This weekend we headed out for a day of old Western Fun. We visited Goldfield Ghost Town. We spent the day learning the history of the town, took a tour of the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and visited the Goldfield Museum. Included in the day the boys for to pan for gold and take a ride on the train. It was a day filled with not only educational value but entertainment as well.
Address: 4650 N Mammoth Mine Rd, Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Hours: Merchants open daily 10AM-5Pm
Bakery Open: 9AM-5PM
Saloon Open: 11Am-9PM
Train & Mine Tour: 10AM-5PM
Phone: (480) 983-0333
Cost: Entry is free. Cost varies for attractions so please check out their Attractions page for individual pricing. They do have a option to combine attractions and save.
History Of Goldfield Ghost Town
With a discovery of ore miners flocked to the original Goldfield Town and it was populated in 1892 with a community of up to 4,000 people. The original Goldfield had three saloons, a boarding house, blacksmith shop, a general store, brewery, butcher shop, a church, and a school. Five years later, after prospectors had dug out all of the gold and the population deflated. Eventually the post office was closed and in 1898 Goldfield became a official ghost town.
It had a sputtering revival between 1910 and 1926 when George Young brought in new methods to extract ore and built a mill and cyanide plant. A new post office was established and the town was bustling again. This revival only lasted about 5 yrs before the post office was once again closed and Goldfield again became a ghost town.
In 1984 Bob Schoose and his wife Lou Ann, purchased the location of the Goldfield Mill and decided to rebuild and restore the buildings of the old town. They recreated the original town and opened it as a tourist attraction.
Merchants At Goldfield
We walked the main street in Goldfield first. Along the main St was various merchants and restaurants. For a complete list please visit their merchant page. I stopped at the Siphon Draw Apothecary. It had bath bombs, fresh honey, and herbal teas. The hubby still regrets not going in with me to try and stop me from buying as much as I did. Everything inside smelled so good so I think I bought almost one of everything.
Continuing on the main road you will find the Mercantile, Bakery, Antique Photo Studio, Mexican Imports, Goldfield Museum, Mammoth Steakhouse, Shooting Gallery, Church, and a Reptile exhibit. Upstairs from the hat shop is Lu Lu’s Bordello. My Alijah thought all the ladies were pretty. To his regret he didn’t get to walk around and meet them all. They do say they keep it family friendly but I think Ill wait until he is a little older to have to explain what a Bordello was.
Goldfield Ghost Town Attractions
When we first pulled into Goldfield we saw the train station. Goldfield is the only location in Arizona that has a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow-gauge railroad in operation. You can purchase attraction tickets inside the train station or at one of the other attractions. The train will take you around the outskirts of Goldfield while the train conductor tells you a little about the town. You will be able to see some of the old mine, older buildings, and other items.
My boys favorite attractions were panning for gold and the mine tour. To pan for gold and gems you buy one of their bags of dirt and then can “pan” for gems and gold. The bags range from 9$ to 30$ depending on which gems and how many gems you would like to find.
The mine tour was fun. Full disclaimer their are stairs so if you need assistance walking be careful. They also at one point turn all the lights of to show what it was like to work in a mine. For those scared of the dark aka me lol make sure to have a friendly hand to hold on to. They created a exact replica of one of the original mining tunnels. The guide will walk you through and describe what a miners day consisted of and at the end will answer questions.
Also at Goldfield is a zipline, shooting gallery, jeep tours, horseback riding, and a nightime ghost hunting tour.
Tips For The Day
We had alot of fun at Goldfield. Just a few pointers to enjoy your day. It is alot of walking so be sure to wear comfy clothes and shoes. Also it is authentic in that the wood is rough and so are the streets so do not expect modern amenities. Finally be prepared to be asked for tips. At all attractions and even the gun fighter show they mention tips. So if you want to tip have cash on hand. We have visited other western them tourist attractions but this one was by far the most educational.