Rhyolite, Bullfrog, Leadville & Titus Canyon
Saturday, April 5
By Marian Johns
Nine vehicles left the Longstreet casino about 8:00 a.m. and headed for Beatty, Nevada where we topped off our gas tanks. The next stop was the ghost town of Rhyolite. But instead of taking the “regular” route, Craig Baker suggested we take the railroad berm into town – which we did. This way, the first building we encountered was the train station which seems to be one of the better preserved buildings. One of the other well-maintained structures is the bottle house, once the residence of Mr. Kelly who used 30,000 bottles to construct a most unusual home. After exploring Rhyolite on our own for a short time, we continued on a short way to Bullfrog. There’s not much left of this ghost town to see, but we did stop at the cemetery to read some of the headstones of departed souls who rest in peace here.
Next, we drove just a short distance west on Hwy. 374 and took the side road off toward Leadville and Titus Canyon. What magnificent views! Last time I drove this road was about 30 years ago and I had forgotten just how beautiful it is. At the site of Leadville, which is within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park, we took a lunch break while enjoying the view of the remaining buildings. Craig should have been the leader of this trip because he certainly knows a lot more about this area than I do. He pointed out a hundred year old bridge that we drove across, and he also mentioned some petroglyphs right beside the road; we stopped to see these too. The lower part of Titus Canyon is spectacular. It is so narrow that the road is one-way only.
Once we emerged from the canyon, several people opted to hike over to Fall Canyon, while the rest of us returned to Longstreet’s on our own – at our own pace. Neal and I took a few minutes to check out the Death Valley Visitor’s Center which is worth a stop.
(see the photos taken by Marian Johns)