Thirsty Souls

Thirsty Souls: Ghost Towns USA

This week we're thirsty for stillness. Get ghosted in one of these abandoned towns to be transported into America's mining past.

1. Bodie, CA

A short jaunt from Lake Tahoe, Bodie was a star of the gold rush in the late 1800s. With over 100 structures now standing in a state of "arrested decay," there's plenty to explore and photograph. Take in the Town Jail, the Bodie hotel, the Methodist Church, and a plethora of saloons to get a feel for daily life in the Old West.

A photo posted by Kate Maguire (@katemaguire_) on

2. Jerome, AZ

This copper mining town atop Cleopatra Hill once had a reputation as the "wickedest town in the West." Book a Haunted Tour for a guided trip down ghost lane then picnic at the Douglas Mansion State Park to clear your head and shake the spirits.

A photo posted by @tony_pacitti on

3. Nelson, NV

Don't go to Vegas and roll the dice; go to Nelson and watch the tumbleweeds roll instead.

At the Historical Techatticup Mining Camp in Eldorado Canyon, you can take a one-hour tour of the mine, snack at the General Store, and canoe the Colorado River without losing your life savings to the House.  An added bonus -- parts of 3,000 Miles to Graceland were filmed in Nelson, so you may recognize some of the scenery. If not, you know what to add to your Netflix queue!

A photo posted by Miggs (@malamigs) on

A photo posted by honathon (@honathon) on

4. Goldfield, AZ

Pan for gold, gawk at the reptile exhibit, and scream down the Superstition Zipline for a surprisingly happenin' day in this quiet, historic stop on the Apache Trail.

A photo posted by Hannah Cho (@hellohannahcho) on

5. Ruby, AZ

This turn-of-the-century camp (originally dubbed the Montana Mine) was once a hub for mining gold, silver, lead, copper, and zinc - but you won't find any rubies here. The town was named after a lady!

Ruby is just four miles north of the Mexican border, so head south after a weekend of fishing and camping for an extended vacay in true Southwest style.

A photo posted by Paul Coldren (@paulmco) on


Our engines are revved and our cooler is stocked. Time to hit the road!