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Wild Mustangs and Ghost Towns of Nevada

Nevada is home to mustangs and ghost towns, representing its gritty, wild history - perfect for a road trip of discovery!

By: Chris Engelsman + Save to a List

Nevada isn't on too many people's radar for places to visit, but it boasts expansive views and has more mountain ranges than any other state! With only 3.1 million residents, it means there is tons of open country to explore. Perfect for a road trip.

Rhyolite, NV

With that in mind, we loaded up our Cruise America RV and headed to Nevada. First on our stop was the mining town of Rhyolite, which is located just outside of Death Valley National Park in the Bullfrog Hills. The industrialist Charles Schwab bought the biggest production mine in 1906 and developed infrastructures such as piped water, power lines, and railroads. Rhyolite peaked around 1907 to 1908, with about 3,000~5,000 people. By 1911, the population dropped to below 1,000, and by 1920 it was close to zero. 

Just south of the Rhyolite Ghost Town is the Goldwell Open Air Museum with many unique art installations. 

Goldfield, NV

Next, we headed north to Goldfield, NV, to see its Car Forest art installation. Today, Goldfield has around 270 residents and is full of character. Back in the day, Goldfield was a boomtown, and the surrounding mines produced over $86 million at then-current prices. In 1923, a fire destroyed most of the town with only the Goldfield Hotel, the schoolhouse, and Consolidated Mines Building being the only notable ones that survived. 

Belmont, NV

After Goldfield, we headed to Belmont, NV. Back in 1865, they found silver, and the town grew. Belmont's courthouse remains and has been continually restored. The locals are a spirited bunch who like to have a good time at Dirty Dick's - the local watering hole! The bar was reclaimed from a bar/brothel/supper club that was built in 1867. Also, they recovered the doors from the same building and still use them today! 

Lonny, the bartender, told us about the old mining town of Manhattan and how the gutted out bank still had it's vault inside from 1906. We had to check it out. That's the beautiful thing about traveling in an RV; you can easily adjust your schedule, eat when you want to, and boondock camp!

Berlin, NV

Back in 1896, they discovered substantial gold veins and the town of Berlin was created. Berlin wasn't the largest mine camp in Nevada, and by 1911 it became a ghost town. But in 1928, just 10-minutes down the road from Berlin, they found Ichthyosaur fossils! Over the next 40 years, they were able to excavate almost 40 ichthyosaurs, and several have been protected onsite for people to view. 

Due to the ichthyosaur fossil find, Nevada turned this area into a State Park, so the mine buildings have been preserved, and park hosts are available to provide walking tours of the buildings. 

The best part about the trip was watching wild mustangs grazing on the hillsides. Their roaming nature and free spirit epitomized our trip, which ended it on the perfect note!

If you are looking to get out and explore for your next trip, there are two things I highly recommend. 

First, get an RV from someone like Cruise America. When you are out in the middle of beautiful nowhere Nevada, you'll have a bathroom, shower, and full kitchen to feed your crew. Plus, you're a self-contained unit, so it makes traveling during these uncertain times more comforting. 

Second, I highly recommend roaming the back roads of Nevada. If you want to get away from people and experience natural beauty, Nevada is the place. Check it out!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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