Gold Point Nevada Ghost Town: A Trip Back in Time
Embark on a journey to the Gold Point Nevada Ghost Town, where history enthusiasts will come unglued as they explore the remnants of a once-thriving mining community.
Situated just southwest of Goldfield near the Nevada/California border in Esmeralda County, this well-preserved ghost town offers a glimpse into the past, with restored buildings and fascinating stories waiting to be discovered.
History of Gold Point Nevada Ghost Town
Early Beginnings: Lime Point and Hornsilver
Ranchers and a few miners in the 1880s first settled the area that would become Gold Point. The small camp of Lime Point was formed a few hundred yards west of the present town, at an outcropping of limestone. However, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the camp experienced significant growth.
In 1902, silver was discovered in the area, and the old camp was revived and renamed Hornsilver. The town thrived, with a population of around 1,000 and over 225 wood-framed buildings, tents, and shacks throughout the camp.
Unfortunately, this boom was short-lived, as litigation and inefficient milling practices halted the town’s growth just a little more than a year after its establishment.
The Great Western Mine and the Birth of Gold Point
In 1905, the Great Western Mine Company began operations about a half-mile southeast of Hornsilver and discovered a rich silver vein that brought a stampede of miners back to the camp. In addition to the rich silver ore, gold was also mined in small quantities.
As the years went by, the focus shifted from silver to gold mining, and in 1930, the town’s name was changed to Gold Point.
Gold Point enjoyed its longest success during the Great Depression, but when World War II began, the government ordered all gold mines to shut down as nonessential to the war effort. Mining at Gold Point stopped, and once again, most of its residents drifted away or went off to war.
The Preservation and Restoration of Gold Point
After the war, mining resumed on a smaller scale until the 1960s when a cave-in occurred from a dynamite blast at the Dunfee Shaft. More expensive to fix than the quantity and value of ore extracted would pay, the mine closed.
Other than a few small leases and diggings, this was the last serious mining operation at Gold Point. However, the town was never officially abandoned, and a few residents remained, watching over the town and its many artifacts.
In more recent years, Gold Point’s remnants have been restored and preserved by newer residents, spearheaded by Herb Robbins and Walt Kremin, who have lovingly restored many of the town’s historical structures.
Their efforts have transformed Gold Point into a living history lesson, with about 50 buildings still standing, including former Senator Harry Wiley’s home and the post office now serving as a museum.
Visiting Gold Point Nevada Ghost Town
Gold Point is approximately 296 miles south of Reno and 175 miles north of Las Vegas off U.S. 95. From U.S. 95, take State Route 266 westbound and follow for about 7.2 miles until making a slight left onto State Route 774. Travel about 7.4 miles on this road, bringing you right into the heart of Gold Point.
What to See and Do
Visitors to Gold Point can expect to see a town frozen in time, with original 100-year-old buildings lining its tiny historic main street. Explore the Post Office Museum, open on most weekends, where you can learn about the town’s history and browse through more than 8,000 photos of Nevada mining camps.
The Mercantile Store serves as the local gift shop, offering souvenirs, hats, and local history books to take a piece of your visit home with you.
Take a self-guided tour around the town or explore old mining camps and hundreds of mines within a short drive. Keep your eyes open for the abundant wildlife, such as jackrabbits and chukar, as well as nearby nature sites including waterfalls, watering holes frequented by wild horses and burros, Indian petroglyphs, fossils, petrified woods, and a view of Death Valley National Park from Big Molly.
Gold Point Saloon and Entertainment
Evenings at Gold Point are reserved for a round of table shuffleboard or pool on a 1909 Brunswick pool table in the local saloon.
The saloon is lined with historical artifacts, and visitors can enjoy a drink while soaking up the atmosphere of this authentic ghost town.
Gold Point offers rustic accommodations in the form of original, historic miners’ cabins, which are part of the Gold Point Ghost Town Bed & Breakfast for those looking to extend their visit. These simple yet charming cabins provide the necessities after a tiring day of exploring.
The town also accommodates RV travelers year-round, with several sites featuring electric hookups. Be sure to call ahead for reservations, as spaces are limited.
Annual Events and Festivities
Gold Point hosts several annual events, such as the Memorial Day Weekend Chili Cook-Off, Independence Day celebrations, and Labor Day weekend festivities. These events attract hundreds of visitors, and the town’s population soars to several hundred for a few days of the year.
The High Desert Drifters Western Historical Society calls Gold Point home, and the club routinely performs western reenactments and gunfights in the town’s plaza during these events.
A Friendly Ghost Town Experience
Gold Point Nevada Ghost Town offers a unique and friendly experience for history buffs, ghost town enthusiasts, and anyone looking to step back in time.
With its well-preserved history, welcoming residents, and fascinating stories, Gold Point is truly a gem worth exploring in the heart of Nevada.