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Rhyolite in Death Valley is the largest ghost town in the national park. Since one of the items on my bucket list was to see a true ghost town on our cross-country road trip, naturally I wanted to see the largest.
But after driving for what seemed like hours through Death Valley, my husband was anticipating the return of civilization and my kids, who were bemoaning the lack of internet, were eager to reach Las Vegas before nightfall.
To keep the peace, I consented to shorten our drive and head out of the park. So I was surprised to see a sign for Rhyolite signaling the turn off for the ghost town.
My husband decided we could spare a few moments and began to follow the signs. Within minutes we had arrived at the bottle house roadside attraction on the outskirts of the decrepit historic townsite.
We quickly drove through the Rhyolite ghost town, stopped for a quick restroom break at the provided bathrooms and hopped back inside our vehicle.
As I gazed across the barren landscape it was hard for me to comprehend that Rhyolite Ghost Town had been one of the largest cities in Nevada in the early 1900’s. The town grew with the promise of gold but began to decline quickly with a financial crisis in 1907.
It didn’t take us long to drive through and even though there were many places I was tempted to step out of the vehicle to explore further, many of the buildings are surrounded by barbed wire, a fence, signs, or both, warning visitors of rattlesnakes.
The threat of even catching a glimpse of a rattler was enough to keep me firmly in the vehicle, which made my family very happy.
My love of roadside attractions made me want to explore the Goldwell Open Air Museum but my husband insisted I “photograph what I could” as we drove by.
Have you explored Rhyolite Ghost Town in Death Valley National Park?