Vulture City Ghost Town

Vulture City Ghost Town Logo

Basic Information

Address: 36610 N 355th Avenue Wickenburg, Arizona 85390
Phone Number: 877-425-9229
Director: Robin Moriarty

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Vulture City Ghost Town

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Additional Information

Days and Hours: Open 7 days a week from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Vulture City is a fully restored 19th century mining city with seventeen authentic and fully curated historic buildings including a blacksmith shop, Assay building, post office, gas station, and much more, Still Arizona's largest gold strike in history, Vulture Mine was discovered in 1863 by Henry Wickenburg and quickly grew into one of the largest and most notoriously lawless mining cities of the 19th century American West. Vulture City became as renown for its many stagecoach robberies, hangings and mining accidents as it was for its record-breaking lode between 1863 and 1942 of over 350,000 ounces of gold which today would value at nearly $900,000,000.. Vulture Preservation, a non-profit, organization, has been restoring this rare historic site for over four years and now has 17 authentic 19th century buildings fully curated and open for tour 7 days a week. Vulture City is a "must see" stop for field trip groups of all ages who want to explore Arizona's adventurous gold mining history. .

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Grade Levels:
Group Type: Classroom groups, school clubs, teacher groups
Disabled Access:

Vulture City's historic buildings are all wheelchair accessible and can accommodate most special disability requests.

Program Type:

Our classroom historical tour is designed to create an exciting and interactive experience for students of all ages.  Students explore over sixteen authentic and beautifully restored 19th century buildings and get a taste of Arizona’s adventurous mining history during Vulture’s booming gold rush of 1863-1942.
 Our student historical tour covers many intriguing topics and stories about gold mining in Arizona and Vulture City. Some examples include:

  • How gold was processed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. What kind of

            chemicals were used and why pack animals like donkeys were so
            important in processing gold in the 19th century.

  • Where the average miner lived and how much they earned compared to

           a military officer and other professions.

  • Why Vulture was considered a dangerous city and known for its  

           lawlessness: stagecoach robberies, hangings, mining accidents and even   
           a serial killer as a resident doctor!

  • Vulture City’s growing conflicts with its “sister gold mining city” of

Prescott and its newly elected Constable of 1879, Virgil Earp.  

  • We talk about rocks!  Arizona is the fifth largest gold producer in the                              

            United States, right behind California.  We talk about the minerals of    
            Arizona, with demonstrations of gold panning, lessons on how to identify                             
            gems and minerals, ancient uses, etc.

  • A kid’s daily life in a turn of the century mining town.

Vulture is a substantial gold mine—950+ feet down with over 25 miles of mining tunnels crisscrossing under this single remote city. Students can stand directly over and peer down one of our ominous mineshafts from a viewing platform. They learn about the daily risk of being raised and lowered into a deep treacherous mine for many hours during a shift in hopes of striking it rich.
We can also customize our group tours to focus on specific topics your group is most interested in learning about.

Accreditation: private museum
Admission/Tickets: $5 for students and $10 for adult chaperones for group tours
Registration: Registration is in advance for private group tours with guide
Food: Vulture does not have a restaurant or commercial kitchen but plenty of outdoor and cookhouse seating. Groups are welcome to bring in coolers, pre-made meals, catering, whatever the group chooses in providing meals or snacks. Vulture does have a small snack shack with waters, sodas and chips
Length of Visit: 90 minutes
Student/Staff Ratio: 10/1
Max. Group Number: no maximum
Group Requirements: none
Return Policy: Cancellations due to weather or unforeseen circumstances can be rescheduled
Exhibits: 17 historic 19th century buildings: 1915 gas station, 1920 power building with a 40 ton generator once belonging to a WWI submarine, 1887 post office, 1875 boarding house/brothel, 1910 miners cookhouse, 1864 original home of Henry Wickenburg, hanging tree, plus thousands of artifacts on exhibit.
Freebies: Field trip attendees each receive a custom activity book and souvenir bag with rotating Vulture items.
Gift Shop/Factory Outlet: Small gift shop
Retail Store: not relevant
Amenities: Bathrooms located on both ends of Vulture's 15 acre site. Waters, sodas and chips can be purchased at the check in booth.
Videos/DVDs Shown: no
Reservations Needed: Yes for group tours requiring a tour guide

Vulture City is located 12 miles outside of Wickenburg on Vulture Mine Road and can be reached from downtown Wickenburg or via I-10 South in Buskeye.

Nearby Attractions: Historic Wickenburg, Desert Caballeros Museum
Mission Statement:

Step into history and explore Arizona's adventurous gold mining history at Vulture City, Arizona's largest gold strike and best restored authentic ghost town. 

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Vulture City is committed to preserving Arizona history and the voices of those who came seeking gold and found both adventure and disaster.