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“Quirky but atmospheric.”

Ballarat Ghost Town
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Attraction details
Owner description: This town was once a supply town for mines in the region and is a good stop during a driving tour of the valley.
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 and makes the washboard road in, worthwhile. If weather and conditions suitable take Indian ranch road out.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank oscarEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"general store"
in 7 reviews
"barker ranch"
in 4 reviews
"death valley"
in 13 reviews
"the main road"
in 3 reviews
"worth a stop"
in 2 reviews
"caretaker"
in 11 reviews
"jail"
in 6 reviews
"cemetery"
in 4 reviews
"mining"
in 6 reviews
"tex"
in 2 reviews
"stories"
in 4 reviews
"desert"
in 7 reviews
"tourists"
in 3 reviews
"rock"
in 4 reviews
"restrooms"
in 2 reviews
"degrees"
in 2 reviews
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4 - 8 of 58 reviews

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 restrooms available. The most interesting building was the old jail/motel. The site is about 4 miles off of the main road. There is an RV behind the store and a couple of old vehicles, otherwise not much to see. If you are driving by it is worth a stop just to say you have been there.

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank 707clayg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 Watson of Charles Manson's "family", whose base was nearby in Goler Wash (a few 4WD vehicles headed up that way while I was visiting). But what made Ballarat special was meeting and talking with the town's only full-time resident, Rocky Novak. He runs the small general store, selling mostly beer and soft drinks, plus a few other items. What an interesting character - he's lived there pretty much his whole life and has lots of stories to tell. It would have been fun to stay and talk with him longer. He directed me to a few things in the area to check out. It's not the most interesting ghost town - or near-ghost town - that you'll find, but if you happen to stop by when Rocky is at the general store, it will be a memorable visit for sure.

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank roadtrip_ken_2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 the breaks when your destination is a ghost town!

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank VespagirL55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 last stages of life. One structure is there with a gentleman living there. Not sure what he does there but he is friendly and has some drinks for sale. There are wild burros roaming around who appear friendly but I didn't press my luck in getting to close. It's a short drive off the main road so I suggest you take a moment to visit it. It's history that is fading away in the constant sun and wind.

Date of experience: June 2017
1  Thank Iamvonda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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