Arizona’s Western History comes alive when visiting one of the over 275 ghost towns in the state. Although most of the towns are just a few relics scattered in the desert, many such as Jerome, Tombstone and Oatman are now bustling tourist stops and fun places to visit.
The dictionary defines a Ghost Town as a town that has been abandoned, usually because the economic activity that supported it has failed or because of natural or human-caused disasters. This applies to most of the hundreds of Ghost Towns in Arizona, except some of them have come back from the dead, as tourist destinations and art centers.
Deserted stretches of land with no people around, that’s what characterizes an Arizona ghost town. Even though most of the ghost towns of the west really don’t have much of a semblance left, even what remains still attracts many tourists each year.
Visit the ancient town of Jerome: one of the oldest ghost towns of the west.
Jerome is one of the most famous and convenient to visit Arizona Ghost Towns. Located between Prescott and Sedona, it has a mild climate at its mile high elevation. One of the most interesting characteristics is the way the town is perched precariously on the side of Cleopatra Hill. Jerome was founded in 1876 and at one time had a population of almost 15000. In 1953 the last of the mines, which produced copper, gold and silver, closed and only a handful of people remained. Today, Jerome is a vibrant art and tourist community of about 450 people. It has historic hotels, bed and breakfasts, great places to enjoy a cold beverage or a delicious meal. The art ranges from modern to rustic and since many of the artist sell their own work, you know you are getting an original.
The educational purpose of visiting the ghost towns of the west.
There is something uniquely mysterious and charming about an Arizona ghost town. It’s almost as though the town has a story of its own to tell. The desolated streets and ruins of a bustling town can provide the discerning historian clues about the life and times in the past. Small things like a remnants of their kitchens or bathing rooms can give quite an idea about the sort of life the people in those times led. This is one reason why many historians and archaeologists have made it a point to visit the deserted ghost towns of the west. Many have come back with vital clues on the lifestyle in the past.
The historically rich Goldfield ghost town – the only completely authentic ghost town of the valley.
If you ever happen to visit Arizona, and the town of Goldfield is near your travels, don’t make the mistake of not visiting it. This mysterious Arizona ghost town belongs to the period during the 1890s and is considered by most people to be the only truly authentic ghost town in the Valley of the Sun. You can take an underground mine tour to explore the remnants of this ancient ghost town, or even take a guided tour via jeep to the famous Superstition Mountains. Located on the east part of Phoenix, this mountain is literally shrouded in mystery and folklore. Out of all the ghost towns of the west, the Goldfield Town remains one of the most mysterious ones. The town is called Goldfield, literally because of its rich resources of natural Gold, which made the town very prosperous. During the 1800s this town experienced a great deal of prosperity and richness. However down the years the Gold ore dwindled and the place became a ghost town. Today the Goldfield ghost town is a tourist stop with many shops and The Goldfield Superstition Museum.
Ancient folklore and gossips surrounding the ghost towns of the west.
When you visit an Arizona ghost town, you are sure to hear of some superstition, gossip or mysterious legend stories. Blame it on the lack of knowledge or the general curiosity surrounding the place. Most of the ghost towns of the west are steeped in superstition and legends. Even to this day, it is believed by some that the Superstition Mountains are the cause of dust storms and bad weather. It was believed by the Native Americans that when the ‘Little Men’ or the guards of the mountain are angry, they cause the storm. However no matter what the legend or story maybe, all of these legends certainly add to the mystery and aura surrounding Arizona Ghost Towns.
Got Carrots? Go to Oatman!
Oatman is a historic, Route 66 Western Ghost Town located in North Western Arizona. This fun rustic town has shootouts, bars, restaurants and fun for the whole family. If you have a pocket full of carrots you’ll never be lonely, as wild burros, which were brought here by the miners and have multiplied, roam the streets at will and love carrots. They can be very pushy but are a great addition to this Historic old Ghost Town of the West.
Tombstone and the OK Corral, The most famous Ghost Town of all.
Everyone knows Tombstone Arizona, “the town to tough to die” and the OK Corral shootout. Although the gunfight only lasted about 30 seconds, it is probably the most famous gunfight in history. Today Tombstone is a bustling tourist destination, with cowboys roaming the streets, bars, restaurants and museums. Everyone giving tours and showing attractions in town has a story, but don’t believe everything you hear, many are embellished for the tourists. Tombstone Ghost Town is a great family attraction and a top Arizona Destination.