Rhyolite was a town near the eastern edge of Death Valley that began as a mining camp in 1905. Fueled by a gold rush, the town grew to nearly 5000 people in just a few years, but the easily accessible gold had all been exhumed in just a few years. By 1910, the mine was operating at a loss. The mine closed in 1911 and the town's population dove to fewer than 1000 peopl. By 1920, the town was abandoned and in ruins.