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ArizonaGhost TownsHistorical

Ruby, Arizona’s Best Preserved Ghost Town

Today we finally had the chance to drive south to Ruby, one of the best preserved ghost towns in Arizona!

Ruby is on private property and to explore the town, there is a $12/person fee (cash. Fees go to a non-profit foundation called the Ruby Mines Restoration Project). FYI, if you try to sneak in, you will most likely be sounded out by the happiest dog ever. So don’t be a cheapskate.

old classic truck near Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
The road to Ruby is unpaved and rough. See what happened to this car? Just kidding. A sedan can handle the bumpy roads as long as it doesn’t rain.

Ghost towns always have an aura of creepiness. Out of the list of ghost towns we’ve visited, Ruby if probably one of the creepiest. It’s in the middle of nowhere and the only people we came across (other than the caretaker) were the occasional border patrol agents –who knows who else was out there but there are signs indicating that smuggling and illegal immigrants may be encountered in the area.

Mining started in the 1870’s and peaked in the 1930’s when the population reached about 1,200. It consisted predominantly of camps. The mine closed in 1940 and by 1941, Ruby became a ghost town.

schoolhouse of Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Peeking into the schoolhouse (grades K – 8) before realizing the entrance was in the back.

school room of Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

typewriter found in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
room heater found in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
piano found in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
outhouses of Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Outhouses

giant slide in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
The slide of death.

giant slide in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
No wonder why children didn’t live that long back then.

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Mine pad, warehouse, and assay office.

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Mining equipment in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Mining equipment in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
View of Ruby from atop the mine pad.

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Interior of the assay office.

Mining equipment Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

mine in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Deep ‘open’ shaft that houses up to 150,000 bats. Imagine the guano piling up in there.

mine in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Entrance to the mine is locked to protect the bats. Think I’ll pass on the guano anyway…

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Mineral Lake near Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
White sandy beach of Mineral Lake. This seemed like a mirage –smack dab in the middle of the desert is a lake with a sandy beach. What? As it turns out, it’s not sand, but tailings –processed residue from the ball mill.

Mineral lake near Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Sometimes I get dressed before I’ve had coffee. This morning I thought I was going to be in an 80s workout video. Don’t ask.

jail in Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Jail with a kerosene can blocking the entrance. No nonsense capital punishment?

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
Pfimmer home

Ruby Ghost Town near Arivaca. Arizonas best preserved ghost town. - American Expeditioners http://americanexpeditioners.com/ruby-ghost-town
The mercantile is the site of the infamous Ruby murders. The first incident occurred in the 1920’s when bandits robbed and killed the two owners of the mercantile. The second attack happened 14 months later when again, bandits killed the store’s new owners and robbed the place. The killings led to the largest manhunt in the history of the Southwest.

On that happy note…. we hope you enjoyed our adventure!

Ruby Ghost Town Overview

  • Coordinates: 31°27′40″N, 111°14′15″W
  • Fees: $12/person
  • Hours: Daylight, Thursday – Sunday
  • Terrain: High Clearance Vehicle
  • Usage: Light
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