A ghost town site in eastern White Pine County, 23 miles northeast of McGill.

Aurum was built on aspirations, expectations, and rebirth -- a town of high hopes at the northern end of remote Spring Valley. Its location is nowhere close to any major community, and it might be this reason why the town was treasured as a place of wealth. Aurum had not one, not two, but three leases on life -- all within a decade! People who visit Aurum leave with a sense of pride, saturated in the same sage and pinyon high on the feet of the Schell Creek Range.


Aurum was first known as "Silver Canyon," for its located on the mouth of aptly named Silver Canyon. The first discoveries here were made in 1869 prompting the formation of a small camp shortly after. Soon, 50 people rolled into camp, and by 1872, Silver Canyon had reached its peak somewhere around 500. At this time, the small town boasted two blacksmith shops, four saloons, a general store, and two boarding houses, all in high hopes of its seemingly endless silver veins. By 1873, however, the town emptied, as quickly as it filled. In 1878, new discoveries were made and a new town was organized, renaming itself Aurum after a culturally-rich prospector. Aurum had become a fair sized town by 1881, maintaining a merchandise store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, several boarding houses, a post office, and even a school. In 1882, Aurum experienced a mining slowdown; the mill shut down and only 8 men were working the Aurum mines. If this wasn't enough, then Aurum didn't know when to say quit. The town again experienced a revival a few years later in 1887 and by 1888, Aurum was right back where it started with 50 residents. The slight revival peaked in 1898, but by 1906 the district was all but abandoned. The last resident left in the mid-1920s, with the post office closing its doors in 1938. Finally, after a long, hard battle, Aurum officially (and bitterly) joined the tally of White Pine County ghost towns.

How To Get HereEdit

Today, a series of nice stone ruins remain at Aurum, half-covered in sagebrush overlooking the scenic valley. The town's cemetery is one of the best in Nevada, located on a small hill overlooking the long-defunct town. A journey here will require a long day's drive from any direction. The shortest approach to Aurum is from the west, starting at the town of McGill. From the west, the Schell Creek Range acts as a long, scenic barrier, and for any avid ghost towner, a hefty, wild ride! Aurum can be approached from the south on SR 893, the Spring Valley Highway, but allow at least a full day for this trip. One thing's for sure: any trip here will almost guarantee solitude!

From McGill, head north on US 93 for 16 miles to the outpost of Schellbourne, At Schellbourne, leave the pavement on a good county-maintained dirt road signed for "Eightmile, Ibapah." This road is well-suited for all passenger cars, but take a bit of caution during the wet season. Travel over the Goshute Range, 8 miles to another well maintained dirt road heading south. This road is the continuation of SR 893, the Spring Valley Highway. Turn here and proceed another 4 miles to a small wooden sign on the right, sometimes reading "Silver Canyon, Aurum." (In recent years, the BLM and National Forest has done a fantastic job signing the way to Aurum, but conditions may change. If the sign is missing, look for a well traveled gravel track heading up the bajada. It's very hard to miss this turn!) Travel up the bajada for 2 miles to the site. For added adventure, you can follow the Spring Valley Highway back to the pavement, the official beginning of SR 893 at Muncy Creek. The distance back to Ely from here is approximately 89 miles.


Founded: 1869, 1881, 1898

Zip Code: N/A

Population: None

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