Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    Default Ghost towns between Salt Lake City and San Francisco?

    Hey there everyone.

    I'm going on a 10-day trip from Denver out to Northern California on April 13th-25th. My friend & I will have a whole day driving between Salt Lake and somewhere near San Fran where we want to see some cool ghost towns. I'm thinking we will be driving I-80 to California--does anyone know of anywhere cool to stop around here? Abandoned towns, weird Americana, etc, off of I-80 or off of a smaller road that doesn't veer too much from that path?

    Also, any ideas on a funky/interesting/not too expensive place to stay in NW Nevada or NE California that wouldn't put us too far outside San Francisco?

    Thanks for your help!


    [Just FYI, our departures and stops look something like this so far: Leave Denver April 13th (Fri) --> Salt Lake City, 1 night --> Reno (?), 1 night -->San Francisco, 2 nights --> Big Sur, 1 night --> LA, 2 nights --> Indio, 2 nights (for Coachella music festival) --> Las Vegas, 1 night --> Arrive in Denver April 24th (Tues).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    It's not a ghost town, but Virginia City NV comes to mind as an interesting place to visit. It's a National Historic Landmark, and not far at all from Reno.

  3. #3


    if you google, "ghost towns in usa" (or something like that) you will find a link to a site specifically dedicated to ghost towns in every state and area. It looked pretty neat and I spent an hour or so looking around on it, so I'd give that a shot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default How about odd art?

    Beware of the Ghost Towns site, for a long time it was the best site on the Web for such information, but now it's full of malware programs -- use at your discretion.

    A very cool piece of art is found on I-80 in Utah -- Check out this short article about Metaphor: The Tree of Utah.

    I take exception with some of the reporting in this LA Times article, but the photos are great!

    There are hundreds of ghost towns or more accurately ghost town sites, along your general path (within 200 miles) but few are easy to find and all require high-clearance vehicles and specialized off-roading gear.

    One of the best sites for searching for old mining camps in California is this one.

    But I'll do some more thinking on this issue.


  5. #5

    Default How far is "not too far"?

    Given that Nevada is a huge state, "not too far" may be a relative thing.

    Hello Anna,

    Although I've never visited any of them, I am intrigued by Metropolis, Tuscarora, and Midas, NV, each being on the north side of I-80 between Wells and Winnemucca, NV. From east to west, Metropolis is the site of an abandoned town initially platted out to be the center of a large irrigated agriculture community. The original planners/developers neglected to acquire water rights for the dam they built on Bishop's Creek, and hilarity ensued. No water = no agriculture = no town. It took a couple or three years for the water rights litigation to wind through the courts, then everybody went home. Some buildings remain. Metropolis is around 15 miles north of Wells along graded gravel roads, and it's close to a very well known public hot spring named "12-Mile Hot Spring".

    Tuscarora and Midas are more of a trip. Tuscarora is a community which still has a few inhabitants, and one of them is a renowned potter who displays some of his wares there. Plenty of abandoned buildings at Tuscarora, though. A goodly distance west (oh, I dunno, maybe 35-45 miles?) lies Midas. Similar to Tuscarora in that it was a mining town which nowadays still has a few inhabitants. Given its (relative) proximity to I-80 and Winnemucca, Midas has a few vacation homes here and there. One can make a loop to visit Tuscarora and Midas, leaving I-80 at Elko via paved NV 225, thence west/northwest/north on NV 226 towards Tuscarora, and ultimately several 10s of miles on gravel to get to Tuscarora, Midas, and from Midas back to I-80 near Winnemucca. Some good pictures and some amusing text about trips to Tuscarora, Midas, and quite a number of other Nevada and Utah locales can be found on

    By all means, have a plan to touch base with someone back home before departing I-80 for a trip such as to Tuscarora and Midas, and give them a travel plan (your planned route) and a timeframe within which you'll be contacting them once you get back to civilization. You should assume zero cell phone coverage for the whole distance, and you must familiarize yourself with the route, and have a map of it (and know how to read it). There have been notable and recent "Death by GPS" incidents in remote parts of Nevada and Oregon in recent years, where ill-equipped and poorly-planned excursions claimed the life of one or more of the participants.

    On a more gentle and less hazardous note, both Deeth and Wells, NV have lots of old buildings. Elko is pretty cool, too. Really funky retro-style downtown at Elko.

    Have fun and stay safe!


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-01-2011, 07:32 AM
  2. Salt Lake City to San Francisco for Thanksgiving in my new RV
    By Rancher in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 11-01-2010, 10:59 AM
  3. 23-day roadtrip San Francisco to Salt Lake City
    By Dyna18 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-25-2009, 03:12 AM
  4. Montana Ghost Towns
    By Digital Vagrant in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-17-2007, 03:19 AM
  5. Anyone else interested in ghost towns?
    By Carolyn Worl in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-30-2007, 04:11 AM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name