NELSON, NEVADA: TECHATTICUP MINE – Your kicks might be on Route 66, but your curiosity will surely peak on Highway 165 as you cruise past a series of odd spectacles–beginning with a vintage Texaco sign at the road–just two miles past the town of Nelson, in Nevada’s Eldorado Canyon.
A Most Peculiar Pit Stop
Yes, it’s okay to stop and take a look around (especially inside the gift shop where gemstones, antiques, and cold refreshments await). And if you suddenly feel like your on a movie set, you may be. Parts of the dilapidated and re-invented “ghost town” have been backdrops to sundry TV scenes and movies including 3000 Miles to Graceland, Eye of the Beholder, and Breakdown.
The Wild West’s Notorious Gold and Silver Mine
But what first put this seemingly “middle of nowhere” location on the map is what’s under the ground here–or what was. Back when Las Vegas was little more than a handful of struggling farmers, Techatticup Mine was a booming gold and silver mining operation. In fact, it was the richest mine in Nevada’s history.
The richest and most notorious. During its run between 1861 and 1942, this part of Eldorado Canyon earned a reputation as the most “lawless” part of the west — where even law enforcement officials refused to visit for a time.
Tales of cutthroat claim-jumping and cold-blooded murder still echo through the tunnels today, which you can tour during your visit to Techatticup Mine. (Three one-hour+ mine tours are offered daily, but reservations are required. Call 702-291-0026.)
Planning Your Visit to Techatticup Mine:
Techatticup Mine is a 45-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, and two miles south of the town of Nelson. For more information, visit The Eldorado Canyon Mining Tours website (AKA Techatticup Mine). SEE MORE PHOTOS of Techatticup Mine in my stock photo gallery (digital downloads available).
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All photos ©Shelly Rivoli and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and Digimarc.