Montana Ghost Towns
Journey Back In Time
Montana Ghost Towns offer historical and recreational fun for the entire family. Found throughout the state, these towns are remnants of the early gold rush and mining days during the early exploration and settlement of the great American West.
Many of the Montana ghost towns consist of isolated remains, but a few still enjoy a lively reputation and a popularity with tourists.
Virginia City is an occupied ghost town of approximately 150 residents. It is a popular tourist destination located between Butte, Montana and Yellowstone National Park. The town was formed when gold was discovered in nearby Alder Gulch in 1863. The area was home to one of the largest placer gold rushes in history. Virginia City was once home to over 5000 residents and approximately 1200 buildings.
Thanks to the dedication of the Charlie Bovey family, the early flavor of Montana’s early mining days has been well preserved. The town’s main street is lined with dozens of original and restored ghost town buildings from the Montana mining era. Western recreation and family-style entertainment include trail rides, stagecoach tours, train rides, gold panning, an opera playhouse, and the Brewery Follies.
Nevada City is located approximately 1.5 miles from Virginia City. Although much of the original town was destroyed by dredging after placer mining played out in the area, the reconstruction has an authentic look and feel.
Thanks to Charlie Bovey’s dedication to collecting and reassembling early Montana mining buildings, the town of Nevada City has an incredible collection of old western building, and is a favorite stop for tourists.
Tours and railroad rides to nearby Virginia City are highlights the entire family can enjoy. Be sure to check train schedules before arriving!
Bannack State Park
Bannack City was established in 1862, after the discovery of gold in the Grasshopper Creek area. The population quickly grew to about 3000 people, but just as quickly began to decline as people migrated to the Virginia City area after gold was found in the Alder Gulch area.
Today, Bannack is a state park that houses approximately 60 buildings – many of which you can go inside and explore. The park is open year-round and has many family fun activities, including camping, nearby gold panning, guided and self-guided tours, ghost walk reenactments, music, and educational events.
Other Montana Ghost Town Sites
For a more complete list of sites, please visit our
Montana Ghost Town Sites page.
Planning Your Visit
Although many attractions are open year-round, summer and early fall are ideal times to visit. Although many sites are accessible by snowmobile in the winter, Montana is a big state with long, cold winters, and sometimes hazardous driving conditions. If you plan to visit during the summer months, be sure to make your lodging accommodations early!
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Montana Ghost Towns
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