Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Castle Dome Mountains were the scene of extensive mining activities from the 1860s through the 1970s. Silver, lead, gold, copper, and zinc were mined in large amounts here, and the population of Castle Dome City reached 3,000 in the early 20th century.

What remains at this site today are the remnants of several mines, over 40 buildings, and a wealth of artifacts from the mining era. Some buildings are in their original location, and many others were moved here to save them from destruction when the nearby wildlife refuge was created. This is more of a museum than an actual ghost town, but the wealth of period artifacts, the authentic mining environment, and the beautiful desert setting at the foot of the Castle Dome Mountains make this a worthwhile trip.

The road is well-marked and in good condition, though the last 3 miles of the 10-mile gravel road gets somewhat rough. A standard passenger car should have no trouble. The museum is divided into two sections, each with a separate parking area.  The ghost town consists of about 30 buildings clustered together with wood or gravel paths connecting them. The mining area has about 10 buildings, several mine shafts, and in-place pieces of mining equipment. It is accessed via a 0.5-mile loop trail on well-marked gravel paths. Neither area seems wheelchair-friendly. About three hours should be allocated to adequately tour the site.

The museum is located within the 655,000 acre Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, which is nearly the size of Yosemite National Park. This vast refuge encompasses two mountain ranges and offers extensive opportunities for hiking and backcountry camping.

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Other

Pros

Stunning desert scenery. Many historic artifacts.

Cons

Rough road. Very hot in summer. Limited or no food available on site.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Big vistas
Mine

Location

Field Guide

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