Ghost Towns

One thing the Pacific Northwest, (also known as Cascadia in certain circles,) has an excess of is Ghost Towns and abandoned or lost cities and communities. Decades of exploration, gold strikes, construction projects, land speculation and homesteading have left abandoned names, mines, and towns across the Pacific Northwest and Cascadia states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, (Northern) California, and the Canadian Providence of British Columbia.

Some of these towns are still around and are populated, but many are a shadow of their former self. Most simply do not exist at all any longer as anything more then a wide spot along a road, a clearing in the woods, or if we’re lucky, a forlorn abandoned building or two. The listings below are by no extensive or complete and is always changing as research uncovers new locations. If you know of a specific town that is missing, please leave a comment below. If you have any information or recollections about a specific town, please leave it in the comments of that town.

Be sure to check out the Ghost Town Classification system to find out why many of these towns are considered “Ghost Towns.”

Ghost Towns, House at ghost town of Susanville, Oregon

House at ghost town of Susanville, Oregon

British Columbia
Amazingly, British Columbia has a number of well preserved ghost towns. Part of this is due to the relative infantry of the timber and mining industries in the Providence. Many of these ghost towns aren’t as old as those in the rest of the Pacific Northwest. But, that does not mean they’re all new. There are a number of very old ghost towns in British Columbia, many left over from early exploration.

California (Northern California only)
I arbitrarily picked north of San Francisco to divide Pacific Northwest Ghost Towns. The actual line can be argued as closer to Redmond, but I wanted to grab the huge number of towns in the Plumas National Forest outside of Reno

Idaho’s ghost towns are heavily clustered on the east side of the state. The state’s geography hides billions of tons of copper ore in highly inaccessible areas along with other rare minerals. Many ghost town sprung up to serve the workers at these mines before the bottom fell out of the market.

For many, Nevada is the quintessential Ghost Town state. The dry environment and long distances between points of civilization has preserved many great towns. Among the states on this list, Nevada has the most towns with intact ruins.

This is the map that started it all. An attempt to identify areas in Oregon that had gold mining activity led to my interest in ghost towns and the history behind them. So many places exist that are little more then names on a map these days. I hope to bring great stories to light.

Like the other states Washington has suffered a number of down turns over the years. These have led to numerous ghost towns scatted across the state. From coal mining to fishing, to early settlement, Washington has them all.

Other States
Update! If you have an interest in ghost towns outside of the Pacific Northwest, visit my new site Ghost Town Map. This new site is dedicated to cataloging ghost towns not only in the United States, but around the world.

17 Responses to “Ghost Towns

  • It’s so weird to know that there are so many ghost towns, with all this talk of overcrowding that has been going on!

    • Can you name a few ghost towns for photography…not for vandalism…

  • Unfortunately no one wants to live in most of these places. Some do have small populations, but the move is definitely towards more urban cities. Part of the problem is water rights and jobs. Between the two it can be hard to even live in some of these places.

    • Hi, I’m Ali Raza from Pakistan, I’m feel relax when i live and visit alone in these places like in Picture and i analyze that some things want talk to me and try to make me Happy, I really enjoy

      • I can not pull any maps up to go see these places can any one help me with that

  • why are there so many ghost towns my mom and me went exsploring and want to learn about bridel veil

  • Hello Sydney,

    There are a multitude of reasons why there are so many ghost towns. The invention of the car killed many towns when it became easier to drive to the next town for groceries instead of walking or waiting for the train. Many towns on these lists were mining towns or logging towns that died when the miners and loggers moved on.

    Everything I know about Bridal Veil is posted here.

    • Actually you are some what right about the logging and mining ghost towns, but it wasn’t because they decided to move on, especially because of cars and trucks. It was because Oregonians voted in Governor Ted Kulongoski for a term and then Governor John Kitzhaber for another 4 terms. Even though Governor Kits was corrupt as hell (, the stupid libs still voted him back for a fourth term. After good old liberal Ted’s first term, he moved onto the houses of the Oregon Legislative tell 2011 to ensure he help Kits destroy Oregon. Between the combined 25 years of Governor. The great state of Oregon has more towns and Counties that are destroyed and Oregon is almost bankrupt.

      • Thank you for stopping by Mike and adding to the conversation. If you had read a good portion of the posts here you would have found that many of these towns died by the 1930s though. Well before Kulongoski was even born. To blame the number of ghost towns in Oregon on it’s current leadership is a red herring at best and totally ignores how much the automobile really changed not just Oregon, but the entire country.

  • with the ghost town is a best place to take pictures of and even the scenery is a good place to see the lovely scenery for sure. from Wendy Sells

  • with the ghost towns they also have a nice museum as well. from Wendy Sells

  • with the different States were the ghost towns are at but still the town are still so very lovely.

  • I am a descendent of Joseph D Young .A fact that we only just found out..YesI live in Rugby,Virginia. His brother Timothy Young is my great grandfather and is buried above my parents home. I need to know about his family.

  • when visiting abandoned . towns, ghost towns…houses…structures …are we allowed to get out of our cars to take pics? Even if we enter an old place…can we be arrested? Not meth freaks, just photo freaks….

  • Ya there’s a town in eastern Washington that literally has HUNDREDS of abandoned houses in it it’s probably the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. And the fact that the natives out there reservation has been extended onto DNR land that once owned these homes so they actually got to explore some of these places one the 90 day grace period was passed of previous contact and owner of said property before DNR had seized it from the bank which foreclosed on the previous property owner. And it beats me how that’s even possible seeming that I’m pretty sure the homestead act is how these people acquired they’re property I mean shoot some of them are thousands of acres I’m talking square miles and miles of land as far as you can see just disappeared because the family to that person hadn’t been in contact for a while and a lot of things can happen it’s crazy to think about you know some homeless person is probably the rightful owner of one of these cast landscapes the size of a tycoons estate. Anyways I got to join the natives and the DNR representatives on some of these “clean and clear parties” and my god the shit we found man I swear to God….like the stuff some of these people were working on was mind blowing. Full artesian wells that fed a spillway that went down the mountain and fed more houses and a conglomerate of maps of what they’d dug and piped in themselves like backwoods water for the future generations of need be. Like it’s just crazy to see such innovation it powered itself once the waterwheel spun the alternator and this thing was like 40 years old like talk about massive generator anyways there was a mint condition track dirt bike some old timer had put in a plexiglass box so dust wouldnt settle inside the box and siliconed or caulked it up it looked like it was just polished but walls of the box were literally caked with everything known to man on the outside so we couldn’t even tell what we were in for or looking at until we got a rag and water since we couldn’t lift it up we just washed it and bam nice indian trackbike just glossy as ever freaking crazy stuff man there’s talks of treasure also in that part of the state you guys will never hear of this one but there’s a story of some type of party going after another and them dropping alot of who knows what along the way and it’s been looked for ever since dag nabbit!!! Lol!

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