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Eldorado Canyon and Ghost Town: Day Trips and Tours from Las Vegas

This secluded canyon just outside Las Vegas was once the very epitome of the Wild West. A promised land where gold mining enticed prospectors from far and wide, Eldorado was a hive of lawlessness with shootouts being part of everyday life.

Today the highlight of an Eldorado Canyon day trip is seeing the historic Techatticup Mine and the abandoned prospector settlement. This ghost town is a favorite with photographers and has featured in many movies and magazine shoots.

How to get to Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas?

Located just 44 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Eldorado Canyon makes an easy day trip from the city. The best way to reach the canyon is by car or on a guided tour.

From Las Vegas to Eldorado Canyon by car

It only takes 45 minutes to drive from Las Vegas to Eldorado Canyon. You will need to follow the I515 south out of town, and then pick up the I-11 to Boulder City. From there it is a short journey on the US-95 before turning off to the canyon.

Guided tour to Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas

The easiest way to visit Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas is by taking a guided tour. This type of jaunt removes all the hassle of arranging logistics, especially since you will be picked up from your hotel or pre-arranged meeting point in Las Vegas.

Day trips to Eldorado Canyon last between 3-8 hours, depending on how long you want to spend exploring.

How much does the entrance ticket to Eldorado Canyon cost?

You can visit Eldorado Canyon for free if you just want to have a wander around. Tours of the Techatticup Mine are available for $15 per adult (13 years and over), or $10 for children. Kids under 5 go free.

Advance booking of mine tours is advisable as places and time slots are limited. To guarantee your visit to the mine, book a guided day trip to Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas?

If you are going on a full-day tour to Eldorado Canyon you will depart from Las Vegas after breakfast. Hotel transfers or pick-ups from designated departure points are included in the trip fee.

You will enjoy a short 45-minute journey to the canyon, where exploring the ghost town and gold mine are top of the agenda. There will be some free time to wander around outside to snap those all-important photos.

Some tours include additional activities like ATV rides in Eldorado Canyon or helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon.

Lunch and snacks are often included on the longer tours.

What kind of tours are available to go to Eldorado Canyon?

Eldorado Canyon trips are easily enjoyed in a single day from Las Vegas, and there are several different options to choose from.

Guided tours to El Dorado Canyon from Las Vegas

These small-group tours of Eldorado Canyon last between 3 and 8 hours, according to how long you want to spend on the ground. Round-trip transport from Las Vegas by 4x4, minivan, or Tour Trekker jeep is included on all tours.

Some Eldorado Canyon tours stop at Hoover Dam on the way, where you can stand on Bypass Bridge for the best views.

Eldorado Canyon day trips with ATV ride from Las Vegas

Up the action with a spin around the desert by ATV, imagining what life would have been like here back in the day. Hang on tight as you zoom through rugged back canyons and explore remote areas of this legendary canyon.

After navigating cactus forests and traversing mountain ranges, you will head deep underground by foot on a guided tour of the Techatticup gold mine.

Lunch, water, and safety equipment are provided on this exhilarating Eldorado Canyon day trip.

Semi-private day tours of Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas

Travel by private air-conditioned limousine coach to Eldorado Canyon, where you will join a small-group tour of the gold mine. Enjoy free time to explore the canyon before returning to Las Vegas on this half-day tour.

Helicopter tours to Eldorado Canyon plus the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas

Travel by helicopter to both the Grand Canyon and Eldorado Canyon for the ultimate outdoor adventure. You will be transferred to Boulder City Heliport where your aerial carriage awaits!

Take to the skies and soar over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, and the Mojave Desert, before landing in the bottom of the Grand Canyon for some celebratory snacks. This is surely the ultimate Grand Canyon helicopter tour!

Then continue your flight to Eldorado Canyon for a mine tour, Champagne picnic, and a Polaris Razor buggy or ATV ride along the trails. Return travel by shuttle van to Las Vegas is included.

How much does a tour to Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas cost?

All guided day tours to Eldorado Canyon include a tour of the Techatticup Mine and round-trip transfers from Las Vegas.

Small-group day trips to Eldorado Canyon from Las Vegas start at $99 per person for around 4 hours. Add an ATV tour into your day and expect to pay $172 for 6.5 hours out and about.

The semi-private tour with limousine coach travel costs $127 per person for a 4.5-hour Eldorado Canyon excursion.

Helicopter tours of Eldorado Canyon and the Grand Canyon are priced from $579 for 7 hours. This includes a mine tour and a Champagne picnic.

What will you see and do in Eldorado Canyon?

The canyon itself is quite spectacular, with colorful rocky cliffs and desert wildlife bringing this arid wilderness to life. The main event is the mine and ghost town, but intrepid explorers can explore the dusty trails on foot or by ATV.

Techatticup Mine

Operating between 1861 and 1942, this was the oldest and richest gold mine in southern Nevada. Prospectors would arrive on foot, and later by steamboat on the Colorado River, to try their luck at finding precious metals in the rock veins.

Today visitors can take a guided walking tour of the mine to see what conditions were like for those who worked hard down in the depths of the earth. The ¼ mile route takes just over an hour to complete. Pop into the museum and gift shop before leaving to view the eclectic treasure trove of historical mining memorabilia.

Nelson Ghost Town

Disagreements and rivalries reigned supreme in the Eldorado mining town, and life was tough, and often short. However, the gold, silver, and lead just kept on coming until a flash flood in 1974 devastated the town.

The haunting remains of this small mining settlement are all that is left of this prosperous community. Wandering around the desolated buildings and abandoned mining works is both thought-provoking and fun. There are some incredible photo opportunities here, and you may recognize the setting from movies like 3000 Miles to Graceland.

ATV Trails

After visiting the mine you can jump on an ATV and power along the canyon trails, seeing the rocky cliffs and shady forests from a new angle.

This exhilarating ride will take you through the lesser-visited parts of Eldorado Canyon, with plenty of photo stops along the way.

Kayaking on the Colorado

Adventurous visitors can hire a kayak or double canoe and paddle along the Colorado River in the canyon below. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the wilderness in a leisurely way.

When is Eldorado Canyon open over the year?

Eldorado Canyon is open every day, all year-round. The mine itself opens daily between 8 AM – 5 PM, with guided tours at 9 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM.

When is the best time to visit Eldorado Canyon?

The best time of year to visit Eldorado Canyon is during Spring and Fall when the weather is idyllic. Temperatures soar during summer, so if you come between May and September try and arrive earlier in the morning to avoid the heat.

Winter can be a fun time to visit too, with fewer crowds and sometimes a dusting of snow on higher ground.

Travel tips

  • Book your Eldorado Canyon day tour online to bag the best deals and time slots for your preferred date.
  • Use sunscreen throughout the day, and wear a sunhat and glasses to protect from the rays, especially during summer.
  • Charge your camera batteries before leaving the hotel, as there is so much to photograph in the canyon!
  • Wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear if you plan on riding ATVs - those trails do get rather dusty.