Ghost Town U.S.A. is the first episode of Season 3 of The Brady Bunch, and the 50th overall episode of the series. Written by Howard Leeds and directed by Oscar Rudolph, it first aired 17 September 1971 on ABC. It is the first part of a three-episode story arc filmed entirely on set and in rural towns outside of Los Angeles.
The Bradys and Alice begin their trek to Grand Canyon, but a stop at a ghost town turns out to be a detour, after a mentally disordered prospector locks everyone in the jail, thinking they plan to steal his (non-existent) gold claim.
The kids and Alice are in excited anticipation about the big surprise Mike and Carol are bringing home. The material part of the surprise is sitting in the driveway: a camper trailer. The other part of the surprise is that they will be taking it on vacation to the Grand Canyon. On the start of their trip, the family decides instead of heading for a campground for the first night, based on information from a pump jockey at a gas station stop, they will head to Cactus Creek, a deserted ghost town, once a gold mining town, where they will set up for the night.
After arriving at Cactus Creek and setting up camp, they find the town is as interesting as they had hoped, but it isn't as deserted as they believed. They are met by Zaccariah T. Brown, an old prospector, who has many a fanciful story of the gold rush days. However, the family will ultimately learn that he has plans for them.He locks the family up in a cell, with the belief that they are there to steal his gold claim. The family eventually escapes, only to find themselves stranded in Cactus Creek as Mr. Brown has stolen their car and trailer.
- The Grand Canyon scenes were filmed on location. The closing credits thank the Grand Canyon National Park for their help.