Metropolis Ghost Town – Wells, Nevada - Atlas Obscura

Metropolis Ghost Town

Wells, Nevada

An ill-fated attempt to grow wheat in the sagebrush steppe of northeastern Nevada. 

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Metropolis is an unusual Nevada ghost town. The town was developed from an early 20th-century attempt to grow wheat in the sagebrush lands near Wells.

The town had largely dried up by the mid-1930s due to low agricultural prices and conflicts over water rights. In particular, a lawsuit from downstream water users in the Humboldt River drainage blocked using irrigation water from a local creek.

All that remains of the once-bustling town are the ruins of the school and hotel. Otherwise, aside from a few broken artifacts, little has been left standing. The scruffy gray-green shrub prominent across the area is sagebrush, which has grown back all across its original range.

Before Metropolis’s final demise, settlers tried to grow dry-land wheat with no success. 

Know Before You Go

From Wells, Nevada, on Interstate 80 go northwest on N. Metropolis Road, which is the main road on the far (northeast) side of the railroad. About two miles out of town, the road bends to the right and crosses the Humboldt River.


Keep following Metropolis Road generally north to the T-junction, about seven miles, and turn left. Go about three miles to a junction with a graded road coming in from the left. Turn there and follow it about one mile. Metropolis is on the right. The roads should be passable to ordinary passenger cars in dry weather.

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