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Rhyolite: A Nevada Ghost Town

Updated on October 5, 2014
An old building in Rhyolite Ghost Town
An old building in Rhyolite Ghost Town | Source


Right outside Death Valley National Park is a very interesting ghost town that's been featured in numerous magazines and books about ghost towns. It is called Rhyolite and it is right on the border of California and Nevada.

Rhyolite was a flourishing town in the early 1900s when gold was discovered in the surrounding area. Miners flocked to the area and soon there was a real boomtown. But like all boomtowns, when the gold ran out, so did the gold miners.

There are no people left, but there are several neat buildings, a train station, and a house made of beer bottles, plus an open air art museum. It is a wonderful place to visit, and if you're going to be in the area, you should definitely stop by.

Street Signs

Street Signs
Street Signs | Source

Location of the Ghost Town of Rhyolite

Many people arrive at Rhyolite from the nearby town of Beatty. It is 4 miles west of the town, along Highway 374. The other way people arrive at Rhyolite is from Death Valley since it is just east of the park.

show route and directions
A markerLocation of Rhyolite -
Beatty, Nevada
get directions

B markerBeatty, NV -
Beatty, NV, USA
get directions

C markerDeath Valley -
Death Valley, California, USA
get directions

The Old Train Station

The Old Train Station
The Old Train Station | Source

Beatty, Rhyolite, and Salt Creek Video

Rhyolite, Nevada Ghost Town Video

Rhyolite Nevada Ghost Town Drive Video

Books About the Ghost Town of Rhyolite

Ghost towns are always more interesting if you can picture the town in its heyday and learn about the people that once lived there. Rhyolite had its share of characters, and these books will help you get to know a few of them, as well as really put you in the mood to visit this interesting old town.

Rhyolite Ghost Town Video

Old Railroad Car

Old Railroad Car
Old Railroad Car | Source

HD&LD Porter 1906

HD&LD Porter 1906
HD&LD Porter 1906 | Source

The Old Rhyolite Merchantile

The Old Rhyolite Merchantile
The Old Rhyolite Merchantile | Source

See Ghost Towns Before It's Too Late

Southern California’s Best Ghost Towns: A Practical Guide
Southern California’s Best Ghost Towns: A Practical Guide

Make time to learn about and visit ghost towns before it's too late. They may not be there tomorrow.


The Tom Kelly Bottle House

In Rhyolite, there is a house made almost entirely from glass bottles.

Though there were three bottle houses known to have been created in Rhyolite, the only one still standing is the Tom Kelly bottle house.

As you would expect from a mining town, most of the bottles used to make the bottle house were beer bottles, primarily Anheuser-Busch, now Budweiser. There are thousands of bottles that make up this bottle house and it was repaired just a few years ago to prevent it from falling apart.

I think it must be lovely inside with the light shining in through the bottles, but we are not allowed to go in since the building could be damaged.

The Rhyolite Bottle House

The Rhyolite Bottle House
The Rhyolite Bottle House | Source

Close-up of the Bottles that Make Up the Bottle House


Bottle House Video

Glass Art

All along the sides of the Bottle House are interesting little buildings and decorations, most made using broken pieces of glass. They are very cute and must have taken a long time to construct.

Interesting Art Near the Bottle House

Interesting Art Near the Bottle House
Interesting Art Near the Bottle House | Source

Goldwell Open Air Museum

Just adjacent to the ghost town itself is a very odd spot filled with figures. It's an open air art museum filled with many interesting pieces. It stands outside in the rain and the wind and so the art is added to by nature itself. It has a very odd feel to it, very interesting and worth a stop.

Goldwell Open Air Museum Video

Ghost Towns of the West

Ghost Towns of the West
Ghost Towns of the West

The west has lots of ghost towns, pick up this book and learn more about them, or even plan a trip to visit some of them.


© 2009 Alisha Vargas

Rhyolite Guestbook

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had no idea. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      macmaki 6 years ago

      Rhyolite is definitely a cool ghost town! I'll have to visit! Great Lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for the information on Rhyolite. Additional information can be found at


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