Setting up the RV
Starbuck (our trusty motorhome) set anchor in Goldfield, Nevada the first weekend of June (2015) with one dog, three cats, my husband, and me in tow. We stayed about three days in town, but still don’t feel like this was nearly enough time to experience all this place rich in history and culture has to offer.
The town is not lacking in accommodations for your typical RVer. There are five RV parks scattered throughout the town with full hookup sites ranging from 2-30 spaces, some a little over 40 feet long. Cost of sites depends on hookup usage, some costing around $25 a night for full hook-ups. We choose to forgo the luxury of a park and instead dry camped at the one rest stop in Goldfield, located along Interstate 95, about a mile before exiting the town.
Touring the Historical Aspects of Goldfield
Once Nevada’s largest and most influential city, Goldfield was the hub for gold deposits and industry. For those histoy buffs, Goldfield’s Historical Society has put together a comprehensive booklet and map of noteworthy sites and ruins dating back to the early 1900s, when Goldfield earned its namesake. The society’s booklet allows visitor’s to take a self-guided walking or driving tour of the town. Almost 200 sites are mentioned, along with background information regarding significant events that explain the evolution of the town. Trailblazers like investor Charles Schwab, Madison Square Garden manager Tex Richard, and UPS co-founder Jim Casey claim stakes in Goldfield.
Swapping Stories with the Locals
One thing is for sure, Goldfield’s residents don’t hold back when it comes to expressing their knowledge and pride for the town. In fact, every year, on the first weekend of August, residents and visitors come together to celebrate their love of the town during the Goldfield Days Festival. Attendees dress in outfits that match the early 1900s time period when Goldfield was at its peak. Food, music, and booths of various arts and crafts line the streets. The town features a mini parade and old style cannons are fired.
Visit any of the dozen businesses intersecting the 95 to ask for information or site-seeing worthy spots and you won’t be disappointed. Malek and Jody, owners of the ever-expanding antique shop Elite Trading Post, have many profound stories to share about the town. They house a significant amount of literature and artifacts to supplement your Goldfield adventure. Stop by The Hoist House for a beer or two (instead of just asking to use the bathroom) and get another perspective from bar owners Jeremy and Amanda. P.K.’s Radio Museum is another unique addition to the town. He can tell you stories in half a dozen languages! Make sure to wave to the D.J. of the town’s local radio station, KGFN 89.1 FM, as you walk/drive by.
The Artsy Side of Town
Goldfield is home to some out-of-this-world art, beginning with the Car Forest located just outside the main drag of town. This art inspired junk yard yields vehicles of all types, old cars and buses,
buried, standing up in the ground with bizarre images and objects plastered about. Further in town are a few more cars, decorated with similar attributes, no holds barred. Many of the locals shed their creative side. Their art work spans the town in gift shops, on buildings, or sitting outside homes. Their resourcefulness is displayed in the tools and materials used to create. Many of these items are found within and around Goldfield: old broken dishes and rusty containers left behind from the early settlers, vehicle parts, street signs, bits and pieces of metal.
Goldfield has much to offer in the way of Nevada’s Old West Frontier. The sites, residents, and amazing sky are much to behold! A bit of advice: make sure you have plenty of gasoline when you roll into Goldfield. There is no gas station there; however, the locals are very hospitable and will spare a gallon or two to make it to the next town.