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Welcome!

This site presents a view into the State of Nevada's mining past, as well as a view of its present day rugged beauty. Since eighty six percent of the state is government owned property, mainly controlled by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a large portion of Nevada is vast unpopulated expanses of desert and mountains. Although one can drive what seems to be endless miles and see nothing but sparse desert and barren mountains, there is scenic beauty if one looks closely and appreciates the beauty of the desert.
Did you know that Nevada has more mountain ranges (314) than any state in the United States? Nevada also has the most hot springs of any state (312), with geo thermal activity bubbling under its desert crust in every county. These hot springs range from comfortably warm spa-like to lobster boiling hot.

I am a retired naval officer and photographer that primarily specializes in photographing old ghost towns, mining camps, and southwest desert scenery. This site is a sampling of my photos.

Nevada has over 600 ghost towns and mining camps, many of which little remains but a few concrete slabs and crumbling rock walls. A few are still inhabited and classified as "living ghost towns." As the ore veins played out, and because of the scarcity of wood, many of the mining camps and town sites were dismantled and moved to the next discovery, leaving behind in some cases no visible remaining site markings. Unfortunately, many have also been dismantled by scavengers and destroyed by vandals. The state is pockmarked with thousands of old mines (estimated to be over 500,000), with an ongoing program by the BLM to seal them up. Some ghost towns are located within the Nellis Air Force Range and are inaccessible. Some are located on private land and can only be accessed by special permission, or not at all. With the rising prices for gold and silver, an increasing number of these sites are being fenced and posted "No Trespassing" and some are renewing mining activities.

To date, I have explored and photographed over a 150 of Nevada's ghost towns and mining camps, and have an ongoing list of around 150 more to visit. I have also explored and photographed a few of the ghost towns and old mines in California and Arizona, as well as photographed the desert scenery throughout our great southwest. I hope you enjoy your visit to my web site. If you could leave a comment in my guest book after your visit, it would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in purchasing a print, print on canvas, framed print, coffee mug, calendar, T-shirt, or other merchandise with one of my prints on it, please visit my on-line photo gallery at WarrenWillisPhotography.com.

UPDATE: I have put off my exploring Nevada for the past two years while developing a rural off-grid 20-acre property in Utah. The wife and I just recently sold our residence in Las Vegas NV, and are now settling in on the new Utah property. If you're interested in what the acreage looks like and what has all been done to get it ready for habitation, click on this link: New Utah Digs.

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Warren Willis Sr.
Southwest Utah
SilverStateGhostTowns.com
WarrenWillisPhotography.com


 

SlideShows

NEVADA - OFF THE BEATEN PATH. There are plenty of publications that show the typical touristy photos of Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Hoover Dam, etc., but there are very few, if any, that show the less-traveled back roads of Nevada, like my slide show Nevada - Off The Beaten Path.

To view a sampling of the photos that I have taken traveling the less-traveled paved and dirt back roads of Nevada, click on the graphic on the left.

NEVADA - 38 OF MY FAVORITE PHOTOS. This is a slide show comprised of 38 of my favorite photos of Nevada, with an excellent soundtrack by Duane Eddy.

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left.

Cabins&Homesteads

OLD CABINS & HOMESTEADS. This is a slide show comprised of several photos of old cabins and homesteads that I have taken throughout Nevada, with a sprinkling from California and Arizona.

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left.

DESERT BONEYARDS. This is a slide show comprised of several photos of old abandoned vehicles presented in an art/vintage format. They were all taken throughout my many desert explorations in Nevada, Arizona, and California.

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left.

HISTORIC NEVADA. This is a slide show comprised of 86 photos (in alphabetical order) of old ghost towns and mining camps that I have taken throughout Nevada. They have been redone in old sepia, or B/W format to give them a vintage look.

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left.

NEVADA GHOST TOWN SAMPLER. This is a sampler of 60 old ghost towns and mining camps of the 110+ that I have explored to date. To view more photos of ghost towns, refer to the Ghost Towns Section of my web site.

To view a sampling of these photos, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Nevada Ghost Towns.

NEVADA'S FAUNA & FLORA. This slide show is a small collection of some of the photos I have taken of Nevada's wildlife and wild flowers.

To view a sampling of these photos, click on the graphic on the left.

NEVADA'S OLD CEMETERIES. This is a sampler of 33 old cemeteries that I have visited and photographed in Nevada.

To view a sampling of these photos, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Nevada Cemeteries.

BODIE GHOST TOWN. This is my Bodie Ghost Town slide show redone in the old style sepia format. To view more photos of Bodie, and in color, refer to the Ghost Towns Section of my web site.

To view a sampling of these photos, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Bodie Ghost Town.

AMERICA'S SOUTHWEST. I also like to take nature and landscape photos of the deserts and mountains of America's Southwest.

To view a sampling of these photos, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Desert Scenery.

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK. I have spent the past couple of springs and winters exploring Death Valley National Park.

To view a sampling of these photos, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Death Valley National Park.

NORTHERN NEVADA RAILWAY. I recently attended the 2011 Nevada Northern Railway Historical Operating Railroad Museum's winter photo shoot in Ely, NV. This is a slide show depicting some of the photos I took.

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Northern Nevada Railway, Ely.

ALASKA. The wife and I recently took a 19-day vacation to Alaska and the Yukon Territory. This slide show is a sampling of some of the photos I took.

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Mountains, Lakes & Streams.

hawaii

HAWAII. Vacation photos of three different Hawaii vacations on the island of Kauai (2012), Oahu (2010), and the Big Island (2008).

To view the slide show, click on the graphic on the left. To view my Gallery photos click on Hawaii.

To view more slide shows and photos click on the "Ghost Towns," "Old Mines," or "Desert Scenery" link banners at top of this page.

 

PrintPriceList

Logo

Purchase a print, print-on-canvas, framed print, mug, mousepad, T-Shirt, calendar, or other merchandise, click on button (right) to visit my online Photo Gallery. If the print you want is not listed there, let me know which one you are interested in and I will add it to the gallery.

Vehicle

Vehicle-1

Vehicle2
ARB Roof Tent, Engel refrigerator, Kanz Field Pantry w/drop down table, and emergency
gear storage drawer.

RiverCrossing

Ingomar&MilfordMine2

My 4WD 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trails Team Edition w/rear lockers and TRD exhaust, gets me to where I want to go. My sleeping accommodations are up on top, an ARB fold-out roof tent mounted on an ARB roof rack.   The roof tent has survived 35-40 mph wind gusts, so it is pretty durable - it goes up in about 10 minutes, and stows away in about 15-20 minutes. The FJ Cruiser build includes a 3-inch Pro-Comp lift kit, Pro-Comp wheels w/33-inch Nitto mud grapplers, a 19-gal MAF auxiliary fuel tank, Metal-Tech rock sliders, PRP/Metal-Tech suspension front seats, an ARB front bumper w/9,000 lb Warn winch, Dual Optima battery system, Bushwhacker fender flares, and a Safari snorkel to supply the engine with clean and cool air above the dirt cloud I generate traveling down these dirt roads.   In addition, I carry a Kanz Field Pantry box, and a 35-QT 12-volt Engel refrigerator for carrying my perishables. In my emergency gear storage drawer, I carry a lot of emergency vehicle rescue equipment and emergency food rations. And, since most of my exploration activity occurs in the desert, I also carry 5-6 gallons of water with me. I also carry an eco-friendly PETT toilet, with portable enclosure.

REF

Just so you know, I very rarely give out directions to many of these sites that I have visited. My reasoning is that so many of these sites have been trashed and vandalized, that I have decided to restrict giving out specific directions, unless I really know the individual who is requesting the information. Besides, I have had to find these places on my own, sometimes making several trips in my attempt to find the right road, so you should be able to find them too. I leave these sites as I found them; I am only there to photograph them. I leave no physical evidence or trash behind.

Below is a listing of the primary reference material that I use in researching these sites. All of these references, plus many more, are listed and available for purchase in my BOOK STORE section of this web site.

For navigation equipment, I carry a hand-held Garmin Oregon 550t GPS unit. For communications equipment, I carry a satellite personal locater called a SPOT Messenger device that sends an okay (or emergency) message (with GPS coordinates) to loved ones (or 911 emergency units) – that way they can track my movements as well as communicating to them if I am okay or not. I also use the DeLorme Topo USA 8.0 software to print out maps with GPS coordinates prior to each trip.

Atlases

DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer for Nevada
Nevada Road & Recreation [Bench Mark Maps]

Books

Nevada Ghost Towns & Mining Camps - By Stanley Paher
Nevada Ghost Towns & Desert Atlas Vol 2 (two versions) - By Stanley Paher
Nevada Ghost Towns & Mining Camps Atlas (two versions) - By Stanley Paher
Nevada Ghost Towns & Mining Camps Illustrated Atlas - By Stanley Paher
Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California - Vol I, II and III - By David Myrick
Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Southern Nevada - By Shawn Hall
Old Heart of Nevada, Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Elko County Nevada - By Shawn Hall
Preserving the Glory Days, Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Nye County Nevada - By Shawn Hall
Romancing Nevada's Past, Ghost Towns and Historic Sites of Eureka, Lander, and White Pine Counties - By Shawn Hall
Connecting the West, Historic Railroad Stops and Stage Stations in Elko County Nevada - By Shawn Hall
Boom Town History - By Jean Johnson
Mining Districts and Mineral Resources of Nevada - By Francis Church Lincoln
Mines of Goldfield, Bullfrog, and other Southern Nevada Districts - By R.L. Ransome
Mines of Cherry Creek, Ely Range and other Eastern Nevada Districts - By J.M. Hill
Mines of Humbolt and Pershing Counties - By William O. Vanderburg
Mines of Lander and Eureka Counties - By William O. Vanderburg
Mines of Churchill and Mineral Counties - By William O. Vanderburg
Geology and Ore Deposits of the Goodsprings Quadrangle, Nevada - D.F. Hewett
Drills and Mills - By Will Meyerriecks
Nevada Post Offices, an Illustrated History - By James Gamett and Stanley Paher

This site will always be "Under Construction" as I add more photos after I explore new historic sites. Please check back often, to see what's been added.

These slide shows are primarily divided into the following major topics [from menu bar under welcome banner - top of page]:

Ghost Towns
Old Mines and Trails
Desert Scenery & Wildlife

Also presented, will be various slide shows of side trips to neighboring states [i.e., Utah, Arizona, California, etc.].

Now, sit back and enjoy your trip through the past and present of the great state of Nevada. Enjoy the slide shows and web pages.

Books

If you are interested in visiting these places yourself, my "Book Store" section has many of the books and references that I personally use, available for your purchase. [Click Here]

PublishedBooks

If you are interested in purchasing my books "NEVADA Back Roads" and "America's Southwest in Black & White, with a dash of color" a preview for each is provided below.

Book 1: "NEVADA Back Roads" consists of 82 total pages with a 184 photographs of ghost towns, old cemeteries, mills, mines, old cars, petroglyphs, desert scenery, Great Basin National Park, wildflowers, and wildlife.

Book 2: "America's Southwest in Black & White, with a dash of color" consists of 92 photos I have taken throughout my travels in the southwest over the past 2-3 years - these photos have been shown in black and white photography with just a dash of color.

To preview books, click on the links below. NOTE: these previews are large files and may take a while to load.

Book1
Book #1 - Nevada Back Roads

Book2
Book #2 - America's Southwest In Black & White

 

Nevada

NAME: Adopted in 1861. From Spanish meaning snow-capped.

FIRST SETTLEMENT: 1851 - In dispute.
Genoa - settled by Mormons, then called Mormon Station in Utah territory.
Dayton - settled by miners & traders, then called Gold Canyon in Utah Territory.

STATE MOTTO: "All For Our Country."

STATE BIRD: Mountain Bluebird

STATE ANIMAL: Desert Bighorn Sheep

STATE REPTILE: The Desert Tortoise

STATE FLOWER: Sagebrush

STATE INSECT: The Vivid Dancer Damselfly

STATE TREE: Single-Leaf Pinon & Bristlecone Pine

STATE PRECIOUS GEMSTONE: Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal

STATE SONG: "Home Means Nevada."

STATE CAPITAL: Carson City [1864]

STATE NICKNAMES: Battle-Born State, Sagebrush State, Silver State.

POPULATION: 1,998,257 [2000 Census]

AREA: 110,540 Sq. Miles. Seventh largest state. 86.1% of area is U.S. Government owned.

Gold

If Nevada were a country, its gold production would rank fourth in the world behind China, South Africa and Australia. Nevada produces 80% of the gold produced in the USA.

Silver

In 2006, Nevada was America's second largest producer of silver, after Alaska, and its mines also produced large quantities of copper, lead, lithium, zinc, mercury, barite, and tungsten.

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