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“Wonderful for photography”
Review of Rhyolite

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Death Valley Tour from Las Vegas
Ranked #4 of 9 things to do in Beatty
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Owner description: A ghost town with real character, the town of Rhyolite was founded in 1904 due to what many believed to be a rich strike of ore, but alas, was not meant to be.
Reviewed 22 July 2008

As explained in the other reviews, Rhyolite is nothing more than a small area of abandoned buildings in the middle of the desert. Sometimes rangers give tours, which makes a visit much more interesting. The surprise for me was the amazing photo opportunities Rhyolite offered, even at high noon.

My visit was in late March. The sky was a picture perfect blue, and the hills containing the gold mines loomed behind the shells of buildings at just the right angle. The colors popped, even in broad daylight.

Although it's not easy to find, the cemetary is worth a visit. There's a small sign for it off the main road from the highway to the buildings. The sign points down a side road that contains a current settlement and housing of some sort. Then you turn left and follow what amounts to a set of tire tracks through the desert. About halfway back to the main road, there's a turnoff to the left. The rotting wooden tombstones, some decorated with coins, make it worth the trip ... whether or not you're there to take pictures.

This is NOT a tourist trap, not an attraction that's fun for kids. There's nothing to buy and the only restrooms are basically enclosed port-a-potties. But it's a real place, and the buildings suggest real stories of the lives of the real people who once lived in this tough location.

5  Thank Kleetampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"death valley"
in 128 reviews
"ghost towns"
in 42 reviews
"mining town"
in 27 reviews
"bottle house"
in 113 reviews
"last supper"
in 18 reviews
"its heyday"
in 10 reviews
"paved road"
in 10 reviews
"house built"
in 9 reviews
"gold rush"
in 9 reviews
"outdoor art"
in 7 reviews
"open air museum"
in 6 reviews
"art museum"
in 6 reviews
"worth a stop"
in 12 reviews
"interesting place"
in 6 reviews
"photo ops"
in 8 reviews
"walk around"
in 10 reviews
"crumbling buildings"
in 8 reviews

428 - 432 of 554 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2007

Rhyolite is supposed to be one of the best preserved ghost towns in Nevada. The town, which at one time was the third largest town in Nevada, came into being because gold was discovered there in the mineral called rhyolite (thus the name of the town), and at one time the town had 10,000 residents. After the gold rush was over the town slowly died, and by 1916 was abandoned.

We had been very interested in visiting an authentic ghost town, and all of the websites relating to this ghost town assure you it is a complete town, you can walk inside the buildings, you might even see ghosts, oooooh.

Well, we drove here from Las Vegas, a very long, hot 3 hour drive, passing by "Area 51", and the little town of Beatty. We were expecting to see whole buildings, lots of history, and as we drove up, we thought "you have got to be kidding". There is nothing left but a few broken down buildings. The bottle house, which is a house built completely from bottles, is complete, but is surrounded by a chain link fence. You cannot enter. At the end of the "main street" the train depot is also still standing, but again, is also surrounded by a chain link fence. You cannot enter any of the broken down buildings, they are unsafe.

After about 10 minutes, (and I am being generous, because after a 3 hour drive you feel you want to "get" something out of this visit,) you have seen everything, and you sign the guest book, where people from all over the world have also believed what they read on the internet about this place and have come to visit.

On the way back we stopped at a little store in Beatty that sold fresh beef and buffalo jerky. The proprietor was very friendly, turns out he was from NJ (small world, I was brought up there) and he and his jerky were the highlights of this trip.

Since we were so close to the California border we did drive a bit more down the road and took a picture in front of the entrance to Death Valley National Park.

If you want to see this ghost town, see it online, because you will be very, very disappointed if you go in person.

13  Thank MiouMiou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2005

We stopped here on our way into Death Valley in June/July. This is a stange and fascinating place. We pulled up to 'Tom Kellys Bottle House' where we met a man called Riley McCoy. He is a volunteer and looks after the place from May to October (at which point a couple from Oregon take over). He is a fascinating man and gave us a brief rundown on the ghost town. Then with a little town walking guide he gave us, we walked round the place following the route in the guide and I read out loud about the old ruins.
A couple of cars came in but the people never even got out to look around, just drove up and down the main street and then left which was sad, as you need to get the feel of the place by walking around it!
Nevertheless we stopped by again on our way back from Monument Valley as though we were drawn there!
I recommend reading up about Rhyolite on the net if you intend to go for the first time and then you can get some idea of it's remarkable past - enjoy!

23  Thank 2marchant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2018
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Thank milleviolini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 November 2017
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Thank patrick c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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