America's Coolest Ghost Towns
Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy
Named for the local silica-rich volcanic rock, this town near Death Valley National Park sprang up in 1905 with the promise of gold—so much promise that a guy named Charles M. Schwab sank a lot of money into the town. Rhyolite had a school, a hospital, and a stock exchange by 1907—as well as a bustling society that included a symphony, Sunday school, and, ahem, lots of prostitutes. Things didn’t pan out so well, literally, and people left within just a few years. Rhyolite became an old-West movie set in the 1920s and is still home to several cool photo-op buildings, including one called the Bottle House, covered with liquor and beer bottles.
Closest Civilization: Death Valley National Park and Beatty, NV.