Ghost towns, haunted hotels and UFOs - Bethany Drysdale of TravelNevada shares where to uncover Nevada's craziest attractions
The secluded Rhyolite is classed as one of the best ghost towns in America. Situated on the eastern edge of Death Valley, the more you learn about the past of this once-booming town, the more shivers run down your spine.
Rhyolite was established in 1905 as a mining town during the gold rush but was abandoned in 1920. Since this time, no one has lived in the town. The general store, train station and bank still stand in the derelict town, but the most fascinating feature is the jail, where visitors can look out through the metal bars and put themselves in the shoes of past prisoners.
Located along the Extraterrestrial Highway, approximately 150 miles north of Las Vegas, this small town with just 100 inhabitants is a regular location for fans of UFOs stopping over to learn about the peculiar Air Force testing facility.
Like many of Nevada’s towns, Rachel was once a mining town which closed over 20 years ago. The first UFO spotting was in 1989 and since then the town has been bustling with visitors. With unique UFO photos, derelict deserts and a famous alien burger to try at the bar and restaurant named the Little A’Le’Inn- (pronounced “alien”). You don’t have to be a UFO fanatic to enjoy this attraction.
Situated between Las Vegas and Reno, the Mizpah Hotel was once home to miners during the gold boom in the early 20th century. It is said to be have ghostly characters walking the halls. Rumour has it a politician died in the hotel before an important election – his death was hidden by his aides – it is believed they kept his body in a bathtub on blocks of ice.
Nowadays visitors are said to hear the politician laughing near one of the bath tubs in the hotel room. The basement is another creepy area to see – dark, eerie and full of cobwebs – the ghosts of miners are said to be seen walking through walls. See it to believe it.
Known as “Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor”, the Genoa Bar is the oldest in Nevada, and has been visited by a variety of famous faces including Mark Twain when he first reported for the Territorial Enterprise, Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt enjoyed “cool ones”, Clark Gable visited to play high stakes poker games with the local cattle barons. Actress Raquel Welch reportedly took off her bra there and flung it into the rafters. It’s still there. Genoa is the oldest town in Nevada, and it was used as the set for the movie Misery with Kathy Bates and Billy Crystal.
See the preserved historical United States Army forts dating back to the 1860s. A National Historic Landmark, the Visitor Centre in Fort Churchhill enables guests to see exhibits of history and learn about the Native military American troops that once lived in the area. Situated along the river Carson on a 20-site campground, set up camp and have a picnic during your stay as well as endeavour on a hiking trail around the ruins.TravelNevada is the official tourist website for the American State of Nevada and offers a wealth of information for those planning to visit including online guides, list of events and special offers. For more information visit the TravelNevada website.
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