Goldfield, Arizona: A Living Relic of the Wild Wild West

Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona, United States
Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona, United States

Right between the Goldfield and Superstition Mountains, just east of Phoenix, there’s a unique gold-mining town that’s frozen in time. “Goldfield” is one of America’s best-reconstructed ghost towns and a dazzling nugget of desert entertainment you do not want to miss. The original settlement of Goldfield was founded in 1892 about 5 miles northeast of Apache Junction in Arizona, on the historic Apache Trail (Highway 88), just west of Lost Dutchman State Park at Mammoth Mine Road and it’s probably one of the hottest (pun intended) abandoned places to visit in the United States.

The rich, high-grade, gold ore that was found in the area in the late 19th century coupled with the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine led plenty of new miners to Goldfield. During the next few years, this gold camp swelled to a population of about 4,000 residents and boasted with a plethora of buildings, including a post office, a school, a general store, three saloons, a boarding house, a brewery, a blacksmith shop, and a butcher shop. Five years after its founding, the population deflated, and the post office was discontinued.

Goldfield remained a ghost town until George U. Young, serving as Secretary of Arizona Territory and Mayor of Phoenix, arrived in the area in the first decade of the 20th century. During that time, Goldfield slowly came alive under the new name “Youngberg.” Several years later, in 1943, a fire burned down 60% of Goldfield. In 1984, Robert F. “Bob” Schoose, a mining, treasure-hunting and ghost town enthusiast purchased the 5-acre property of Goldfield Mill site and decided to resurrect it.

Since then, visitors are coming to Goldfield Ghost Town to jump on the only narrow-gauge railroad in Arizona for a 20-minute ride enjoying magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, join a 25-minute underground guided mine tour or get a bird’s-eye view from the Superstition Zipline.

In Goldfield Ghost town people can learn the techniques of gold panning at Prospector’s Palace, admire a beautiful collection of artifacts, maps, and pottery in Goldfield’s Historic Museum, as well as native critters of the Sonoran Desert visiting Superstition Reptile Exhibit.

The town is known for several other attractions, such as the Apache Trail ToursGoldfield Gunfighters, Eagle Eye Shooting Gallery, Superstition’s O.K. Corral Stables, and the spooky Mystery Shack. This ghost town is also an excellent destination for jeep tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, old-time photos and a unique dining and shopping experience.

  • The Blue Nugget, Goldfield, Arizona, Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou

Goldfield Ghost Town
Address: 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Rd, Apache Junction, Arizona, 85119, USA
Telephone: +1-480-983-0333