JoDo Chasing Rainbows

St. Thomas, Nevada

Within the boundaries of Lake Mead Recreation Area is the remains of St. Thomas. Mormon settlers created the town in the 1860s. This town sat on the banks of the Colorado River. This town was purchased by the federal government in the 1930s to create Lake Mead due to the construction of Hoover Dam. When the water levels are low, this ghost town emerges from its watery depths. The town has been visible a few times since Hoover Dam has been finished. Former residents have reunions when the town is uncovered. It has been uncovered since 2012. NPS has added signage so that when you enter the area you can know how the town looked and who owned which property.

Be careful. There are wild burros everywhere. I caught a photo of one but the rest we could hear but never saw. There is lots of burro and horse poop. The trail is unmaintained. However, it is so worth the trip to the town. This is in the northern part of Lake Mead. There is a dirt road that is well maintained but go slow if you are in a regular car.

We walked into the valley and started to think about all the water that would have been here. It is estimated that when there is a full pool this town would be covered with 72 feet of water.

We made it to the town. It’s a few miles from the top of the trail to the town.

We ended up spending about 30 minutes in town. We could see a storm coming in. We knew that a storm was predicted for late afternoon. We hightailed back to our car. We had made it back to hard pavement before the heavens opened up. My favorite story from this area is that one gentleman did not want to sell his home. He did not leave until the water reached his cabin. He then set it on fire and left by boat.

This location is near the Valley of Fire State Park. We did both places in the same day. If you are visiting Las Vegas for a short period of time both of these can be done in one day easily.

What is your favorite ghost town? This definitely makes my top 5.


Valley of the Fire State Park

We visited Nevada’s first state park in early March 2020. This is a very beautiful park. I was struck by the beauty of the rocks. There are so many colors. Let’s dive in. We came into the park via I-15. It is a good ride off the highway. You are not lost. Keep going, it is worth it.

The first place in the park where we stopped was the beehive area. The erosion of those rocks make them look like beehives. It was amazingly beautiful (let’s see how many ways I can say this during this blog).

We hiked in the White Dome area. This is not a long hike but you get to see rainbow rocks, go through a slotted canyon and climb on some rocks. It was so much fun.

Capping off driving down the road to White Dome was a gathering of big horn sheep that crossed the road in front of us. It was amazing.

If you are visiting Las Vegas, this is about a 2 hour drive from the strip. This place is so awe inspiring that I would definitely make the drive. This park also has petroglyphs. There are petrified logs. This parks has everything that is a must see in the Southwest. We did not stop to see those because we just did that a few times weeks before. There are plenty of hiking spots. The Visitor Center is in the middle of the park. This is a place we will return.

Have you been? What is your favorite part?