Day 8: Death Valley National Park and Ghost Towns
After another early morning wake-up, we hopped in the car and headed towards Death Valley National Park in California. On the way, we drove past Area 51, so of course had to stop in the gift shop for some fun souvenirs!
Once entering Death Valley National Park, we drove towards Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. There are also very interesting salt formations here, so make sure to get out and look around (but bring water!)!
On the way out, we got stuck behind some odd wagon train. I still have no idea what was happening, but lots of people dressed in traditional clothing were driving Conestoga wagons.
Next, we wanted to visit some ghost towns! For this, we headed into the state of Nevada. The first town on the list would be Rhyolite, a town founded around 1904 due to the gold rush. At it’s peak, Rhyolite was home to three train lines, three newspapers, three hospitals and 53 saloons! Now only vacant buildings and remnants of a booming town still stand.
One of the main interest points in Rhyolite is the glass bottle house, built in 1906 by a man with limited building supplies and quite the imagination.
Our next ghost town would be Gold Point, a mining town founded in 1868 with a population today of 27 people. This town was a lot more in tact than Rhyolite had been, and significantly more creepy. It was probably my favorite of the 3 ghost towns we visited.
After exploring the town and nearby mine (be careful – there ARE mine shafts that are not completely closed off), we headed to the “downtown” of nearby “ghost town” (although more populated than the others) Goldfield. This town is known for the Goldfield Hotel, which is supposedly one of the most haunted hotels in the country.
We grabbed dinner nearby at the Hoist House, which was delicious but equally creepy. To be honest, the entire town just gave off a creepy vibe. So to all those ghost hunters out there, head to Goldfield!
After dinner, we drove back to Las Vegas. It took about 3 hours and by that time, my mom and aunt went directly to the airport to fly home. I was staying in Vegas for another night, so I went back to Hostel Cat and got ready for a night on the town! I met some friends at the hostel and we had a great night out!