Arizona has a long history of mining, for copper, silver and gold. Many of those towns have long since been abandoned, leaving behind ghost towns.
About 30 minutes east of downtown Phoenix is Goldfield.
It too was once a mining town that became abandoned. In the 1980s a man named Bob Schoose bought the land where the town was and built a tourist attraction with faux old west buildings, faux old west people and a number of small business like the saloon and candy shop.
Given many tourists come to Phoenix and don’t want to wander far, but still want to see ‘the west’, Goldfield does a booming business.
You can buy yourself a cowboy hat and a latte, and hang out, then take your hat back to Kansas (or somewhere) and set your hat on a shelf never to be worn again. Anyone who has traveled much has done something like that.
They do have a narrow gauge railroad to take you around the town.
A number of old machines from the mining days are scattered about town.
Much like Tombstone, the town is full of actors. Some of them will, on an hourly basis, have a gunfight on main street. We missed that part, but did see someone carrying faux dynamite.
There are a number of actors who hang out for photos.
The town is set against the beautiful Superstition Mountains.
Ironically if you drive just another 10 miles you reach Canyon Lake, a reservoir in a fantastic setting.
Just beyond Canyon Lake is Tortilla Flats, complete with a restaurant and a couple of other shops. All the tourists must have a car to get to Goldfield – in my opinion they would be far better off driving a bit further to see the true Arizona west, not the romanticized ‘old west’, but to each their own.