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ghost town lake mead

Located in the Clark County of the state of Nevada, St.​ Thomas is a famous ghost town situated near the confluence of the Muddy River and the Colorado River.​ This once-thriving town was purchased by the US Federal Government and abandoned as the waters of Lake Mead submerged the area in the 1930s.​ St.​ Thomas is now known as a popular tourist attraction due to its intriguing history and underwater ruins.​

The History of St.​ Thomas

The town of St.​ Thomas was founded on January 8, 1865, by Mormon settlers.​ After its establishment, it flourished as a stopping point between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City along the Arrowhead Trail. St.​ Thomas was a significant Mormon settlement in the area, and it became home to the Ancestral Puebloans and Basket-Makers settlements before the arrival of European settlers.​ The town thrived until it was evacuated due to the construction of the Hoover Dam and the subsequent rise of Lake Mead.​

The Submersion and Resurfacing of St.​ Thomas

In the 1930s٫ the construction of the Hoover Dam resulted in the inundation of St.​ Thomas as the waters of Lake Mead began to fill.​ The town was abandoned and submerged beneath the lake٫ becoming a hidden relic of the past for many years.​ However٫ due to the fluctuating water levels in Lake Mead٫ the ruins of St.​ Thomas resurfaced in the 2000s٫ attracting attention and curiosity from visitors.​

Visiting St.​ Thomas

Today, St.​ Thomas is located within the boundaries of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.​ Visitors can explore the ghost town and witness the remains of the once-flourishing community that existed more than a century ago.​ The site can be accessed via Old St.​ Thomas Road in Moapa Valley, Nevada, which is approximately 65 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and the Valley of Fire Highway.​

Entry Requirements and Facilities

Visiting the St. Thomas ghost town does not require an entry fee as it is located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. However, visitors should be aware that there are limited facilities on-site.​ The Lake Mead National Recreation Area provides vault toilets at Stewarts Point and St.​ Thomas for visitor convenience.​

The Lost City and Other Attractions

The submerged ruins of St.​ Thomas are not the only attraction in the vicinity.​ The Lost City, also known as the Pueblo Grande de Nevada, is another archaeological site located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.​ Discovered in 1924 by John and Fay Perkins, this ancient city was inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans and Basket-Makers.​ It has captivated the imagination of Nevada and has become a popular tourist spot.​


The ghost town of St.​ Thomas is a fascinating historical site, submerged and resurfaced by the waters of Lake Mead. As a former Mormon settlement and an important stop along the Arrowhead Trail, it carries a rich history that attracts visitors from far and wide.​ Whether it is the submerged ruins of St.​ Thomas or the nearby Lost City, exploring these sites offers a unique glimpse into the past and an opportunity to appreciate the resilience and spirit of the people who once called this place home.​