Last weekend called for a mini-vacation to beautiful San Diego and on the way there, we made a stop at the Castle Dome City/Landing Ghost Town just outside of Yuma. (Post is extremely picture heavy)
Castle Dome is isolated enough that it stays off the radar for most people. Getting there requires traversing a dirt road, which was passable for my little sedan. After 10-ish miles of wondering if we were going the right way, we arrived at the once-thriving ghost town nestled near the base of mountains.
Castle Dome dates back to the 1860’s, however, mining has been there longer than that. The mines date back to the 1660’s when the conquistadors worked the mines however, hostilities in the area led them to abandon the mines. The mines were rediscovered 200 years later and by the 1880’s, the population reached over 3,000. The mines continued to operate until 1979, giving it the claim to fame that they were the longest working mines in Arizona.
Today, Castle Dome is split into two sections: the ghost town & the mining district. The ghost town is a conglomeration of buildings packed to the brim with period artifacts –about 70% were originally from Castle Dome. The amount of artifacts on display is overwhelming, thousands of artifacts that were abandoned –including the oldest pair of Levi’s supposedly now worth $40,000. From the state of them, it looks like the conquistadors left them behind!! Most of the buildings in the ghost town are not in their original site, rather they’ve been moved to replicate what a ghost town would have looked like. The other section of Castle Dome, the mining district, consists of a 3-mile loop in which you can view the original mines, graves, and several buildings.
This is the ghost town section.
Adam’s cabin: he was the last miner to live and mine in Castle Dome.
Mr. Adam’s possessions… and Mr. Adams himself!
A peek into one of the smaller mines, 16 feet deep. There are over 300 major mines around Castle Dome.
This entire building has signatures all over the wall. Each signature is for or from an active duty/veteran/retiree of the military.
During both world wars, the mine prospered when they produced lead for the ammunition factories. During WWII, miners extracted 4.08 million kilograms (9 million pounds) of lead ore, making Castle Dome a huge wartime producer.
Mine we were allowed to enter.
Proper mining attire, obviously.
There were quite a few saloons in this town… surprise, surprise.
This looks like the result of when husband tries to use the oven.
Silver bricks; Castle Dome houses the world’s largest silver brick, weighing in at 114 kilograms.
Quaint little chapel, which I have read still hosts weddings.
Jail: don’t worry, he’s not okay.
I smell a cheat! Or maybe that’s just gas…
This is what happens to trespassers.
A 3-mile loop through the mine district.
Someone is still bunking at Johnny’s Bunkhouse!
Baths were probably as precious a commodity as silver.
Found myself a new man. Sorry husband!
Castle Dome City Ghost Town Overview
- Address: 27550 East County 15th Street North Sr4, Yuma, AZ
- Fees: $10
- Hours: Daily 10am – 5pm
- Things to note:
- The road to Castle Dome is a dirt road that runs along a nature reserve. It’s manageable in a low-clearance during dry season.
- There are A LOT of artifacts here; allow at minimum 1 hour for visit.
- Pets allowed: No
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