Arizona,  Central Arizona,  North Central Arizona

The Ultimate Guide to Arizona Ghost Towns

Explore the Old West – Arizona ghost towns invite you to take a trip into the desert’s past. At one time this area was booming with mining towns. 

We have compiled some of our favorite areas to experience Arizona’s old western influence and ghost towns by the areas they are located in.

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I love visiting historical sights and buildings because I get to imagine what it must have been like to live there years ago. The old west was dusty, wild and they didn’t have air conditioning. If you want to learn how the natives cooled off with no AC check out Wupatki Native American Ruins,

Arizona is part of the Old West, also called the Wild West and The American Frontier. You can find old western towns across the state of Arizona.

old car in chloride arizona
Chloride, Arizona

Are there any Arizona Ghost Towns to Visit?

Arizona’s old west towns are still populated, some are just not as populated as they once were at their peak. Many are still considered “ghostly” due to their history.

Yes, there are still several Arizona ghost towns you can visit today.

13 Arizona Ghost Towns

Let’s take a road trip to some of the coolest old western towns in Arizona.

  1. Rawhide Western Town
  2. Goldfield Ghost Town
  3. Tortilla Flat
  4. Wickenburg (Vulture City)
  5. Old Tucson Studios
  6. Tombstone
  7. Bisbee
  8. Jerome
  9. Prescott
  10. Chloride
  11. Clifton
  12. Oatman
  13. Hackberry

Arizona’s Ghost Towns

The following old western towns are near the city of Phoenix.

Rawhide- Recreated Old West Town

Rawhide is a convenient spot in the city to experience a recreated old west town. Bring the whole family for a day of fun at Rawhide.

Experience what life was like in Arizona in the 1880’s with mock shoot-outs, pan for gold, go on a stagecoach ride, a burro ride, a train ride or pet the animals at the petting zoo.

It is free to enter the old west town, and you need to purchase ticket for the attractions, so you can purchase a wrist band or pick attractions a la carte’. Great family fun activity in Phoenix.

Arizona Goldfield Ghost Town

A visit to Goldfield Ghost Town is a great way to start your old west trip. Located on the Apache Trail. Visit a 1890’s ghost town located in the same spot as an authentic town once stood.

Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat is located along the historic Apache Trail. It is a reconstructed stagecoach stop with a general store, a saloon, a tiny museum, restaurant all along a wooden boardwalk. One of the few places that sells prickly pear ice cream.

Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat

Let’s Explore Ghost Towns on the Apache Trail

Wickenburg Arizona Old West Town

True West Magazine ranked Wickenburg in the Top Ten True Western Towns. Wickenburg prides itself in staying true to their old western roots.

They have several annual “western” events including The Gold Rush Days & Rodeo, Bluegrass Festival & Fiddle Championship, and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. If you’re here drive out to see Vulture City. Explore the Old West in Wickenburg...


Old Tucson Studios

Ok, Old Tucson Studios isn’t really an old west town, but it is a cool replica of Tucson in the 1860’s. The studio was originally created in the late 1930’s for movie sets. In the 1960’s it was restored and reopened as both a film studio and a tourist attraction.

Today you can see old movie memorabilia, buildings from movie sets, watch  stuntman shows.

The Tough Too Tough To Die: Tombstone

Tombstone is most famous for the gunfight at OK Corral between the Earp brothers and the McLaury brothers. Tombstone is an old west town that was once booming because of all of the silver in the mines. One of the most haunted places is said to be at the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone. Let’s Explore Tombstone

Tombstone, AZ

The Boom & Bust Town of Clifton

The mining town of Clifton is a cool piece of Arizona boom and bust history. It was once a lively copper mining town, but visiting Clifton now is like taking a step back in time. Let’s Explore Clifton

The following old West Ghost Towns in North Central Arizona.

The “Ghostly” Town of Jerome

Jerome was once known as a bustling rowdy copper mining town. Today it is a tiny vertical town with wonderful views of the Verde Valley. There are museums and many historical buildings to explore.

Jerome’s population dwindled down to as few as 50 people after the mines closed in the early 1950’s. Today it is a popular tourist destination where you can experience the old west mining town and take in the gorgeous views. Find out More Adventures in Jerome...

Prescott Arizona an Old West Town

The oldest rodeo is held annually in Prescott. In addition, if you’re looking to see cowboys and bull riding visit Prescott the week of July 4th to be part of a tradition since 1888. Let’s Explore Prescott

Prescott Arizona downtown
Prescott, Arizona
You can find a few old western Arizona ghost towns in the northern part of the state, including:

An Old Mining Camp-Chloride Ghost Town

Just outside of Kingman and Route 66 is Arizona’s oldest mining town, Chloride. Chloride was a mining town in the late 1800’s. Due to the popularity in mining, more than 5,000 residents called Chloride home at its peak.

More than 50 mines operated around the small town of Chloride producing gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc.

chloride arizona

Visiting today, it is hard to believe this dusty town was once bustling and 2,000 people once called this tiny town home. Today around 250 residents call Chloride home.

The town is considered Arizona’s oldest continuously inhabited mining town. Chloride is considered a living ghost town. You can see the remains of the Santa Fe stagecoach. The post office has been in operation since 1873.

Chloride has a couple of restaurants, some shops and an and an Inn. Re-enacted gunfights can be seen on Saturdays.

Arizona Ghost Towns Route 66

Oatman is a cool town located off the classic Route 66. Wild burros hang out on the wooden boardwalks downtown. If you want a true old west feeling, a trip to Oatman should be on your list. Let’s Explore Oatman

Hackberry, Arizona

A silver mining town from the late 1800’s, Hackberry is a cool historical ghost town is along Arizona’s Route 66.

Take a road trip to see remnants of Arizona’s old west past.

Where are the Cowboys in Arizona?

Are there any Cowboys left?

Visitors often ask, where are the cowboys in Arizona? The best places to see cowboys or cowgirls in Arizona are at bull riding events and horse shows. Wild horses still live here and if you’re lucky you can often see them in the Tonto National Forest or near the Salt River.

Cave Creek and Wickenburg are towns near Phoenix that have definitely retained their old west flair. If you’re wanting to see cowboys or girls in Arizona, we know a few places you may want to check out.

Bull Riding

  • Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek has live bull riding every Wednesday and Friday night.
  • Hogs and Horses in Cave Creek often has Wild West Shows and live bull riding as well.
  • The Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon in New River has live bull riding every Saturday night.

If you want an authentic old western experience, stop by the Hitching Post in Apache Junction. Every Thursday and Saturday night they have live bull riding.

Horse Shows

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is an internationally renowned annual event in Scottsdale. This event has over 25 demonstrations and shows and thousands of Arabian horse lovers converge upon Westworld in February.