Sutro Tunnel

Sutro Tunnel

Explore the town of Sutro. Click the hotspots to proceed into the mouth of the tunnel.
When gushing hot water threatened the production of the ever-deepening Virginia City mines, bonanza-era entrepreneur Adolph Sutro offered an audacious solution. He would build a tunnel, an astonishing 20,489 feet long excavation through the rock, from the Carson River Valley near Dayton, on a gentle incline up to the Comstock’s mines at a depth of 1,640 feet. After nearly a decade of digging, the tunnel was completed in 1878, just as the rich veins of the Virginia City mines were beginning to play out. Sutro saw his moment, sold his tunnel, and moved to San Francisco. There, his Comstock fortune helped him build the Cliff House, the Sutro Baths, and the Sutro Library. He was the mayor of San Francisco from 1895 to 1897. Adolph Sutro died in 1898, but his engineering marvel on the Comstock, now mostly impassable, continues to drain hot water from the historic mines of Virginia City.


Click here to see the location in Google Maps.


  • Chris
    Posted at 14:08h, 06 January Reply

    Hello all, I have finally stumbled across this website. Since September 2021, I have been studying everything I can find on Adolph Sutro and the Sutro Tunnel. In fact it is my job to know these things as I’m the newest project manager for the Sutro Tunnel. I am following behind a long line of amazing individuals and I have a tool that none of my predecessors possessed, the internet. With this I have been able to contact many people and have many contacting me daily. I’m piecing together the actual timeline and am weeding through the hearsay. Please visit our website, social media pages or contact us directly to learn more about what we are doing to preserve this import piece of the past.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 19:39h, 29 August Reply

    Hi, I have a local nonprofit paranormal team out of Minden called Virtual Vibes Of The Paranormal. We are very interested in Dayton and very soon we will be investigating the old school house that is now the Dayton museum. We have done quite a bit of investigating around Dayton and just really enjoy the location. I was wondering if anyone knew who I could get in contact with to maybe do an investigation in the tunnels?

    Thank You
    Virtual Vibes Of The Paranormal

  • Ned
    Posted at 14:45h, 24 August Reply

    Whereabouts in Virginia City is the other end located?

    • George Green
      Posted at 19:16h, 27 September Reply

      town of Dayton NV, it is on private property

  • DbMc
    Posted at 12:58h, 25 May Reply

    I was last in the tunnel with a friend (Bruce Campbell) yes – the one from Evil Dead back in 1995, but we got permission to go inside. Prior to that, I could tell you a story about finding it in 1992 and going inside for the first time. Now-a-days there is a huge subdivision of homes all over what used to be the town of Sutro. I love VC & Nevada History, and miss living out there.

  • IJL
    Posted at 03:44h, 24 September Reply

    What’s the status of the tunnel now? I remember visiting it when very young. I suppose in today’s world access is denied.

  • Historian
    Posted at 14:41h, 13 August Reply

    Fred, go read the full story, then perhaps rethink your off-base comment. It is completely wrong.

    • Justin
      Posted at 13:31h, 08 December Reply

      Are you allowed to visit this site or is it private property?

      • Howard Goldbaum
        Posted at 07:53h, 13 December Reply

        Unfortunately, it is on private property.

  • William
    Posted at 09:40h, 17 February Reply

    Maybe the mines deep and full of water could solve Calfifornia’s water problem

  • Fred
    Posted at 10:35h, 21 July Reply

    A Tunnel not functional or needed by the time it was done? A man got rich digging a useless hole? Forget the Product (Gold), instead, provide the Means of Production. Ain’t That America……………..

    • pam
      Posted at 17:30h, 12 July Reply

      Fred, Sutro tried to get investors and others on board for five years; when they finally agreed, it took some time to build it, then the vein ran out.

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