Goldfield Ghost Town, “the gateway to the Superstition Mountains,” sits just outside Apache Junction, about 35 miles east of Phoenix. It was once a bustling town around the turn-of-the-century, following the 1892 gold strike.
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At its peak in the 1890s, it was home to a general store, a boarding house, 3 saloons, a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, meat market and a brewery. After a few unsuccessful attempts to reopen the mines, it did begin to thrive again from around 1910 to 1926, before ultimately being abandoned. Today, Goldfield offers the chance to explore the Old West in an authentic ghost town brought back to life nearly a century later. Walking the dusty streets you’ll feel as if you really have gone back in time to the Wild West.
You can walk through the historic buildings, tour a gold mine, explore a museum and even try your luck at panning for gold at the Mammoth Gold Mine. You’ll meet an authentic gold historian that will teach you how to properly pan for gold, and you can even take some small slivers back home. The mine tour is a must, with the underground guided tour revealing the mine’s history, the equipment and procedures that were used, and especially fascinating are the tales of purported hauntings.
Goldfield also offers rides on the state’s only narrow gauge train. The Superstition Narrow Gauge Railroad tour tells the history of the town, the Superstition Mountains, and the Southwestern desert.
The Wild West gunfights are a favorite with kids and adults alike. On weekends, you’ll see gunfighters strolling the streets, proving the reason why this town was just too tough to die. The fights take place on the hour, four times daily. You can even get one of your friends, your child, or spouse thrown into the local jail for a memorable photo souvenir.
Other highlights include a tour of Lu Lu’s Bordello, a new thrilling zip line ride and the historic museum. Most fascinating here perhaps is the exhibit on the Lost Dutchman gold mine, one of the most famous mines in the entire nation, yet no one knows where it is. Today, there are still gold-seekers looking for the treasure. You can head up the mountains where the treasure is said to be buried by joining a horse riding tour through Superstition’s O.K. Corral Stables, which offers everything from hourly to full-day rides.