International Car Forest of the Last Church
Much of Nevada is pretty sparsely populated. Esmeralda county is the least populated county in Nevada with less than 800 people living in it. Less than 300 of those people live in the county seat: Goldfield. Notable unusual attractions in Goldfield include two bottle houses, a haunted high school, a haunted hotel, and the International Car Forest of the Last Church.
As you enter Goldfield, a dirt road turns off Highway 95 soon upon entering the town heading east past several abandoned buildings, trailers, and houses. You'll eventually pass by a sign that says "World's Largest National Junk Car Forest!" And then you'll come upon the car forest. Over 40 cars have had one end stuck into the desert ground, the automobile sticking up vertically. In addition to cars, trucks, vans, and even a bus can be found in the forest. Many of the cars have been painted with various works of art and graffiti. The entire effect is a forest of cars that you can drive through.
This forest of cars is the creation of artists Reno resident, Chad Sorg, and Goldfield resident, Mark Rippie. Sorg had been passing through Goldfield one day when he ran across a car nose down in the desert. The car had been put there by Rippie, who supposedly had a dream of owning the Guinness Book of World Records title for "most cars planted vertically in the ground", and in 2011, Sorg moved to Goldfield and the two artists began building the "forest" that is there today.
The forest is officially called the International Car Forest of the Last Church and it was originally meant to be a place where artists could come and be creative, using the cars buried nose down in the desert as their canvas. Although other car exhibits such as Carhenge in Nebraska and Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the one in Goldfield is thought to probably be the largest in the country. Some cars are stacked on top of each others, others are falling apart pieces of junk now, but most are buried nose down in the sand, their roof tops creatively painted with a colorful piece of art, many done by Sorg himself.
The two artists responsible for it have had a falling out during an epic party held at the forest. Entitled "The End of the World Party", it was a Burning Man style party during which somehow the bus caught on fire. As you drive down the dirt road to the forest, you'll even pass by the hood of a car with "Looking 4 the End of the World" painted on it. Post part, both artists have since gone their separate ways. Since Goldfield has actually been losing population over the past decade, it's unlikely anyone will need the land the forest sits on anytime soon. Rippie might actually own the 80 acres the forest sits on, but was (may still be?) in jail recently and is probably no longer residing near the forest.
Goldfield, like many towns in Nevada was once a gold mining boomtown that saw a population of over 20,000! The courthouse is still a beautiful historical building that is worthy of a visit.
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Last Edited: 2017-02-26