Have An Entire Ghost Town To Yourself For A Night At This Creepy Destination

Arizona has something for every traveler. There are scenic views, historic sites, and even several ghost towns. One of these is Kentucky Camp. Located in the Coronado National Forest near the Santa Rita mountains, it's about an hour from Tucson. While it has been the property of the U.S. Forest Service since 1989, this wasn't always the case. In the early 20th century, Kentucky Camp was home to the Santa Rita Water and Mining Company.

They planned to use hydraulic mining to search for gold in the area. However, the project fell apart when the company's engineer, James B. Stetson, died in a freak accident in 1905. Kentucky Camp later became a cattle ranch before being completely abandoned. Thanks to the Forest Service, Kentucky Camp is open to visitors. A water cannon and five adobe buildings are all that remain of the ill-fated Santa Rita Water and Mining Company.

This includes a crumbling barn, two cabins, one of which was built for Stetson in 1904, a main building (referred to as the headquarters), and an assay office. Visitors can actually spend the night in the spooky cabin (seen above) that was formerly Stetson's for $83 a night at the time of this publication. A reservation and payment can be made online.

With all that said, Kentucky Camp Cabin, as it is known, is perfect for visitors craving a back-to-basics sojourn.

What you need to know before spending the night at Kentucky Camp Cabin

Staying at Kentucky Camp Cabin is a rustic experience. The three-room structure does not have running water or a bathroom. There is, however, drinking water, a vault toilet, and a sink outside. If guests want to bathe, they must bring a solar shower to use in the designated outdoor stall. Although there is electricity, the inside of the Kentucky Camp Cabin is bare-bones. It includes a futon in the living room and a bedroom with two twin beds and a bunk bed. Thus, the maximum number of people who can stay and sleep in the cabin is five. Likewise, leashed furry friends are welcome.

Some of the modern amenities at the cabin include a fridge, a microwave, a toaster, a propane heater, and an outdoor grill. Nevertheless, visitors must bring most of their supplies (like toilet paper and soap). Before departure, they are also required to clean the cabin, and they must take the trash with them. Another thing to keep in mind: cell phone service can be spotty, and there does not appear to be Wi-Fi.

Despite all of this, a majority of reviewers on Recreation.Gov had nothing but good things to say about the cabin and their experience. The lower ratings mention issues with the propane heater and inadequate cleaning from previous renters. While some believe that Stetson's cabin is haunted, the reviews fortunately do not mention any ghostly guests.

Suggested activities at and near Kentucky Camp

Exploring the ghost town is a no-brainer if you're staying at Kentucky Camp Cabin. At the headquarters building, guests will find informative exhibits and learn more about the history of Kentucky Camp. Use of the headquarters, which features a kitchenette and seating accommodations, is included in the cabin rental price. It's unclear if the other buildings are open to guests. Likewise, Kentucky Camp is located on passage 5 of the Arizona Trail.

The nearly 14-mile trail features lush, majestic landscapes and can be hiked or biked. It's also equestrian-friendly. If you're not planning an overnight stay at the cabin, you can use the Arizona Trail to access Kentucky Camp. However, note that the cabin is closed to those without a reservation. Birdwatching is also recommended. According to the Forest Service, there are more than 256 species of birds that can be found in the area.

Moreover, there are several nearby attractions for visitors. Located about 20 minutes from Kentucky Camp, Sunset Ride Vineyards offers wine tastings for an undisclosed price from Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can explore a Cold War-era missile facility at the Titan Missile Museum, which is an hour away from Kentucky Camp. Admission ranges from $1 to $16.50.

At Tumacacori National Historical Park, visitors will find what's left of three Spanish missions from the 17th and 18th centuries. The park is also about an hour away from Kentucky Camp and costs $10 to visit.