Created with flickr slideshow.
Goldfield Ghost Town!Goldfield Ghost Town is located in Apache Junction next to Superstition Mountain. The entire Superstition Mountain region is famous for legendary tales of gold, lost riches and tragedy. As far as stories of the old west are concerned, there is no better setting for a ghost town like Goldfield.
Goldfield was a boom town in the early 1890's. Like many gold rush towns, Goldfield became a ghost town after only a few years passed. By the late 1890's only a few residents remained. About a decade later, Goldfield turned into a gold processing center for ore that was mined in the local region, but after those mines played out, Goldfield permanently returned to its ghost town status.
The Mammoth Gold Mine in Goldfield was a heavy ore strike that drew many characters that sought easy opportunities to gain wealth by dubious means. One such character was the Lost Dutchman, who claimed to find a rich gold strike in the Superstition Mountains. When the Lost Dutchman finally met his maker, his death caused plenty of folks that had gold fever to seek out his lost mine. Thousands of fortune seekers have ventured into the Superstition Mountains ever since, without questioning whether the tail of the Lost Dutchman Mine was really true.
Many historians say that the Lost Dutchman made the whole gold mine story up in an effort to cover his own tracks. Apparently there is some old evidence cited in verbal accounts that claims the Lost Dutchman acquired his gold by killing miners working claims in the region while stealing their gold. Tales of the early days of the Mammoth Gold Mine add credence to this story.
One thing that the Lost Dutchman accomplished, was keeping the Goldfield Ghost Town on the map in this modern age. The legend of the Lost Dutchman mine and the tales of the Superstition Mountain gold producing region was all the reason in the world that was needed to preserve the Goldfield Ghost Town as a showcase of old west history.
Goldfield Ghost Town has now been rekindled as a major tourist destination and thousands visit this historic site each week. That is of course till the thermometer rises up over the triple digit mark. The heat of summer is more than just intense in the Sonoran Desert, so for the most part, Goldfield Ghost Town is only open to visitors while the weather is cool from late autumn till the end of the spring season.
There is plenty of interesting things to see and plenty of entertaining activities to experience in Goldfield Ghost Town. Wandering around in this restored old west boom town and the Goldfield Museum is enough to please any history buff. Visitors can take tours of the legendary Mammoth Gold Mine and those with gold fever can try their luck "pannin' for the shiny."
Other attractions include the Superstition Zipline, Narrow Gauge Railroad and Reptile Exhibit. Horse trail riding and a really cool shooting gallery are options too. Those who want to see some old west good guys vs the bad guys action will get a thrill out of the staged gunfights that take place in old historic Goldfield Ghost Town!
Goldfield is an old west style shopping haven too. Everything from Native American silver jewelry to modern works of art made by the local blacksmith can be found at the old shops along main street. The Mercantile Store is where refreshments, hand crafted gourmet fudge and unique confections can be found. Those who have a craving for bacon will be pleased to know that the much sought after Bacon Soda is available in bottles at this ghost town shop!
Where does one find some good grub in this old west ghost town? At the Mammoth Saloon! The Mammoth Saloon is one of the best steakhouse restaurants that I have run across in any ghost town in the west. The Mammoth Saloon is comfortable and there is so much old west memorabilia hanging on the walls that it easy to sit for quite a spell while taking a gander. Speaking of scenery, there is plenty of window seating that offers an ominous view of Superstition Mountain. Live entertainers even play classic western cowboy music all day long. All I can say is that the Mammoth Saloon is one heck of a great place to chow down on a big T-Bone Steak!
Goldfield Ghost Town is definitely worth putting on the Southwestern travel bucket list. While in Apache Junction, visiting both the Superstition Mountain Museum and Goldfield Ghost Town can all be done in one day. So, saddle up, program the GPS and hit the dusty trail that leads to the Superstition Mountains!