Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesPhoenix · 1 decade ago

Best Ghost towns in AZ to visit?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It depends on what you consider a true ghost towns. Most of the places mentioned by posters above are still active and inhabited towns that have significant year-round populations and businesses and are now popular tourist attractions and artist/retiree communities. Arizona also has many true ghost towns (over 200) that have few or no people living in them, but be warned, most of them are not like what you see in the movies and TV with rows of buildings still standing. The best ones might have a few standing buildings, but most have no more than a few faint foundations and some scattered pieces of trash and rubble (they are still very interesting, but you have to know what you are looking for and what you are looking at).

    Here are my picks for the best Semi-Ghosts and True Ghost towns in Arizona:


    Jerome (along 89A north of Camp Verde) - Old copper mining town that was major city during turn of the last century and still has many impressive historic buildings from that period all situationed on a steep mountain slope. Many cafes, B&Bs, shops and art galleries now. Be sure to visit the Douglas Mansion museum.

    Oatman (along old Route 66 near CA border west of Kingman) - Gold mining town that hit its peak before WW2. Single main street with historic buildings (now holding tourist shops). Famous for the semi-wild burros that still wander the streets (left over from mining days). Scenes from 'How the West was Won' were filmed here.

    Chloride (North of Kingman toward Las Vegas) - Another old gold mining town - kinda a small version of Oatman. Nearby is the 'painted cliff of Chloride' where a local artist painted a mural on a cliff side.

    Bisbee (south of Tombstone in Southern Arizona) - Like a Jerome, this was a major copper mining town built on steep mountain slopes with many historic buildings now filled with cafes, galleries, shops and B&Bs. You can take an underground mine tour at the nearby Copper Queen Mine.

    Clifton (North of Safford in SE Arizona) - Probably the most abandoned and 'ghostly' of the semi-ghost towns. Chase Creek street (the original main street) has 2 full blocks of mostly abandoned buildings - some of them quite impressive and ornate.

    Note that while all of the above have interesting historic buildings and are no longer as big as they used to be, NONE of them are true completely abandoned ghost towns and all of them have permanent businesses and populations (Jerome and Bisbee have fairly large populations).


    The following are my picks for the best true ghost towns that are nearly or completely abandoned:

    Sasco (west of Red Rock, near Picacho Peak north of Tucson) - Copper smelter town from the early part of the 20th century (processed the copper ore from the Silverbell mines). Extensive concrete foundations of the smelter, power plant and railway buildings, standing ruins of the jail, hotel and company office plus many foundations. This where my Yahoo name is from.

    Vulture Mine (west of Wickenburg) - One of the largest gold mines in the state and still has about a dozen standing buildings, some with furniture and equipment still inside. A caretaker charges a small admission fee to wander around (which is why it is so well preserved).

    Swansea (out in the desert east of Parker) - Completely abandoned copper mining town from the 1920s. Many roofless ruins including a row of miners cabins, the company store, railway depot and major ruins of the smelter. Tough to reach.

    Charleston (along San Pedro River east of Tombstone) - Rowdy cowboy and mining town during the boom days of Tombstone in the 1870s and 1880s. Now overgrown by brush and mesquite trees, but there is still a row of probably over a dozen adobe shells (in various states) indicating where varies streets, etc were. It is on the west bank of the San Pedro river just north of the road from Tombstone to Sierra Vista.

    Contrary to what a poster above states, there are very few ghost towns (let alone good ones) near the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff and Williams are both large thriving towns with populations in the thousands and probably larger today than they ever have been. They do have interesting historic buildings, but they are not and never have been, ghost towns.

    Source(s): Arizona resident and historian. Have published articles on Arizona's mining history and have visited most of the major ghost towns in the state. For an excellent guide to Arizona's ghost towns, see the book "Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps" by Philip Varney The following website has a comprehensive listing of ghost towns with descriptions and brief histories. Be warned that some of the historical and descriptive information on this site is often inaccurate:
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    There are a few around the Grand Canyon area. They may not all be ghost towns, per say, but they are some good places.


    2.Jerome (a little town on a mountain... they have a Jerome Grand Hotel that used to be an asylum and the restaurant there is called "The Asylum")

    3. Flagstaff

    4. Sedona (beautiful place!!!)

    I also encourage you to visit the Grand Canyon. It is beautiful! Also, if you're into ghost towns, there is a movie at the IMAX about the Grand Canyon called "The Grand Canyon Movie." It tells many stories about the Grand Canyon developing over the years.

    Have fun!!!

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    I like Oatman, on Route 66. The road is just crazy getting there, very curvy and you can fall off the edge! This stretch of road has been seen in movies, books was very cool to drive. You have gold mines along the way and can tour some of them. Old Hollywood used to stay at the Oatman Hotel (now only open on weekends), there is a small bar in town that is open every now and then, watch out for the burros that wander around town. Very cool, old main street sometimes they are open sometimes they are not. I have been through here several times and the first couple of them the whole town was shut and there was nobody around, very neat and very little traffic! The old buildings are just amazing it feels like you just stepped back in time. The last time that we were there, a few things were open and the locals were really nice. I got to take some really cool pics of the place, and everytime we drive that way we have to stop. I hope this helps if you get the chance you should go! Very cool spent hours there, small little ghost town trying to make a comeback!

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Jerome! It's up the mountain from Cottonwood. It's an old mining town that's slowly sliding off the mountain, inches every year. There's a tour you can take that shows you the history of Jerome, including old photographs and equiptment. There's also a commercial district that houses a bunch of shops, bed and breakfasts, art galleries and a few restaurants. There are people who live up there and a lot of the locals will be happy to share their stories. The old brothel is now a store and a lot of the old buildings are still open to tour. The hospital is supposed to be haunted.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Mc Fly
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    my spelling won't be correct so I will improvise so you will be able to pronounce them. For a short time I lived in chin-lee, it is an indian rez (got stranded thier) the only thing that kept me sane was Canyon DE - SHAY. I think it is actually speelled Canyon De Chelly. I don't think the accomadations for tourist are very good but it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, also go to Greer, that probably is the most beautifull place I have ever seen.good luck

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Tombstone in Tucson, Goldfield in Apache Junction, these are my favs anyway

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Gleason, but make sure to detour to the snake ranch then skip Gleason.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.