Goldfield, Nevada

The town of Goldfield once had almost 20,000 residents, during the height of the gold mining boom, and now it has a couple hundred. The surrounding landscape is a churned up mining area, littered with tailings piles, and remains of equipment and structures, underlain by hundreds of miles of tunnels and adits. Some of the stately turn-of-the-century buildings remain, decayed, abandoned, or in a partially restored state. The Goldfield Hotel, the largest remaining structure in town, was once one of the great hotels of the west. Over the past couple of decades, millions of dollars has been spent in failed attempts to restore the hotel (at one point rooms had even been booked, years in advance, by a Japanese tour group). But even the modern improvements are now decaying. This hotel, and much of the surrounding region, was featured prominently in the existential road movie "Vanishing Point."