Goldfield, Nevada
July 2008

Goldfield, Nevada, is a bizarre little place. I have passed through this little town many times on my various journeys, and each time I just scoot through without stopping. But I have always wondered about this town. Goldfield is located about 180 miles north of Las Vegas along US-95, not too far from Death Valley.

Goldfield was once Nevada's biggest city, with over 20,000 people during its heyday period roughly 1905-1910. Gold and silver were discovered here and numerous mines sprung up. Then, the mines started to become less lucrative, people started to move away, and natural disasters took care of the rest: a big flood in c.1915 and two fires around 1923-1925 leveled most of the rest of the town. By all rights Goldfield should have simply withered away into a proper ghost town. However, Goldfield is still functional (barely) today as the county seat of Esmeralda County. Esmeralda County itself has maybe 800 people total, and maybe half in Goldfield, so you get an idea of the remoteness and lack of population out this way. Some of the grand buildings of Goldfield's heyday still stand, but closed and in disrepair. Most everyone else lives in small homes or trailers laid out in a grid on both sides of US-95. An odd juxtaposition of the grand old days and the scraggly reality of today. I am not sure what most people do here. Probably employed by the county or maybe retirees.

On a personal note, one of my great-great-uncles on my mom's side settled here in 1905. Being Mormon, they had boatloads of kids who in turn had boatloads of kids. It's probable that any long-time resident of Goldfield is very distantly related to me in some fashion. It's an interesting thing to consider. It probably helps explain why everyone in Goldfield is so attractive.

Photos (Click to Enlarge)

Eastern entrance

Old High School

Western suburbs.

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(c) 2009 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.