At one time the mountains of Montana were filled with silver and gold, and the abandoned mines left behind a wealth of ghost towns. The boom and bust cycle gave rise to quickly constructed mining towns that were deserted when the riches dried up. Now these haunted and historic towns, in beautiful mountainous location, make great day trips from Missoula. Close to these excursions, great outdoor activities and Missoula’s lively nightlife find the Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast. Our generous, elegant suites offer wonderful valley views on our private grounds. Guests enjoy a gourmet breakfast, and a sweeping vista from our mountainside location. Reserve your fall getaway to Missoula and explore the mysterious ghost towns of Montana.
5 Ghost Towns Near Missoula
The empty, remains of Montana’s historic mining towns are now attractions in beautiful mountains and state parks. Take a scenic drive out to these fascinating locations. Learn about the history of mining, the communities built around them and maybe hear a few haunted tales. Here are 5 ghost towns to visit near Missoula:
- Garnet Ghost Town – Deep in the Garnet Mountain Range find the most intact ghost town in Montana. Just 30 miles east of Missoula this old gold mining town still has several well maintained buildings. Established in the late 1800’s, it was a thriving town until World War I. Now a reminder of the hope and hard work of a miner’s life.
- Coloma Ghost Town – Also located in the Garnet Mountain Range, just a few miles from the Garnet ghost town, this town is a true mystery. Very little is known about this mining camp and the University of Montana Anthropology Department has been working to discover more information. There are still mining shafts, ventilation systems, and pumping machines remaining at the site.
- Anaconda – This cable mine unearthed the world’s largest gold nugget, that sold for $19,000 in the late 1800’s. The remaining cabins, barn, and boarding house were built in the 1800’s and the town remained active until 1940. Unfortunately the buildings are unsafe and can only be viewed from the outside.
- Granite Ghost Town – Drive carefully up the winding, steep climb to this abandoned silver mine that was built in the 1800’s. Once the richest silver mine on the earth, it yielded a bonanza worth $40,000,000. The remaining Superintendent’s house and miners’ Union Hall are preserved and included in the Historic American Buildings Survey.
- Bannack State Park – On a longer day trip through the Bitterroot Valley to Big Hole Valley discover the best of the best Montana ghost town. Founded in 1862, this gold mining town was active from the 1860’s to the 1930’s. Now visitors can explore the 60 standing structures.
Montana Adventure Shuttle takes care of all the planning and driving on their Ghost Town Tours. They offer full-day and half-day excursions to Garnet, Granite, and Bannack Ghost Towns. Then return to your peaceful retreat at the Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy a night out at an excellent Missoula restaurant and top the evening off watching the sunset over the Bitterroot River from our multi-level deck. Book a romantic vacation this fall to Missoula.