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8 Arizona Ghost Towns You Can Still Visit

Just by their description, “ghost towns” sound like places that no one should ever step foot in. However, they’re actually more than just abandoned towns, but actual locations that serve as somewhat of a time capsule for a place’s history. Arizona has several of them that you can actually still visit, and explore the remains of what used to be a thriving community several decades ago. Here are some of the ones around the state that are worth checking out on your next southwestern road trip!

Tombstone Tombstone, Arizona
Credit: Tombstone, Arizona by © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com


The “town too tough to die,” Tombstone, is world-renowned for being the location of the bloody gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Located 70 miles southeast of Tucson, you can walk in the steps of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.

Ruby Ruby, Arizona
Credit: Ruby, Arizona by wikimedia.org


It was home to 1,200 people in the 1930’s but isn’t more than a footprint in time today. This old mining town had a bloody double homicide in the 1920s, and visitors can still feel its eerie history lingering.

Santa Claus Santa Claus Village themed restaurant in Arizona.
Credit: Santa Claus Village themed restaurant in Arizona. by © Joe Sohm | Dreamstime.com

Santa Claus

Originally the town of Santa Claus was meant to be developed into a winter attraction for Arizona desert dwellers and tourists, but when plans for business never took off, Santa Claus turned into the ghost town it is today.

Fairbank Fairbank, Arizona
Credit: Fairbank, Arizona by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr


Back in its day, Fairbank was a very important place as it was the closest train stop to the nearby town of Tombstone. However, these days it’s nothing more than a skeleton of what used to be a thriving community.

Gleeson Gleeson, Arizona
Credit: Gleeson, Arizona by dedhed1950 via Flickr


From 1939 to 1949, Gleeson was a busy mining town that produced a lot of turquoise, copper, and silver. Visitors to the town can walk through the ruins of all the old buildings including a hospital, saloon, and jail.

Sasco Sasco


For a short time in the early 1900s, Sasco, which stands for “Southern Arizona Smelter Company” served many of the nearby mining sites. It closed for good in 1917 but still has many remains such as what’s left of The Hotel Rockland.

Goldfield Goldfield Ghost Town
Credit: Goldfield Ghost Town by Goldfield Ghost Town


Goldfield was once a booming town in the Superstition Mountains during 1890’s, but has been renovated into an attraction to show visitors what life was like back then. It’s been kept up and has lots of different, fun activities inside.

Pearce Pearce
Credit: Pearce by Larry Myhre via Flickr


This old mining town had a population of 1,500 during 1919, but ended up getting abandoned in the 1930’s. There are many remains left to explore, and in 2009 the original general store opened up again as a tourist attraction.

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