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Review Highlights

The ghost town of Ballarat (named after a famous Australian mining district) lies just off the... read more

Reviewed October 15, 2018
Cary L
San Diego, California
The town caretaker makes this side trip worthwhile

There really isn't that much to see here any more apart from a handful of dilapidated buildings... read more

Reviewed October 9, 2018
Sheffield, United Kingdom
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  • Excellent17%
  • Very good29%
  • Average32%
  • Poor12%
  • Terrible10%
Travellers talk about
“general store”(7 reviews)
“barker ranch”(4 reviews)
“death valley”(13 reviews)
This town was once a supply town for mines in the region and is a good stop during a driving tour of the valley.
Death Valley National Park, CA
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All reviews general store barker ranch death valley the main road worth a stop caretaker jail cemetery mining tex stories desert tourists rock restrooms degrees
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1 - 10 of 52 reviews
Reviewed October 15, 2018

The ghost town of Ballarat (named after a famous Australian mining district) lies just off the highway west of Death Valley, in the Amargosa Valley, so is easily accessible. It was a supply and "entertainment" place serving mining communities in the nearby mountains. Just a...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Reviewed October 9, 2018

There really isn't that much to see here any more apart from a handful of dilapidated buildings (the Jail being the most interesting and in best repair), but the 3.8 mile drive along the rough road is well worth it to meet and speak with...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Reviewed May 24, 2018 via mobile

If you want quirky and desert and mining and ghost town AND a flush toilet, mind you, then Ballarat is the place to be. Tourists have been descending on Death Valley for decades, for generations...and this is why! Most of these places and characters are...More

Date of experience: May 2018
Reviewed May 2, 2018

The 'Town' is just some bits of structures and machines. The visitor centre, really a shack with assorted items, is worth a visit and the small voluntary donation just for the stories. The guy living there (assuming he was not an apparition) has enormous character...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Reviewed March 8, 2018

There is not much to see any more at Ballarat. There is a couple of old buildings and a few old pieces of equipment around. The store is interesting to see and was open but we did not find anybody around. There are not any...More

Date of experience: February 2018
Reviewed February 14, 2018

I'd driven past Ballarat many times but this was my first time stopping there. As noted in guide books, there's not much left of the town other than a couple of small buildings in various states of decay, and a truck that belonged to Tex...More

Date of experience: February 2018
Reviewed October 29, 2017

...but the "general store" was not open on our visit. I'd heard the proprietor/caretaker had great intel on the local 4WD roads and the history of the place, but although there were definitely people at the nearby compound, they apparently weren't receiving visitors. Guess them's...More

Date of experience: October 2017
Reviewed June 22, 2017

This ghost town is off the road on your way to Death Valley. It's a dirt road but accessible with any vehicle. My husband and I visited it in the middle of the day. And yes, it was hot. There are several buildings in their...More

Date of experience: June 2017
Reviewed April 30, 2017

This old town has great character. The proprietor Roger has great stories and suggestions to all visitors. He's a wealth of information. The town is full of rustic buildings and lots to see.

Date of experience: April 2017
Reviewed April 10, 2017

It seemed like a good idea, but on the day we went, we were the only visitors, it was hot and dry, and when we got there, a couple barking, seemingly unfriendly dogs greeted us, so we had to see what we could by car,...More

Date of experience: April 2017
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Questions & Answers
December 11, 2017
Response from Ash L
As a resident of the Ballarat in Australia, its interesting I only just now found out about this place. If you knew how boring and plain and backward our Ballarat is, you'd be laughing along with me to think anything in the... More
Dave W
February 20, 2017
Show all 2 answers
Response from FraserS106 | Reviewed this property
No need to use the 4x4 unless it rains and since it's in the middle of the desert thats unlikely. I trekked all around the area and also free camped in nearby Trona Tufas (sic?).