Nevada Ghost Town Photo Workshop – Tonopah and Goldfield NV – May 2020

In December 2019, I signed up for two workshops with Jeff Sullivan Photography. Little did we know what 2020 held for us. The COVID-19 closures and sheltering were starting to let up before the Memorial day weekend. We managed to pull off this workshop as we were not going into any parks. These were small towns we were visiting with limited services under normal circumstances, but we did managed to have a good workshop.

I drove from San Diego and stayed in Beatty NV the first night. I drove through Death Valley National Park, but all the pull outs and sites were closed. I did manage to see the Little Dumont Dunes RV area completely empty and the only foot prints on the dunes were my own.

I caught some rain as I got into Nevada, but as I got to Beatty things started to clear up. I went out to the ghost town Rhyolite.

The workshop started in the afternoon the next day. I had most of the day to make it to Tonopah. I wanted to check out Death Valley to see what it looked like with no one around as I had planned to come back that way and shoot the park. It was an interesting drive and all the major sites were barricaded so you couldn’t get in.

We shot the Milky Way that evening using a World War II airplane hanger for a foreground. The next morning we went out to the town of Belmont and shot some mining sites and a stage coach station. We came back out through the town of Manhattan.

Goldfield and Gold Point was the next destination. We stayed in Goldfield two nights. We got access to the old high school building during the day. We were out shooting the Milky Way again. The first night was way too windy for me so I called it an early night. The second night was much better weather wise. We shot the International Car Forest and the head frame over a mine shaft.

The final morning we drove around Goldfield a little and shot some of the old cars and trucks that people had on display. I headed home from there and stopped in Las Vegas to visit the Neon Museum.

This was Sunday of the Memorial day weekend. As most things were closed and I didn’t really want to fight holiday traffic (even though it might be light) through the Cajon pass I decided to come home early. On the way out I had seen an abandoned water park outside Barstow and decided to see if it was accessible. I was not the only that had the same idea. There was a group of kids playing laser tag in the buildings and various groups of people just photographing the place.

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