Just northeast of the Bluegreen Vacations resort Cibola Vista Resort and Spa in Peoria, Arizona, placed on a hill between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains, lies the spooky Goldfield ghost town in Arizona. Founded in 1892, during a gold rush to the area, the once-abandoned city is now a living commemoration of all John Wayne movies. Its dusty streets make you want to stay on the lookout for tumbleweeds, and Old West buildings keep you on your toes for a shootout. And shootout you will get, if you’re walkin’ the streets at high noon. (Insert cheesy Western movie sound effect).
Spend a day exploring the old-time shops
The town was originally founded on The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Originally just the Dutchman’s Gold Mine (before they lost it), the vein supported 50 working mines. The surrounding city of Goldfield provided 5,000 miners and their families with three saloons, boarding houses, a blacksmith shop, a hotel, a post office and a general store. It was a bustling town, full of riches, watering holes and hope.
And then the line dried. The Dutchman’s Goldmine began to give out just five years after it was tapped. The quality of gold diminished, and miners began to move on out of there. The post office locked its doors on November 2, 1898, and Goldfield became another abandoned city in the West. (Insert lonesome Western movie sound effect).
While some prospectors held onto the idea of rediscovering the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, or discovering another line, their hopes were repeatedly dashed. The town remained desolate until a man by the name of Robert F. Schoose and his wife decided to rebuild the town as their own. Bob and his wife procured a five-acre site around the location of the Goldfield Mill and rebuilt the town.
Today, the ghost town is a lively recreation of the Old West. The tourist town boasts the Superstition Narrow Gauge Railroad, The Mystery Shack (full of tricks of the eye and unfathomable feats), Goldfield Mine Tours, a museum, a Jeep tour, stables, a reptile exhibit, Lu Lu’s Bordello and Gold Panning at Prospector’s Palace. And if you think that’s all, you’re not even close. There is an antique photography studio, coffee cantina, plant shop, gourmet shop, gift shop, art gallery, jewelry gallery and a replica of an 1880s church. Take your time as your browse through the town. Take some pictures and get a souvenir or two. Because how often are you in a real-life ghost town? And every hour, from High Noon until 4 p.m., an action-packed gun show goes down in the street!
The local watering hole, The Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon, will fill you up after a day of exploration, mining and picture taking. We hear the burgers are good. Decorated to fit the Old West motif of the town, The Mammoth Steakhouse displays authentic décor of vintage Old West artifacts and offers a cold glass of sarsaparilla. The restored stagecoach in the building is actually from the historic town of Tombstone, Arizona.
Head on over to Goldfield if you think you’re in the mood for a little gunfighting and ghost hunting!