I really like hanging out in the Nelson area. Every time I come here, I experience something new that is cool. Even driving here is unique, the real world location being in the same place as the game, pretty far from Highway 95 and isolated.
The landscape changes quickly from flat nothingness to windy, curvy, wild mountainous caverns to drive through as well as soon as you drive past the main town.
# 131 – Nelson
# 161 – Techatticup mine
# 163 – Lucky Jim mine
# 235 – Highway 95
# 345 – Nelson barracks
# 346 – Nelson house
# 131 – Nelson – The real world has a town called Nelson, in the true to form location and that looks very similar. I really like this place. To Nelson, you head up in elevation for a good twelve miles off of Highway 95 on Nevada 165. Just when you feel as if you will never find the place, you can see it nestled in a small valley, surrounded by large rock faces and strong winds, pushing through the canyon. It is the only place that is a significant break in the El Dorado Mountain Range.
Sunbleached mailboxes strapped to short wooden poles were the only confirmation of habitation here. Next to these mailboxes is the town sign, so you can pull over here to get a closer look and take in the environment. The town is quiet and true to the feeling of “ghost town.” I have been here countless times and have only seen people that were also here just to look around, not residents. It is super quiet and sort of ominous, with the only sound being the faint rattling of a far off chain against metal. If you walk around, you can find some plaques about the town and the mining history.
What will stop you in your tracks is the sight of the electrical wires. Not metal, but wooden. Very cross-like. All over the place. Eesh.
A handful of trailers and small homes dot the slight incline around the residential part of town. Old world flags whip and twist against the side of them.
If you want to take sort of iconic post-apocalyptic themed photos, the next location will certainly suffice. It is called the Nelson Ghost Town, but it is not so much a ghost town as a tourist attraction. A stark difference from the feeling of Nelson proper, this area is bright and had a half dozen or so people around, taking photos despite the sweltering heat or bitter, windy cold. It is about a mile and a half past Nelson continuing down NV 165. You can also search for 1890 mine tour or El Dorado mine tour. You can park on either side of the road and sign in the main building (a waiver) and then look around to your heart’s content.
Related locations that would be here include # 345 – Nelson barracks and
# 346 – Nelson houses.
# 161 – Techatticup mine – This location (pronounced teh-kat-eee-cup) also exists in our world, as part of the El Dorado Mine / Nelson Ghost Town area. I did not visit the mine itself, but I did take pictures the sign outside of the main office there in the ghost town and a plaque.
This area is very unique to behold, but it looks sort of staged to me, well, because it is. This place is full of rusted crap, sure, but if you visit you will know what I mean by it seems like it is the place people go for “edgy” wedding photos and that just kinda turns me off. I guess I am one of “those people” out here in the sticks. The one thing I do like is the “fallout shelter” sign amidst the decor on the front of the main office.
You can take the Nevada 165 all the way down past El Dorado Mine, almost to the Colorado River. The road ends in a cul-de-sac, an overlook of the river, but with no water access. There are a lot of roads that turn off of 156, all of them are fun to explore and I have not come even close to driving down all of them. But not from lack of trying!
# 163 – Lucky Jim mine – Directly south of Nelson is Lucky Jim Camp in our world, which is a former mining site founded in the later half of the 1800s. It does not have any specific constructs, but it does encompass both Huse Spring, January Wash, and Jubilee Mine, pictured below. This mine was comprised of Confederate sympathizers/deserters during the American Civil War, whereas Bunker Mine to the northwest was the Union sympathizer/deserter equivalent.
# 235 – Highway 95 – The second main thoroughfare we have experienced, good old U.S. Route 95. I should have mentioned this road earlier, but it is indeed present and accounted for in game and in our world. Of note, in game, the 95 signs are present on both Highway 93 and 95, with no 93 sign to be found, at least to the best of my knowledge after way too long looking. The only place I can find it in-game is mentioned by the Kerrs as namesake for the 188.