Outside of Las Vegas in the Eldorado mountains at Eldorado Canyon is a tiny town called Nelson. There’s nothing there but a few modest homes with a population of 37. A treat awaits around the bend on Nevada State Route 165, though. There is a spectacular ghost town and abandoned gold mine. It’s a real life Twilight Zone experience of going back in time to 1861.
The grounds are full of antiques literally everywhere. There is a museum, modest gift shop, and a tour of the gold mine. The owners and staff are friendly, knowledgable about the history of the property, and a whole lot of fun. A person could spend all day looking at all of the items on display from historic photographs, mining equipment, old cars, gas station signage–there’s no way to include everything. As an antique lover (in my bygone sticks and bricks days), amateur photographer, and adventure seeker–Nelson Ghost Town and Techatticup Gold Mine was a treasure trove.
The ghost town and mine often hosts school groups for tours. We were told the rattle snakes (yes, they are real) in the freezer are used to explain the dangers of nature around the town and mine.
This little gem location was also used to shoot an explosion scene in the movie, 3000 Miles to Graceland. It starred Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courtney Cox, Ice T, and others (short video of explosion below) and the remnants of the Navy planes used in the film are still on the grounds:
Below are some black and white photos I used for experimentation. I really need to take some photography classes.
Besides all the lovely antiques and miscellaneous items to make this place fascinating, the star is the historical gold mine. Ten dollars for the tour is a bargain and well worth the money.
I enjoyed our day at the ghost town and the tour of the mine. It has a unique history with so many items worthy to collectors. Surprisingly, none of the antiques are for sale. They are property of the owners and belong right where they are. Frankly, Nelson wouldn’t be the same without all the old gadgets.
When we left Nelson, we continued on SR 165. After six miles of winding road through beautiful mountain views, we were blessed with this lovely view.
Have you visited this gem? What did you think? Would this be a place you are interested in seeing if you’re in the Vegas area?
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that is so cool
It was amazing!
Those shots of the river are stunningly beautiful. Makes me apprehensive for the future, though, when one keeps hearing stories of how little today’s politicians care about the environment except as something to ravage for money …
I’m going to try to enjoy little hidden gems like this while they are still here. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep places like this alive and thriving for generations to come. It’s too beautiful to destroy.
Wasn’t Nelson cool, though? So many photo opportunities!! So many amazing textures from the desert weather.
I can’t thank you enough for suggesting this place. I love, love, loved it. There was so much to see and such unique items and gadgets. The setting could not have been more beautiful.
Oh, I want to visit! Great story. The b/w images really add to it! Haha, rattlesnakes in the freezer.
I know, right?! No snakes for me. Nope. I experimented with the black and white–it was the perfect place for it.
Oh, my, I would love to visit this place. What a treasure, except for those rattlesnakes.
I cannot believe a blue that blue exists in nature. Wow. You do well with your photography. Don’t underestimate your talent.
The view of Nelson’s Point took our breath away. It honestly looked like a movie set–although the time of day and cloud coverage probably had a lot to do with it.
That was a most enjoyable tour. I’m thankful you lag behind for photos.
I think the tour guide was getting a tad irritated, although he still remained very polite. I did have to keep up, though–I didn’t want to get lost in the myriad of tunnels in the mine.
How do you find your interesting places to visit? Do you google for things or do you just stumble on them in your travels? If you want to take some online photography classes, there are a lot to choose from on CreativeLive and I am an affiliate so there is a link on my site…just sayin’ 🙂 I think your pictures are terrific, both color and black and white.
Sometimes, I find things by chance and others require some research. Nelson was recommended by a dear friend (the best man at our wedding) who is also a photographer. I read a lot of RV and travel blogs to get ideas, too. I always, always find that no matter where we are, there is never enough time to see everything interesting in an area. I will check out the CreativeLive. Thanks for the suggestion–you KNOW I’ll use your link!
I will definitely add this to our list for when we get back west. We love old mines and this one looks like a treasure! Great photos too!
It was so much fun–from a visual perspective as well as historically educational. There were many interesting stories surrounding this mine. It also still has gold in it, but it has to be SCUBA’d through caves and small spaces to get.
Nelson’s point is beautiful!
It was gorgeous!