Lost City Museum – Overton, Nevada - Atlas Obscura

Lost City Museum

Overton, Nevada

Preserving the remains of Native American cultures which otherwise would have been submerged behind Hoover Dam. 


Situated adjacent to a Native American archaeological site, Nevada’s Lost City Museum focuses on the history of the region, most importantly the cultural artifacts that would otherwise have been lost as Lake Mead was created. Currently owned and maintained by the State of Nevada as one of its seven state museums the collection focuses on the history of the region as far back as 8000 BCE, though most specifically on the nearby Pueblo Grande de Nevada site the bulk of which was flooded under an arm of Lake Mead. The artifacts here paint a vivid picture of a culture whose remains in part have been drowned by history.

Originally opened as the Boulder Dam Park Museum in 1935, The Lost City Museum was built to house the finds being unearthed at the Pueblo Grande de Nevada site, an important site of Anasazi artifacts. As Lake Mead was filled with water held back by the newly created Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, the deepening reservoir began to submerge archaeological sites dating into prehistory. It’s impossible to say exactly how much was lost beneath the waters of the man-made lake, but the museum saved what it could by housing both artifacts from excavations of the Pueblo Grande de Nevada site and by collecting donations of artifacts found by local ranchers on their properties. In addition to the wealth of objects displayed inside the museum, the museum’s most iconic feature is a replica Anasazi pueblo cluster built directly on the foundation of an excavated archaeological site from which many of the artifacts were collected.

Inside the building, the history is well displayed with photographs, artifacts, and descriptions of everything. There is a small room with two videos, Lost City History and Preserving History that are a must-see before touring the museum. There are two different areas to explore along with a gift shop with Lost City souvenirs and local native jewelry.  The sidewalk around the outside of the building will lead to the Pueblo village as well as old mining equipment. There is a stone plaque at the end of the sidewalk, behind the building, dedicated to Moapa Valley Pioneers.

Know Before You Go

To get to the museum take Interstate 15 north to exit 93 Overton/Logandale exit. Drive 8 miles through Logandale and Overton. The museum is located just south of Overton on the right. The Lost City Museum is open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving. The admission fee is $6.00 per adult children under 18 and museum members enter free.



From Around the Web