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Exploring the Ghost Towns near Palm Springs

When you think of Palm Springs, images of luxury resorts and golf courses may come to mind.​ However, hidden in the deserts surrounding the bustling city are several ghost towns that tell a different story.​ These once vibrant settlements are now abandoned, serving as eerie reminders of the past.​ Let’s take a closer look at some of the ghost towns near Palm Springs.​

Calico Ghost Town

Located in the Mojave Desert, Calico Ghost Town is a well-preserved mining town that dates back to the late 1800s.​ Once a bustling community during the silver-mining boom, Calico now stands as a testament to California’s mining history.​ Visitors can explore the town and learn about its past through the Lane House and Museum, which provides insight into the area’s natural history and the former Calico Mining District.

Aside from the historical attractions, Calico Ghost Town offers shops, restaurants, camping facilities, and outdoor recreation opportunities.​ The town also boasts unique architectural features, such as rammed earth buildings and wooden sidewalks, adding to its charm and authenticity.​

Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain, another noteworthy ghost town near Palm Springs, once thrived as a quintessential American mining town. Although it is now abandoned, remnants of its past glory can still be seen.​ Visitors can explore the deserted streets and imagine the bustling activity that once filled the area.​

Salton City

Just a short drive from Palm Springs lies Salton City, a once-proposed luxury resort city that now sits abandoned.​ This ghost town presents a post-apocalyptic landscape, an eerie contrast to the nearby golfing resort town of Palm Springs.​ Despite its abandonment, Salton City retains an air of intrigue and curiosity for those who dare to explore it.


For those willing to venture outside of Palm Springs, Rhyolite is well worth a visit.​ Located on the eastern entrance to Death Valley, this deserted ghost town offers a glimpse into its heyday as a gold rush town.​ Visitors can explore the remnants of saloons, restaurants, and a boarding house, providing a fascinating look into life during the mining era.​

Exploring the Ghost Towns

When visiting these ghost towns, it is essential to remember to respect the historical significance of the sites.​ Leave everything as you found it and do not disturb any artifacts or structures.​ Additionally, be aware that some ghost towns may require admission fees, and visiting during the hot summer months might not be advisable due to the desert heat.​


The ghost towns near Palm Springs offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the remnants of California’s mining history.​ From the well-preserved Calico Ghost Town to the post-apocalyptic landscape of Salton City, each ghost town has its own story to tell.​ So, if you’re looking for an adventure off the beaten path, take a trip to one of these ghost towns and experience a slice of California’s past.​