with you to tailor our tour to your tastes! Check out our Group Tours page for more information.

You want something different for your team!

Phoenix Ghosts tours as something for everyone in your organization to enjoy – architectural and cultural research for history buffs, sight-seeing for adventurers, and chilling stories for the thrill-seekers. Give your team a memorable outing by checking out our Group Tours page for information on how to start putting together the best company outing your employees have ever attended!

You want to exercise!

Phoenix is known for its fine dining and craft breweries, but all that wining and dining can stack up the calories. Our tours are an excellent chance to add a little activity to your evening – skip sitting in a theater and get on your feet! Phoenix Ghosts is a fun and exciting way to add a little spooky excitement to your nightly walks as you shed calories and enjoy scenic Downtown Phoenix with our experienced and knowledgeable tour guides! Maybe you’ve walked all the trails and want something new – Avid hikers can join us as well for a change of pace from the desert mountains, and our walks are well suited to both amateur and pros alike. Our tours feature frequent stops along the way to catch your breath but keep your heart racing with excitement!

You’re done with conventional tours!

Have you ever been on a guided tour with a lackluster guide, or taken to the same few places on every tour you’ve been on? If you’re the sort of person who wants to take the road less traveling, join our enthusiastic and exciting guides as they give you more than a list of dates and statistics. We’re anything but conventional! We are committed to making sure your tour experience is an unforgettable and interactive journey. Get involved, ask questions, and be a part of a tour that is more than being shepherded from one place to the next. Our tours are an entertainment experience – our objective is to bring the dead to life as we share their stories and make history an enjoyable experience for everyone. We stop at some of the lesser-known paranormal sites in downtown, and our route will show you a side of the city you never dreamed existed before!

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IMAGES

  1. A Look At The Best Ghost Towns Around Phoenix

    ghost towns around phoenix arizona

  2. This Arizona Ghost Town Is Just 45 Minutes Away From Phoenix

    ghost towns around phoenix arizona

  3. 10+ Must Visit Attractions at Goldfield Ghost Town in Arizona

    ghost towns around phoenix arizona

  4. A Look At The Best Ghost Towns Around Phoenix

    ghost towns around phoenix arizona

  5. Goldfield

    ghost towns around phoenix arizona

  6. Goldfield Ghost Town: Top Things to Do in AZ's Old West

    ghost towns around phoenix arizona

VIDEO

  1. Why This Place is Empty?👻😱| Ghost Town in Turkey

  2. Phoenix AZ: Creepy place in Arizona #phoenixaz #phoenixarizona #arizona

  3. Ghost Town

  4. GHOST TOWNS OF NEVADA PART 1

  5. Jerome Ghost Town, Arizona: A Brief Look

  6. Exploring Old Ghost Towns & Mining Camps

COMMENTS

  1. A Look at the Best Ghost Towns Around Phoenix

    Goldfield - Apache Junction Goldfield in Apache Junction is a great example of an historic ghost town that has been commercialized and given new life. A town built around the successful mining of ore in the 1890s, it housed three saloons, a school house, general store, and butcher's shop.

  2. 5 Secret Ghost Towns in Arizona

    Free Travel Guide Towns of Arizona's past that paint the picture of what the Copper State was was all about.

  3. THE 10 BEST Arizona Ghost Towns (Updated 2024)

    Ghost Towns in Arizona Enter dates Attractions Filters • 2 Sort All things to do Category types Attractions Tours Day Trips Outdoor Activities Concerts & Shows Food & Drink Events Classes & Workshops Shopping Transportation Traveler Resources Types of Attractions Sights & Landmarks Classes & Workshops Museums Fun & Games Sights & Landmarks

  4. 27 Ghost Towns In Arizona [MAP]

    6. Cedar 7. Cerbat 8. Cerro 9. Harshaw 10. Hilltop 11.

  5. You Can Visit Many Ghost Towns in Arizona

    01 of 18 You Can Visit These Ghost Towns Near Phoenix Judy Hedding Here are some details and links about the more interesting Ghost Towns that are within about 100 miles of the Phoenix area. They are all day trips from the Phoenix area, although you may want to spend some more time at a few of them. Some of them are open to the public.

  6. List of ghost towns in Arizona

    1881 Assay Office of Vulture City Ghost towns can include sites in various states of disrepair and abandonment. Some sites no longer have any trace of buildings or civilization and have reverted to empty land. Other sites are unpopulated but still have standing buildings.

  7. Arizona ghost town road trip: 5 places to explore

    Details: Fairbank is 10 miles west of Tombstone on State Route 82. 520-258-7200, www.blm.gov.visit/fairbank-historic-townsite. Explore Arizona in 2021: A wanderer's wish list of the state's most...

  8. 12 Abandoned Ghost Towns in Arizona You Can Explore

    8. Goldfield. Photo by Jasperdo on Flickr. Over an hour away from Seneca Lake—one of the best lakes in Arizona—you'll find Goldfield. Situated within the city of Apache Junction, it was a former gold mining town home to around 4,000 residents during its heyday in the 1890s.

  9. The Old West Ultimate Guide to Arizona Ghost Towns

    Great family fun activity in Phoenix. Arizona Old West Goldfield Ghost Town & Tortilla Flat. A visit to Goldfield Ghost Town is a great way to start your old west trip. Located on the Apache Trail. Visit a 1890's ghost town located in the same spot as an authentic town once stood. Tortilla Flat. Tortilla Flat is located along the historic ...

  10. The 10 Best Ghost Towns in Arizona to Visit

    426 Arizona ghost towns tell the stories of the state's past. An estimated 100,000 mines hide among the towering cactus and dusty roads of Arizona. These mines produced rich minerals, causing small town populations to increase quickly, then fade away as mining operations wrapped up.

  11. 11 Creepy Ghost Towns In Arizona To Visit At Your Own Risk

    1. Chloride Chloride, AZ 86431, USA matthigh/Flickr You've probably driven past this town on your way to Las Vegas. Founded as a silver mining town in 1863, this is considered a living ghost town since the area still holds a population of 352. 2. Cordes Cordes, AZ 86333, USA immeemz/Flickr

  12. 29 Ghost Towns You Can Visit in Arizona

    5. Chloride - Mohave County, Arizona. The 'ghost town' of Chloride got its name from when the discovery of silver chloride ore was made in the area in the 1860s. Only a few years later, by 1864, the town and its mining operations became more active. By 1873, the town got a post office. In 1900, the population of Chloride was over 2,000.

  13. Arizona's Ghost Town Getaways

    Free Travel Guide In a state full of ghost towns, you have your pick from the famous (Bisbee) to the infamous (Tombstone). We're featuring a list of some of Arizona's most distinctive ghost towns, each with its own quirks and curiosities.

  14. 11 Goldfield Ghost Town Activities

    The underground tour of the mine takes you back 100 years into the history of Goldfield Ghost Town - an iconic activity in this area of the country. It only takes about half an hour and costs $12 per adult. 7. Go on the Zipline. If you are looking for a thrill, there is even a zipline in this quirky little place!

  15. 7 of the Coolest Ghost Towns in Arizona

    Caribbean From abandoned mining towns, to tourist attractions, and even a Christmas-themed ghost town, here are 7 of the coolest ghost towns in Arizona!

  16. 12 Ghost Towns in Arizona with Wild & Woolly Histories

    1. Dos Cabezas Pioneer cemetery at Dos Cabezas, Arizona. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Named for two prominent peaks in the Dos Cabezas Mountains to the north, this camp was one of Arizona's longest tenured mining towns. By the late 1870s it had a post office and typical mining camp merchants — and a number of hopeful frontier families.

  17. Ghost Towns of Arizona

    Arizona's ghost towns are concentrated in the Northwest central and Southeast portions of the state. The most famous of the Arizona ghost towns are the semi-ghost tourist locations like Jerome and Tombstone. Arizona also has many very desolate ghost town sites where there is little left. Unfortunately, Arizona has one of the worst records in ...

  18. 7 Ghost Towns in Arizona For a Glace at The Wild West

    Campers can dump at the Fast Mart 76 and fill-up water jugs just across the road. 2. Jerome, Arizona. Jerome holds a special place in the history of ghost towns in Arizona. Due to the undersea volcano that developed 1.75 billion years ago, Jerome sits atop a deposit rich with copper and other minerals.

  19. 20 Best Ghost Towns in Arizona You Should Visit

    Pandora's Box Ghost Adventure (4.7/5 60+ reviews) - Increase your chances of experiencing paranormal activity during a 'Pandora's Box' ghost tour that focuses on stories of murder, lust, and revenge on this 2-hours tour. Check out more details here.

  20. Goldfield Ghost Town

    Come and visit Goldfield Ghost Town today! Walk down Main Street, explore the many shops and historic buildings. Tour the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and visit the Goldfield Museum. Pan for gold then take a ride on Arizona's only narrow gauge train. You'll also get to witness an old west gun fight performed by the famous Goldfield Gunfighters!

  21. 20 Ghost Towns In Arizona For A Spooky Visit in 2024

    2- Tombstone. One of the most famous ghost towns in Arizona is Tombstone. Founded in 1877, Tombstone is to the southeast of Tucson. Originally a thriving mining town, it was all but abandoned in 1892 when the mines dried up.

  22. 10 Ghost Towns in Arizona Worth Visiting

    Here are 10 of our favorite ghost towns that have been well preserved (considering Arizona's harsh climate) … and are actually worth visiting. 1. Oatman. Nestled in the Black Mountains near California's Mojave desert is a ghost town ruled by wild burros. Oatman was founded in 1908.

  23. Ghost Tour in Phoenix AZ

    Get an insider's look into the local legends and resident spirits that haunt the streets of downtown Phoenix. Ghost Tour Meeting Location: At gate near Teeter House at 622 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Tour Duration: 1hr. across 1 mile. To Order: Press "Book Now" to see all available dates and times.