Rhyolite Historic Area, Nevada

Rhyolite is one of Nevada’s most famous and accessible early 20th century gold-mining boom towns turned ghost town. The crumbling brick fa├žade of the town’s former Cook Bank Building is purported to be the most photographed ghost town building in the west. When gold was discovered here in 1904, people flocked to Rhyolite and its population soon burgeoned to 5,000 – 10,000 people. The thriving boomtown was home to saloons, railroads, newspapers, an opera house, grocery stores, barber shops, a red-light district, and many others. In less than a decade, however, the town began to decline. By 1920 the town was all but abandoned. Today, visitors may wander the ghost town, visit the Rhyolite Bottle House or the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad Depot. While out there, add these other heritage sites to your route: the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field; the ET (Extraterrestrial) Highway, and the Central Nevada Museum in Tonopah.

Rhyolite is located 4 miles southwest of Beatty, Nevada on State Route 374. From the turn-off, travel 3 miles on a gravel road to the recreation area. The site is staffed by Bureau of Land Management personnel. There is no admission fee.

Hoover Dam, Nevada

When Hoover Dam was built in the 1930’s, it was the highest dam ever built, the costliest water project ever, and home of the largest power plant in the world. Hoover Dam is 726.4 feet from foundation rock to the roadway on its crest. It weighs more than 6,600,000 tons, and contains three and one-quarter million cubic yards of concrete.Hover Dam The maximum water pressure at the base of the dam is 45,000 pounds per square foot. Lake Mead, created by the waters of the Colorado River behind the dam, is 580 feet deep and 120 miles long. Hoover Dam was built during the Depression by thousands of men working in a dry and harsh country, and it still took less than five years. The project was the initiative of Herbert Hoover during his tenure as Secretary of Commerce in the 1920’s. Construction began under President Hoover. Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and a wonder of the world.

Location Information and Directions

Links: Hoover Dam (BLM Web Site)