Jerome Ghost Town was once known as one of the wickedest towns in America. Today the town is a hub for the arts, music, and culture reminiscent of its incredible history. Located atop Cleopatra Hill, Jerome is the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. There are lots to see and do, and the town has an interesting history to explore.
The mining town attracted miners from afar, giving it a diverse culture and wealth. Prosperity was on the decline by the 1920s, as several fires ravaging the tunnels that ran below the town. The mines of Jerome finally closed in the 1950s, ending the town’s boom, and with it, a steep decline in population. A few old inhabitants and new entrants turned the town around in the 1960s and ’70s and brought the ghost town back to life.
Things to do in Jerome
Jerome State Historic Park
Explore the Jerome State Historic Park and the Douglas Mansion. Get a unique insight into Jerome on your visit to the Jerome State Historic Park, home to the Douglas Mansion. Located on the side of a hill, you get a panoramic view of the Verde Valley, along with the abandoned mining operations around town. The mansion offers a peek into the town’s past through artifacts, photographs, minerals that tell the history of Jerome and the Douglas family. Website.
Jerome Mine Museum
A mining town with a mining past and a Mine Museum takes you into the heart of that past. Include a visit to the museum to get to know about copper mining and the miners who lived and prospered and built their lives here. Photos and exhibits take you through the town’s colorful past. 200 Main Street.
Sliding Jail Jerome
While you’re about it, make sure you check out the Sliding Jail. A building that actually slid 200 feet from where it was built thanks to blasts from the mines below caused the shift. Today the jail is held in place by a retaining wall. The sliding jail is just one of the many interesting abandoned buildings in town. You can find the jail just below the parking lot on Hull Street.
Jerome Ghost Town Tours
Take your pick from the town’s history tours or ghost tours. Several tour companies offer plenty of options to choose from, depending on group size, interests, age groups, and duration of tours. While the history tour takes you through the town’s mining past, ghost tours will rattle you up with sights, sounds, and tales of the town’s haunted past. An absolute must-do while you are in Jerome. Website.
Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town
Located about 3/4 miles north of Jerome, the Gold King Mine is a tourist attraction situated on an 1880s mining camp called Haynes. Today the location is similar to Nevada’s Techatticup Mine but not quite as organized. The property is covered with rusty old cars, mining equipment, and a few original buildings. Admission is only a few dollars, and it’s well worth a visit while in town. Address 1000 Perkinsville Rd, Jerome, Arizona. Website.
Where to Eat Jerome
A trip to the Jerome is incomplete without trying out the town’s famous watering holes. The Spirit Room is a must-visit with its rustic charm and great live music. Wicked City is great for a cold beer on a hot summer day. Within the Jerome Grand Hotel, the Asylum Restaurant is a sure hit for lunch or dinner and stunning views. For casual fare, try out Haunted Hamburgers, and for great barbecue, head to the English Kitchen- Bobby D’s BBQ.
Best stay options
The town offers a couple of quaint options to stay for the weekend (or longer). Most of the inns or hotels are ancient buildings now converted into accommodation. Popular options include the Jerome Grand Hotel, Mile High Inn, Surgeon’s House, Ghost City Inn, and Connor Hotel.
Getting To Jerome Ghost Town
Jerome Ghost Town is located in central Arizona at an elevation of 5,000 feet. It is about a one-hour drive from Flagstaff and about a two-hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona. The main road through town is Arizona State Route 89A.
The Tuzigoot National Monument and the Verde Canyon Railroad can be found in Clarkdale, Arizona, which is only a 15-minute drive from town. Clarkdale also has a good selection of restaurants and hotels.