Chloride, Arizona Ghost Town

Chloride Arizona Ghost Town

Chloride Arizona Ghost Town, a historic mining community in the Cerbat Mountains, offers a unique glimpse into the Wild West era. As Arizona’s oldest continuously inhabited mining town, Chloride has an interesting history and a fascinating collection of attractions, making it a must-visit destination.

This article will explore the rich history, unique attractions, and interesting stories surrounding this ghost town, making it a perfect day trip for history buffs, art enthusiasts, and adventure seekers alike.

The Rich History of Chloride Arizona

Early Mining Days

Chloride Arizona Ghost Town dates back to 1862 when prospectors discovered various mineral resources, including silver, gold, lead, zinc, and turquoise. Although the town was founded in 1863, mining didn’t become widespread until the 1870s after a treaty was signed with the Hualapai Indians.

At its peak, Chloride was home to over 75 mines and 5,000 residents, making it a bustling hub of mining activity.

Growth and Decline

During its heyday, Chloride Arizona Ghost Town had a bank, hotels, a pool hall, barber shops, restaurants, saloons, and a railroad connection to Kingman, which carried passengers and ore. The town’s population peaked at around 5,000 people, and even served as the county seat at one point.

However, the population started to decline as the mines began to play out and people moved on. By 1917, the population had fallen to 2,000; by the mid-1940s, it had nearly become a ghost town.

Attractions and Activities in Chloride Arizona Ghost Town

Historic Buildings and Streets

Visitors to Chloride Arizona Ghost Town can take a walk back in time by exploring its historic buildings and streets. The town’s main attractions include mock gunfights, Arizona’s oldest post office, and “The World’s Only All-Female Gun Fighting Troupe.”

These attractions can be experienced on foot, allowing visitors to take in the authentic Wild West atmosphere.

Chloride’s Junk Art and Oddities

One of the most unique characteristics of Chloride Arizona Ghost Town is its bizarre collection of junk art and oddities. While driving around town, visitors can admire a flamingo made of a gas tank, a tin man with a blue hat, and a junk tree with rusty items hanging from its branches.

Even the town cemetery features graves topped with old telephones, showcasing the community’s creative spirit.

The Murals of Chloride

Arguably the most famous attraction in Chloride Arizona Ghost Town is the collection of murals painted by renowned Southwestern artist Roy Purcell. In 1966, Purcell began painting his masterpiece, “The Journey,” on a 2,000-foot rock formation in the Cerbat Mountains.

The murals, which feature a rich tapestry of symbolism and vibrant colors, have been preserved by the desert climate and are well worth the trek up the hill.

Cyanide Springs Ghost Town

Adjacent to Yesterdays Restaurant, Cyanide Springs is a recreated Old West town that is a tourist attraction.

The Chloride Historical Society maintains several old buildings, including the Old Jail and the Playhouse, allowing visitors to experience an authentic Western town.

Yesterdays Restaurant and Sheps Miners Inn

Yesterdays Restaurant, located in the heart of Chloride, offers a delightful oasis for travelers looking to refuel. The restaurant serves over 120 beers, over 40 vodkas, an extensive wine list, and a diverse menu featuring steaks, seafood, and pasta.

If you plan on spending the night in town, consider staying at the adjacent Sheps Miners Inn, built in the mid-1800s as a Butterfield Stage Line stop.

Exploring the Surrounding Area

The Petroglyphs and Murals

While visiting Chloride Arizona Ghost Town, be sure to take the time to explore the petroglyphs and murals found in the surrounding hills. The trek up to these ancient artworks can be challenging, but the journey is well worth the effort.

The petroglyphs, created by the Hualapai, offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history, while Purcell’s murals provide an artistic representation of the town’s unique character.

Nearby Historical Sites

For those interested in exploring the surrounding area, several historical sites are worth visiting.

These include a marker for the Arizona and Utah/Western Arizona Railway, a marker just past the Chloride Cemetery commemorating Metcalf Baker and Andrew Judson’s deaths, the abandoned mining town of Mineral Park, and a marker for Cerbat, the third county seat for Mohave County.

How to Get to Chloride Arizona Ghost Town

Chloride Arizona Ghost Town is easily accessible from several nearby locations. From Kingman, take Highway 93 north to Grasshopper Junction and turn right. From Laughlin, take AZ 68 to Highway 93, turn left, and then right at Grasshopper Junction.

From Las Vegas, take Highway 93 south. The town’s remote location and unique attractions make it an ideal day trip for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life.


Chloride Arizona Ghost Town offers a fascinating blend of history, art, and adventure, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the Wild West era. From its rich mining history to its unique attractions and breathtaking murals, this living ghost town provides a captivating experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

So, pack your bags and head to Chloride Arizona Ghost Town for an unforgettable trip back in time.

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