Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thunder Mountain Monument

  Frank Dean Van Zant started building Thunder Mountain in 1969 as a home for his family. Most of the construction material is scrap that Van Zant scavenged - bottles, old cars, farm equipment, and salvaged lumber - all held together with concrete. The structure and grounds are also a monument to American Indians.          
  A fire in 1989 destroyed many of the out buildings which included a three story hostel that housed volunteer workers. Time has taken a toll on the rest of the monument but since it’s now a Nevada state historic site efforts are being made to restore and stabilize the buildings. The buildings are not opened for visits.

  The ground is loose sand so wheelchair visitors will need to have help. A lot of the site can be seen from the parking lot.

The parking lot is large enough for any RV.
Thunder Mountain    40.65946, -118.1322


  1. I've lived in Nevada for many years. Way back when, we did a lot of exploring. I've either forgotten about these places or never visited them. You've given me quite a list when I return in the fall. Thanks!

    1. Yeah, you can pass these places and never realize it because they aren't on the main tourist travel routes and get very little publicity. That's kind of nice though because they're not crowded. :-)

  2. You guys go everywhere!!! How do you discover these places? A lot of Internet searching? Asking around?

    1. I use a combination of things. First I check to see where we can go for free with our passes. Other places are suggestions from friends or from the blogs from other travelers. is good for unusual things but I find a lot of the smaller attractions on tripadvisor. I like tripadvisor a lot because many of the people posting on it are local and know their city well so they came up with stuff that isn't mentioned anywhere else.

      I put everything on a state map so we don't miss stuff along the way because we rarely plan more than a day or two ahead. It's easy to look at a map and decide where we feel like going and what we want to see.