What do you do when you see signs like these? If you’re like most people … you’ll continue driving past.
It’s a hokey looking sign, but then you realize that the town is called Choride, you have to take a peek. On our road trip to the Grand Canyon, I had to pull an executive decision and overrule 50% of the car to head into this town. The Ghost Town of Chloride, Arizona is a mining ghost town that never really died, hence you get the abandoned buildings and mining equipment. It also has the oldest continuously operating post office in Arizona, Roy Purcell’s murals and people who aren’t afraid to shoot you in the face. There’s something about that danger that’s a little exciting. Chloride lies under the Cerbat Mountains and is one of oldest miner communities in Arizona. Chloride was established in 1860 when silver were founded and the town become silver mine center. It’s still some mine activities. Chloride is today a peaceful town with one restaurant, 3 cafeterias, one store, two saloons and 400 people.
The other thing about Chloride is that there is a lot of “Folk” art or recycled junk … you can interpret these pieces anyway you would like to. Art is all relative based on who is looking at it …
However, the highlight of our visit to the town was actually chatting over Chili and beer at Digger Dave’s. This bar is definitely not your run of the mill type bar … and you’ll never see a more original decorating style. It was so visually busy in the bar, that it took me a couple minutes to refocus.
After grabbing a siesta and some good chili, it was then off to Roy Purcell’s murals. The colors Purcell used to paint his murals are remarkably vivid and have withstood harsh desert weather for more than 40 years. Stone carvings and etchings from earlier Indian artists can also be seen in the immediate area.
Directions to Chloride, Arizona, and the Purcell Murals:
Chloride is about two hours from Las Vegas. From Las Vegas: Follow US Hwy-93 about 72 miles to the turn-off to Chloride. Turn left on County Road 125 and proceed 3.7 miles to the town. Proceed through the town until you see the signs for the murals. Turn right and follow a dirt road about 1.5 miles. There are a number of signs and arrows painted on rocks to keep you headed in the right direction. There is a wide spot in the trail that serves a parking area for the murals.