Weird and Wonderful Techatticup Mine – Eldorado Canyon, Nevada

by Shelly Rivoli
lantern glowing in Techatticup gold mine in Nevada

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.

vintage Texaco sign on Nevada Highway 165

The vintage Texaco sign greeting visitors to Techatticup Mine on Highway 165. ©Shelly Rivoli


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 Werlys in the gift shop at Techatticup Mine

The Werleys, co-owners of Techatticup Mine, inside their gift shop. ©Shelly Rivoli

Alien babies or fetuses in jars

“Alien baby” props used in filming at Techatticup Mine. ©Shelly Rivoli


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.

mining tour entrance at Techatticup Mine

Entrance to Techatticup Mine at Eldorado Canyon, Nevada. ©Shelly Rivoli

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.

mining tunnel in Nevada

Touring inside Techatticup gold and silver mining tunnels in southern Nevada. ©Shelly Rivoli

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).

old pickup truck at Techatticup Mine

Mater’s inspiration? One of many old vehicles with character at Techatticup Mine. ©Shelly Rivoli

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All photos ©Shelly Rivoli and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and Digimarc.

Techatticup Mine ghost town in Nevada

Weird and wonderful Techatticup Mine, Eldorado Canyon, Nevada.

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