Goldfield Ghost Town is an old mining settlement that’s been rehabbed into a tourist attraction. It’s located just northeast of Apache Junction, Arizona (which is in the southeastern corner of the greater Phoenix metro area). Situated at the foothills of the Superstition Mountains, it’s a fun stop with fabulous views (smile).
The community at Goldfield was established in 1892. The official find of gold (and the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine) led plenty of miners to the area and soon the town boomed. Within five years, 1,500 people were in residence at Goldfield. Unfortunately, like so many mining towns in this area, once the ore vein started to run out, so did the people. Almost as soon as it began, Goldfield became a ghost town.
In 1966, a long time treasure enthusiast and his wife purchased the area and rebuilt the town. Today Goldfield Ghost Town features underground mine tours, an array of shops, a saloon, and the only narrow gauge railroad in operation in Arizona. The town is open daily from 10am to 5pm (the saloon is open daily from 11am to 9pm).
I discovered Goldfield Ghost Town by happy accident. I was out on a drive into the Superstition Mountains and just happened by the town. I, of course, immediately had to stop and check things out. It is a bit touristy; but it’s also fun. I’ve taken several visitors back to the town through the years. It’s a great place to entertain guests, learn some history, and to visit a “real” ghost town. Considering it’s proximity to Phoenix, it’s much easier to visit Goldfield than some of the other ghost towns in Arizona. I can’t speak to the train ride, but the mine tour is pretty cool. And the ice cream shop is superb! (smile)
Once your done at Goldfield, you can visit the nearby Superstition Mountain Museum and/or continue your drive further into the mountains themselves. But do beware, the Superstitions have a long and storied history (they got that name for a reason after all) and the trails can be notoriously tricky. I highly recommend sticking to your expertise level – and groups!