For some, surviving through a global epidemic may be something of a post-apocalyptic experience, but for others, wandering around deserted and undoubtedly haunted locales across Arizona may be the answer. Arizona may have just passed the century mark, but it still has a couple of long-forgotten sites and things scattered over its vast, parched landscape. These once-vibrant locations are now empty and accumulating dust. Arizona's arid deserts, hills, and valleys are littered with almost as many abandoned locations as its saguaros. Some sites bear merely traces of the individuals who had resided there, while others seem to be forbidden.
Let's take a glance at a few of Arizona's banned sites, which serve as relics of the state's forgotten past and places we don't recommend going solo.
Gila River Memorial Airport
This derelict former airport in Chandler still sits in the heart of the desert, with a half-dozen huge planes in varying degrees of disrepair. The airport, which was built in 1942, once served as a base for aircraft operations during WWII. Bold taggers, photographers, videographers, and ambitious Instagrammers have made it a popular location.
However, the rotting planes are located on the Gila River Indian Settlement, and visiting or photographing them requires a permit. If visitors are not willing to smooth talk their way out of a trespassing charge, don't even consider scoping out this location.
- Address: E Airfield Ln, Chandler, AZ 85249, United States
The Decaying Dog Tracks
Both of the deserted dog paths detailed below have been widely worn by urban explorers and trespassers in the past.
The Black Canyon City Dog Track
About 40 miles to the north of Phoenix, the Black Canyon City Dog Circuit is a haven for nomads and urban explorers and an interesting study in ruin. The Funk family constructed the dog track in 1967, and it held greyhound racing events till 1982. Ever since the late 1980s, this large property has been rapidly deteriorating, and it continues to be one of the Valley's most accessible abandoned locations.
- Address: 32801 Maggie Mine Rd, Black Canyon City, AZ 85324, United States
Phoenix Trotting Park
The building of Phoenix Trotting Park started in 1964 on a bleak strip of desert near Goodyear that is today the bustling I-10. Due to minimal turnout and its remote site, the park was closed in 1966 after only a few races. The massive structure has stood unoccupied and in withering abandonment ever since. It is also said to be haunted by some.
- Address: 17758 W Roosevelt St, Goodyear, AZ 85338, United States
Over 4,000 military jets and choppers have been laid to rest at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), often known as "The Boneyard." It is the world's biggest airplane cemetery, displaying over 3000 aircraft on Davis-Monthan Airbase near Tucson. The aircraft, unlike Gila River, are either in storage or in the course of being refurbished or renewed.
There are also public tours available. The tours are only available during the week at the Pima Air & Space Museum. Photo identification is required for tour participants aged 16 and up, and stringent security protocols apply.
- Address: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona, 85730, United States
The Santa Claus Ghost Town
The village of Santa Claus was established in 1937 as a flamboyant tourist attraction and was a prominent Route 66 attraction for a few decades until trade deteriorated in the 1970s. During the mid-'90s, the Christmas-themed town in Mohave County was declared a ghost town.
Nina Talbot, an eccentric realtor, envisioned the hamlet as a year-round vacation destination. The Santa Claus Lodge, the town's only dining, was a big hit during its peak, as did the town's post office, which received an overflow of emails to Santa. The town's only resource of Christmas cheer is a dilapidated wishing well, destroyed, boarded-up structures, and a bright pink train that has derailed and is rotting. It is definitely among the tropical places that no family should consider vacationing.
- Address: US Route 93, Mojave County, Golden Valley, Arizona, 86413, United States
- Directions: The town is between the milepost 57 and 58 on US Route 93, fourteen miles (23 kilometers) northwest of Kingman, Arizona, approximately north of Hermit Lane, and just below Grasshopper Intersection, Arizona.
Casa Grande Domes
Ever since the 1980s, this cluster of strange, crumbling circular shapes in Casa Grande has already been abandoned. The domes are the skeletal remains of a never-built computer hardware center.
On the other hand, these intriguing modern ruins resemble an abandoned extraterrestrial spacecraft rather than a relic of a bygone era of technology. Supernatural fans, urban explorers, graffiti makers, conspiracy theorists, and local youths searching for a private area to get inebriated have all been drawn to the massive, UFO-shaped artifacts.
The strange structures have even been featured on Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures. After the biggest dome collapsed in December, the district banned the domes. Even though the structures are set to be demolished, they will continue to stay in one of Arizona's mysterious places where tourists are forbidden, if not the creepiest.
- Address: 8109-7467 S Thornton Rd, Casa Grande, AZ 85193, United States
- Directions: Visitors can approach the locations from Casa Grande through the Interstate 8 Thorton junction. Then visitors should go one mile south on the eastern roadside to find it.
From abandoned mining towns to Route 66 remnants, Arizona is home to a plethora of eerie locations in various states of decay. These locations, which were once thriving and flourishing with energy and kitschy mystery, now stand as forlorn, hollow bones from a bygone era.