Any road trip to the Reno Tahoe area is exciting, but you can kick your adrenaline up another notch by touring the many ghost towns nearby. The mining of gold and silver in this mountainous region brought hundreds of boomtowns that came and went. Here’s the rundown on how you can enjoy Reno Tahoe ghost towns and their haunted sights on your next trip.
Ghost Towns to Visit Near Reno Tahoe
Within half a day’s drive of the Reno Tahoe area is a nice collection of ghost towns, restored mining towns and state parks that contain the remains of cities that flourished during the gold rush.
Gold Canyon Ghost Towns
Less than thirty miles from Reno, travelers will find a wealth of ghost towns to explore in Gold Canyon. Given its name for the rich veins that crisscrossed through it, this canyon is home to both developed and abandoned ghost towns. Here are some of the places you’ll want to visit:
Virginia City, the queen of the Comstock Lode silver mining towns, flourished in the late 19th century and now draws millions of visitors each year to its federally designated historic district. You’ll find plenty to see and experience in the form of restored saloons, shops, and wooden sidewalks. There are also plenty of places around Virginia City where gold panning can be done. Beware though, Virginia City is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the United States. Paranormal activity and ghost sightings are regularly documented here. The Silver Queen Hotel, Piper Opera House, and Virginia City Cemetery are just a few places ghosts have been found playing.
Silver City, south of Virginia City off NV-341 promises plenty of mining town ruins to discover. The first gold nugget was actually discovered at Devil’s Gate, just north of Silver City. Devil’s Gate is two large walls formed from lava rock on either side of the road to Virginia City. At the time, travelers were often robbed of their belongings while passing through the narrow opening. Devil’s Gate truly lived up to its’ name!
Gold Hill, tucked between Virginia City and Silver City on NV-342, boasts an elegant hotel, restaurant, and saloon in the midst of the mining camp ruins. An added attraction is Bowers Mansion County Park, where visitors can tour the 1864 mansion built by Eilley Oram Bowers and her miner husband, Sandy Bowers. After her husband died, Eilley made many failed attempts to contact her husband’s spirit through seances. Her ghost is reported to still haunt the mansion and graveyard nearby.