The town was established in 1893 between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains when gold had been discovered in the area. Like most mining towns, Goldfield died out as quickly as it came to life, and by 1898 it was a ghost town. Goldfield was given a brief second chance at life in the 1920s but it wasn’t until it’s third rebirth in the 1980s when it became clear that Goldfield had a new destiny.
“In 1966, Robert “Bob” F. Schoose, a long-time ghost town, mining, and treasure-hunting enthusiast made his first trip to the Superstition Mountains and instantly fell in love with the area. He moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1970 and soon began to dream of owning his own ghost town. He had heard of the old site of Goldfield, but upon inspection, he found little left other than a few foundations and rambling shacks. He and his wife, Lou Ann, then located another five-acre site that was once the location of the Goldfield Mill and decided to rebuild the old town. Purchasing the old mill site in 1984, they first reconstructed a mining tunnel, which included a snack bar and opened for business in 1988. Next came a photo shop, the Blue Nugget, a General Store, the Mammoth Saloon and the Goldfield Museum.” – Kathy Weiser/Legends of America.
Today Goldfield Ghost Town stands as a unique attraction to tourists and locals alike. Located on Arizona’s historic Apache Trail and only 45 minutes outside of Phoenix, you can come and taste a little of the old Wild West!
Goldfield is admission free however the attractions inside cost anywhere from $2-$10 which gives you freedom to pick and choose. Attractions include Gold Panning, Lulu’s Bordello tours (featured on the tv show Ghost Adventures.) The Mystery Shack, Eagle Eye shooting gallery, Reptile Exhibit, Superstition Narrow Gauge Railroad, Mine Tours and the Historic Museum. At a higher cost (and reservations recommended) the town also boasts the O.K Corral Stables for a guided horse ride into the iconic surroundings, the Superstition Zipline and Apache Trail Tours.
Other than the attractions the town hosts numerous gift shops, ice cream parlor, active church, photography studio and the Mammoth Steakhouse and Saloon. On weekends Goldfield’s cowboys and cowgirls make an appearance with free shows every hour until 4pm.
We have visited Goldfield multiple times and it has quickly become a local favorite. We have explored the museum which exhibits the history of the area including information and artefacts on the mysterious Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine, as well as movie memorabilia dedicated to famous westerns. (Look out for the real Doc Holiday’s Dress Coat.) We went on a guided tour of Lulu’s Bordello which took us back in time and we also took a ride on The Superstition Scenic Narrow-Gauge Railroad’s train. The train rides a mile and a half around the town for around 20 minutes. The journey is narrated with the history of Goldfield and The Superstition mountains and allows for some beautiful photography of the scenic surroundings. We’ve taken family to dress up in costume in their photography studio ‘Time after Time Antique Photography’ which we thoroughly enjoyed and recommend. I even went back and had some pregnancy photos taken with them for a laugh!
Goldfield offers a fun packed day out for adults and kids alike. On occasion we have just used it as an excuse to visit the Mammoth Steak house and Saloon. The old Saloon looks like something straight out of a John Wayne movie with its authentic décor of vintage old west artifacts. It serves appetizers, famous Mammoth burgers, juicy steaks, and most importantly on a hot Arizona day, cold beers. Open from 11am-9pm daily you can dine or drink with one of the most spectacular views of the superstition mountains.
Things to note, most of Goldfield is outside and not all buildings have AC including the Mammoth Steak house so dress accordingly and stay hydrated! The town is pet friendly except inside some buildings. Find out more from their website here. Cheers, Partner!