See a Nevada ghost town from the sky

Story by Lilit Marcus, CNN; video by Effie Nidam, CNNPublished 3rd January 2019
(CNN) — As ironic place names go, Metropolis, Nevada is right up there.
Instead of skyscrapers and swarms of people, Metropolis has abandoned buildings and swooshes of dry wind rattling through.
Located in the northeast corner of Nevada, not far from the state's borders with Utah and Idaho, Metropolis was intended to be a wheat farming community. It was established in 1910 by the New York City-based Pacific Reclamation Company and meant to be home to about 7,500 people -- although it never got higher than 2,000 at its peak.
However, nearly from the beginning things didn't go quite as planned. The Nevada landscape can be tough to newcomers, and Metropolis was no exception.
Between fires, droughts and plagues of pesky animals such as crickets and jackrabbits, it was virtually impossible to farm. The workers began abandoning the town, especially once the Great Depression hit the United States in 1929.
These days, people don't go to Metropolis to live -- they go to explore what remains.
The site of where Lincoln School stood in Metropolis.
The site of where Lincoln School stood in Metropolis.
Effie Nidham/CNN
The closest established town, Wells, is about 11 miles away. Although in the town's heyday there were rail links between Metropolis and Wells, the only way to explore the abandoned town now is by car -- or, as CNN's Effie Nidam learned, by drone.
Among the crumbled structures, look out for the remains of the Hotel Metropolis' recognizable arch, as well as the ruins of a Mormon church, the town's school and a water pump that, had it had more success, might have kept Metropolis more protected from droughts.
And Metropolis is not the only ghost town in the area. Finding these abandoned towns is such a local pastime that Nevada Magazine even maintains a list, many of which were former mining centers.
If you're headed to Las Vegas, one spectacular spot to visit as a side trip is just over the border in Nipton, California. Currently, this town has about 16 residents, making it not fully abandoned, but you'll find plenty of stunning Mojave desert landscapes -- with no one else around to photograph them.
Just outside Las Vegas lies the quirky, sustainable ghost town of Nipton, CA where guests can relive a bit of the Old West with its 16 residents. Explore more offbeat adventures with our expert guides.