Offering curbside pickup at most major Las Vegas hotels, the day begins with a shuttle to a nearby Boulder City airstrip where travelers board a helicopter bound for some of southern Nevada’s greatest sights. The 20-minute flight includes passing over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Colorado River, and Black Canyon, before it lands in Nelson, NV, near Eldorado Canyon. Once on land, travelers meet up with a local tour guide who takes them through the belly of the Techatticup Gold Mine culminating in an opportunity to freely explore its nearby Ghost Town. Next, travelers have the choice of exploring Eldorado Canyon further via one of four popular desert transportation options: ATV, Baja Jeep, Kayak/Paddleboard, or horseback. At the culmination of their excursion, each traveler enjoys a box lunch (complete with champagne!) before boarding a van or motorcoach for the return trip to their Las Vegas hotel—the trip from Nelson to Las Vegas takes about 45 minutes.
Major Highlight: Eldorado Canyon’s Techatticup Gold Mine
First prospected by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1700s, the Techatticup Gold Mine was once the richest mine in all of Southern Nevada producing gold and silver, as well as copper and lead for centuries before it was finally abandoned in the 1940s. Known as one of the most notorious areas Wild West, Techatticup and its nearby town, the abandoned “ghost town” included in the tour, are the settings for countless tales of gunfights, claim jumping, and vigilante justice during the 1800s.
The mine itself, the only authentic mine in all of southern Nevada which visitors can safely tour, also holds a treasure of tales. Producing well over $5 million of ore by the early 1900s, the 12 tiers of tunnels in the Techatticup Gold Mine display not only history, but also a wonder of structural underground engineering and longevity, dropping to an amazing 900 feet below ground level at its lowest.
Is It the Tour for You?
With designs on seeing the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, two very popular locations in this area, many overlook the beauty and history offered by Eldorado Canyon, its gold mine, and ghost town. However, there is really a lot to see and learn in this area and the professional guides at the Techatticup Gold Mine are top-rated by travel sites like Trip Advisor. When combined with the one-of-a-kind views offered by the helicopter and the awesome adventures of Papillon’s included excursions, this tour is really is worth it in terms of bang for your buck and one-of-a-kind opportunities.
The only real caution here comes from the expense and the age restriction on some of the excursions (you must be over 16 to operate an ATV, for example). For those reasons, this is a better tour for adults and older children.