Rhyolite Railroad Loop & Ghost Town

Beatty, Nevada (Nye County)

Last Updated: 01/17/2019
2.5 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 4.66 miles
Highest Elevation: 3800 feet
Duration: About 20 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Beatty
Nearest Town w/ Services: Beatty
Official Road Name: N/A
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Battle Mountain Field Office


Highlight: Rhyolite Railroad Loop & Ghost Town
This easy 4x4 route follows a portion of the Bullfrog Goldfield Railroad's standard gauge spur route into Rhyolite, Nevada, the most photographed ghost town in the west. At its peak, nearly 5000 people lived here, one building was 3 stories tall and cost $90,000 to build. A stock exchange and Board of Trade were formed. The red light district drew women from as far away as San Francisco. There were hotels, stores, a school for 250 children, an ice plant, two electric plants, foundries and machine shops and even a miner’s union hospital. You'll cross over grade fills and pass through grade cuts. You'll pass the historic Montgomery-Shoshone Mine site, the old Rhyolite train station that is slowly being restored, and Tom Kelly's bottle house, made of over 50,000 bottles. The other remaining buildings are all concrete hulks as wood is scarce in Nevada, and was reclaimed to help build new facilities somewhere else. Be sure to visit the Goldwell Open Air Museum at Waypoint 7 of the trail guide. The free museum displays old artifacts and modern art, and the last shot in the video was taken there.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
Turn right (north) on the wide unmarked road 1.8 miles west of the intersection of US Highway 95 and Nevada Highway 374 in Beatty.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Beatty, NV

From the intersection of US Highway 95 and Nevada Highway 374 in Beatty, go west on 374 approximately 1.8 miles and turn right on the unmarked road. The road that turns to the left is marked with a sign designating the Beatty transfer station.



Trail Reviews (4)

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Brian Hoag

Mapping Crew - Nevada

Brian has been 4 wheeling since 1976. He first learned at age 7 that "The best things in life are dirty" in a brand new 1958 Jeep FC-170 on his aunts Nebraska farm. That forward control pickup seemed like it would go anywhere and he was hooked, even though he didn't know it yet. Jump forward to 1972... Brian's first duty assignment in the US Air Force was as a vehicle operator assigned to the USAF Survival School at Spokane, Washington. Part of his duties required hauling equipment and transporting vehicles to a remote training area in northern Washington national forest locations, and he often would be asked to take radio equipment to a mountaintop radio antenna site. The road was awful, or at least seemed that way in a 1967 6 passenger Dodge Power Wagon with 45 lbs of pressure in the tires, but it also hooked Brian on backcountry 4x4 exploration. Brian's first 4x4 was a used '76 Ford F150 pickup. It didn't take very long to figure out that the long wheelbase of the pickup didn't work well on the narrow Colorado trails near his home, so he traded for a brand new 1983 Chevy Blazer S10. The S10 was a nice vehicle, but it wasn't a Jeep, and that was what Brian ultimately wanted. Well, it didn't take long to move over to the Jeep brand, and Brian has been the proud owner of 7 Jeeps of one sort or another over the years. Brian has been 4 wheeling from Mexico to Alaska. After moving from Colorado, he ended up in southern Nevada where his current home is completely surrounded by public lands with thousands of miles of back roads and trails to explore. He looks forward to sharing some of the best 4x4 trails in California's Death Valley National Park, and southern Nevada's mountain and desert locations
For individual use only, not to be shared.