Urbex Underground

21 Abandoned Places In Oregon [MAP]

Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Urbex Underground

Searching for abandoned places in Oregon ? You’re in the right place. Below are 21 of my favorite abandoned places across the great state.

The Anarchist’s Guide To Exploration

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of urban exploration, this book is for you. Learn how to uncover more abandoned places and the techniques used to capture their beauty.

Abandoned Places In Oregon

1. burns air force base.

43.562500, -119.151389

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Burns Air Force Station was established as part of Air defense Command’s planned deployment of forty-four mobile radar stations across the United States to augment the permanent US air defense radar network established during the Cold War.

Burns Air Force Station, manned by the 634th AC&W Squadron, was established in 1955 and became operational on June 8, 1955. In January 1961, the site became a SAGE System location, and on September 30, 1970, Burns AFS and the 634th Radar Squadron were deactivated.

What’s left?

Burns Air Force Station is now inactive. The site’s structures have been degraded and badly vandalized. On top of the butte, it appears to be a ghost town. While most of the buildings are in ruin, it offers an apocalyptic foreground in front of the starry night sky.

2. Abandoned Tillamook Bay Railroad Line

45.71215, -123.39083

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

The Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad, which has a history dating back to the early 1950s, is a small line owned and maintained by the Port of Tillamook Bay along Oregon’s Pacific coast. Over 100 miles of former Southern Pacific trackage are owned by the railroad.

Between 1906 and 1911, the Southern Pacific Railway was constructed through the coast range. In 1983, the Port began operating the line from Tillamook to Batterson as the Southern Pacific Railroad began to abandon it in later years.

The Port kept the train running until December 2007, when floodwaters from a big storm wrecked huge sections of the roadbed in the Salmonberry River Canyon’s hilly terrain.

The mainline of the railroad stretches between Hillsboro and Tillamook; however, it is no longer in operation because of storm damage. As reconstructing the damaged rail bed would be outrageously costly, the Port decided to use FEMA funds to expand and improve its industrial park and airport services.

It’s a truly amazing place to hike and photograph the overgrown and broken-off railroads. Be cautious as the terrain is rough and many places have sudden drops with little to no cell service in the area. Despite this, this is one of my favorite abandoned places in Oregon as you can hike the overgrown tracks for miles.

3. Wreck of the Peter Iredale

46.17834, -123.981

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

THE PETER IREDALE is known as a four-masted steel barque sailing ship. It washed up on the Oregon coast on its way to the Columbia River on October 25, 1906. The Oregon Journal stated the day after the ship sank that the wreck proved to be a tremendous attraction and despite the fierce gale, dozens rushed to the scene of the calamity. Despite the fact that the ship has been broken up over time by waves, wind, and sand, the wreck of the Peter Iredale remains a famous tourist destination.

There’s not much left yet imprints of the metal ship frame, as well as a few other metal fragments, droops from the sand. Looking at the rest of the ship and learning a little about the wreck’s history is fascinating. You can stroll around close to the frame at low tide; at high tide, it’s completely surrounded by water. 

I picnicked here with my girlfriend during the summer season. While there isn’t a whole lot to see, it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area.

4. Shaniko Ghostown

45.00355, -120.75257

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Shaniko was a transit point on the Columbia Southern Railway in the early 1900s. The town was in the middle of 20,000 square miles of wool and wheat-producing land at the time. The soil around Shanika was not suitable for farming, but it was suitable for sheep and cattle.

Shaniko had 172 residents in 1900, the year the railroad opened. Shaniko earned the label “Wool Capital of the World” in 1903. No Oregon community has experienced more rapid expansion and decrease in a single decade than Shaniko. Between 1901 and 1911, the town went from being the Wool Capital of the World to become the state’s liveliest ghost town.

Every year, tourists flock to Shaniko to see the ghost town, but water shortages restrict large-scale tourism. The historic wooden water tower, city hall with an old jail, the school, and the old post office are all still standing. While this isn’t one of the most authentic abandoned places in Oregon, its history alone secures its spot on this list.

5. Collins Beach UFO Boat

45.78369, -122.7845

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

A mystery sits on a not-so-lonely nudist beach on Sauvie Island’s north end. The spacecraft is a Ferro cement experimental boat built just up the river in the 1970s. It was built as a self-righting sail and took a local family on adventures for several decades before vanishing. The boat actually sheltered a family for three months in 1973, despite its unappealing exterior. The boat is now best known for its diverse graffiti and, well, for being a bit of a mess.

There’s a lot to see and do on this 24,000-acre island, whether you’re hiking, bird-watching, or visiting one of its beaches. You might wish to look for the abandoned UFO boat near Collins Beach during your stay. It’s truly a unique opportunity as not many UFO structures have survived during their popularity in the 70s. The UFO boat is abandoned on the beach, between the second and third parking spots, among the trees. Until you’re about 200 feet away from the boat, you won’t be able to see it.

6. White River Falls Abandoned Water Turbine

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Some 35 miles from The Dalles, a treasure of Oregon nature can be seen descending into the Deschutes River canyon over an exquisite sequence of cascading waterfalls. The falls were also home to a minor hydroelectric generating unit from 1910 to 1960.

The river empties from a height of 90 feet on a volcanic basalt shelf to create White River Falls. The waterfall, which is sometimes referred to as Oregon’s mini-Niagara, is most eruptive in the spring and most quiet in the summer due to the lower water level. The facility was troubled by siltation issues and was eventually rendered useless in 1960 when the Dalles Dam on the Columbia was completed.

A steep trail leads down to the abandoned powerhouse, which still has most of the original equipment and provides access to the river below the falls. The ancient powerhouse’s generators are still inside, but due to safety concerns, no access is permitted. With the only light coming from the windows, doors, and gaps in the roof of the aging stone house, the image offers an intriguing play of light and shadow.

7.  Friend Ghost Town

45.34682, -121.26706

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Friend is a small abandoned settlement in Wasco County, Oregon, United States. George J. Friend was the inspiration for the name Friend. His residence was the site of the community’s first post office, which opened in 1903. In 1904, the railroad was established.

The line was built in 1908 to connect Dufur and The Dalles. On January 5, 1928, the depot was shut down and services ceased; the route was abandoned in 1935. Today, the physical rails and the town that served as their terminal are both completely extinct.

It is now a ghost town, consisting of an abandoned schoolhouse, a cemetery, the old general store and post office, and an unidentified concrete structure in a field. The old cemetery is littered with the gravestones of residents who lived and died during the town’s brief existence.

8. Douglas Hollow Schoolhouse

32.84031, -117.24944

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

The Douglas Hollow Schoolhouse is a historic one-room schoolhouse in Wasco County, surrounded by farmland. It was most likely used to help the youngsters of the rural communities in the area of Dufur and The Dalles. This site was nearly destroyed by the Dalles Substation Fire in 2018. However, it is currently undisturbed and in excellent shape. If you look hard enough, you can find a few remnants of the past. Over the years, students and tourists have left their imprints.

The abandoned Douglas Hollow Schoolhouse still stands in a remote corner of Eastern Oregon, waiting to be explored. Wind turbines in the Columbia River Gorge can be spotted in the distance if you look closely. The Pacific Northwest’s landscapes are as diverse as they are beautiful.

The schoolhouse is one of the more popular abandoned places in Oregon with photographers and history buffs, but its rare to ever run into anyone else up there at the same time.

9. Latourell Ghost Town

32.59386, -116.8461

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Latourell, Oregon, was formerly a bustling village located along Latourell Creek, less than half a mile downstream of Latourell Falls. Joseph Latourell founded the town in the late 1800s as a lumber town, railroad station, and local gathering area for Columbia Gorge visitors. The first post office in the area, named after the natural feature Rooster Rock, opened in May 1876.

The nearest of the great Columbia River Gorge waterfalls to Portland is Latourell Falls, which is also one of the most photogenic. It is a 224-foot single-plunge waterfall that pours over the border of an undercut amphitheater of tall columnar basalt pillars. The Latourells were well-known among their neighbors for being both industrious and lively. 

Commercial logging did not begin in effect until the 1880s. In comparison to its previous years, the once-thriving village of Latourell is now quiet, with few businesses and residents. If you look closely you can find many abandoned homes and businesses tucked away in the treeline.

10. Vernonia’s Oregon-American Sawmill

45.85482, -123.17707

abandoned places in Oregon with graffiti

Vernonia was a remote outpost of 150 people in 1921. The Oregon-American Lumber Company (1917-1934) and its successors, the Oregon-American Lumber Corporation (1934-1953), the Long-Bell Lumber Company (1953-1956), and the International Lumber Company (1956-1957), were all based in Vernonia, in the Nehalem Valley.

From its 30,000-acre holdings in Columbia, Clatsop, and Tillamook states, the firm logged nearly 2.5 billion board-feet of timber. Before the mill sawed its first log in 1923, the town’s population had risen to over 1,500, making it Oregon’s fastest-growing town.

The office building of the Oregon-American Company was added to the National Heritage list of Historic Buildings in 2002. The Vernonia Pioneer Museum now occupies the space. This abandoned mill in Oregon is quite the sight. The floor is now covered in fallen leaves, moss clings to the graffiti walls, and the only ceiling is the sky.

11. Witch’s Castle

45.52836, -122.72506

abandoned places in Oregon in the woods

The Witch’s Castle (also known as the Stone House) is built on land that was claimed by Danford Balch in 1850 after he and his family set out west on the Oregon Trail. He needed to employ someone to clear the area because it was so large, so he recruited Mortimer Stump.

Stump and Balch’s daughter Anna fell in love over time, and Stump eventually sought Balch for Anna’s hand in marriage, which Balch declined and warned him against. In November of 1858, the young couple ignored the warning and proceeded to elope. Balch was enraged by the occurrence and shot Stump in the face with a double-barreled shotgun. Balch was sentenced to death and hanged as a result of his crime.

It didn’t take long for ghost hunters in Portland’s haunted forests to hear tales of a Witch’s Castle. The home was never a house in the first place. It served as a public restroom for hikers along the woodland walk when it was built in the 1930s. The paths are very accessible. You’ll cross beautiful streams, small waterfalls, and moss-covered branches along the walk.

12. Mary D. Hume Shipwreck

42.42237, -124.41753

abandoned places in oregon along the waterfront

R.D. Hume built Mary D. Hume in 1881 for his Gold Beach Cannery. He gave the ship his wife’s name. The Mary D. Hume still retains the record for the Pacific Coast’s longest-serving vessel, with 97 years of active service. When the Mary D. Hume retired in 1978, they tried but failed to turn her into a museum ship.

The Mary D. Hume was finally retired to Gold Beach in 1978, where she still stands, slowly sinking into the dirt, and just a few hundred feet from where she was built. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Despite being a shipwreck, the Mary D. Hume is one of the more accessible abandoned places in Oregon right off the riverbank

13. Bull Run Ghost Town

45.42835, -122.23318

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Bull Run is strongly rooted in the history of Portland. One of Portland’s pure drinking water sources is the Bull Run River. In 1869, a tiny camp was established after the mine was located high on a mountaintop.

Bull Run, on the western foothills of Mt. Hood, Oregon, was a major source of electricity for Portland, and it even supported a settlement in its early days. In 1904, Bull Run had a population of forty men and one lady, the superintendent’s wife.

The Bull Run Powerhouse was closed in 2007 after Portland General Electric stopped operating it.

14. Kent Ghost Town

45.19455, -120.6922

abandoned gas station in Oregon grain field

Kent, located in southern Sherman County’s rolling grain fields, is another Oregon village largely inspired by railroads. Between Grass Valley to the north and Shaniko to the south, Kent is located at the crossroads of US Route 97 and Dobie Point Road. The population had grown to 250 by 1905. Kent has preserved its post office and zip code over the years, even though it has lost the majority of its population, which became 67 in 2018.

Kent’s abandoned café/gas station was closed a few years ago. The owners were told by the EPA that they needed to start carrying one million dollars in liability insurance and construct a concrete retaining wall in case the underground gas tanks leaked.

Unlike more popular abandoned places in Oregon, you’ll be hard-pressed to run into any other tourists in the area.

15. Fort Rock Homestead Village

43.3555, -121.05856

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Frank and Vivian Stratton came up with the idea for the Fort Rock Valley Historical Homestead Museum. The Strattons founded the Fort Rock Valley Historical Society in 1981 with six other local history enthusiasts. To preserve the Fort Rock Valley’s pioneer past, the society envisioned and sponsored the creation of Fort Rock Homestead Village in 1988.

So, it was opened with only two buildings, the Webster Cabin and Dr. Thom’s Office. In the following years’ multiple buildings, from surrounding homestead sites, were added to the collection such as a church, school, cottages, homestead cabins, and other structures.

The museum is currently open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The museum is open to the public for self-guided walking tours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Historic exhibitions, publications, gifts, and public restrooms are all available at the visitor center.

If you’re looking for legal abandoned places in Oregon to visit, this is one of the best places to start.

16. Blue Heron Paper Mill

45.35523, -122.61125

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

W. P. Hawley bought a mill site in Oregon, in 1908, that had previously been used as a flourmill, saw-mill, and paper-mill. In 1909, The corporation started its paper production and started investing in advanced paper-making equipment, and, ultimately, it had the western US’s largest newspaper production machine by 1928. From 1948 onwards, a series of ownership transfers began. The Smurfit Stone Container Corp., eventually sold the Oregon City operation to workers and a New York private equity company in 2000, becoming the Blue Heron Paper Co.

Blue Heron made newspaper and paper bags out of recovered wastepaper. The corporation battled to keep costs down while purchasing more expensive raw materials. There was a 10 percent pay cut in 2009 and the firm was forced to close in 2011.

As of today, officials in Oregon City believe the property, which has panoramic vistas of Willamette Falls, has redevelopment potential as a mixed-use center that would help revitalize the historic downtown area. Some city officials have urged that the mill be included in the urban renewal district.

17. Centennial Mills

45.53391, -122.68077

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Balfour-Guthrie and Company, a San Francisco-based investor, developed Crown Mills in 1910, which became Centennial Mills in 1949. Crown Mills continued to expand its operations in the mid-1920s, adding warehouses and grain elevators to boost daily production.

However, Balfour-Guthrie had several hurdles, and financial survival was tough during the 1930s. They needed to spend heavily in the mill after WWII, therefore the Portland site was sold to Centennial Flouring Mills, who upgraded the facility with new technology. Prosper Portland acquired Centennial Mills property in 2000 to fulfill the River District Urban Renewal Plan to enhance the waterfront.

The Portland Mounted Police refurbished and reused the warehouse. Most of the surviving structures, which were in terrible condition and beyond repair, were demolished in 2015-2016 after a dragged public procedure. The six-story concrete flour mill is still standing, ready to be renovated as part of a proposed redevelopment.

18. Battery Russel

46.19253, -123.97533

old battery fort on the Oregon cost

Battery Russell was built at Fort Stevens in 1903. It was named after Bvt. Major David A. Russell who fought during the U.S. Civil War. When Battery Mishler was decommissioned in 1918, Battery Russell was utilized as a practice battery for National Guard artillery forces.

As World War II loomed, Battery Russell was slated to be replaced by eight 12-inch mortars mounted on railway carriages, and Battery Russell was operational from 1941 until 1944. Fort Stevens was also attacked by a Japanese submarine I-25 that fired 17 shells close to Battery Russell.

There are several batteries at Fort Stevens today, but Battery Russell is one of the few that is completely open to the public. There are two different levels to discover. Old ammo chambers, offices, guardrooms, and storage rooms are all located on the bottom floor.  On the upper level, there is an old gun pit that once held two 10-inch disappearing guns.

Battery Russell is one of the few abandoned places in Oregon that is legal to explore freely without a guided tour.

19. Simnasho Church

44.9721, -121.35078

abandoned church in Oregon in the summer

Simnasho is a small unincorporated settlement in Wasco County, Oregon, United States. Within the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, it is located at the intersection of Simnasho Road, Wapanitia Road, and Simnasho–Hot Springs Road.

There’s an old tribal church that’s been abandoned and has a lot of charm. It’s in central Oregon, in the Indian community of Simnasho. In 1886, a post office named Sinemasho opened here, but it closed in 1887. Another one began operations in 1894 and lasted until 1954.

Today, Sinemasho is a calm place to visit. It has a small market, and an elementary school that became part of the Jefferson County School District in the 1960s.

20. Whitney Ghost Town

44.659, -118.2902

abandoned ghost town in Oregon

The town of Whitney was founded in 1900 and has never had a population of more than 100 people. It was mostly populated by workers from the nearby sawmill, as well as a few railroad personnel. In 1918, a fire destroyed the Oregon Lumber Company’s local lumber plant, causing the town to rapidly deteriorate. During the next 20 years, logging railroads were erected in all directions from Whitney.

In 1911, the Nibley Lumber Company established a massive sawmill south of town while loggers “daylighted” the neighboring enormous stands of yellow pine. Whitney was home to nearly 150 individuals at one point. The town was abandoned after the railway was abandoned in 1947.

Whitney is a great ghost town to explore nowadays, and it’s located off the main route connecting Sumpter and John Day. Whitney was the primary stage stop along the Sumpter Valley Railroad. Today, several wood homes can be seen there. Some of them are still occupied.

21. The Astoria Underground

46.18961, -123.8314

abandoned places in Oregon that are haunted

Founded in 1811, Astoria is the oldest city in the state of Oregon and was the first American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Although Astoria has been featured in several well-known classic films, there is also plenty of fun and history to be found underneath the city in century-old tunnels just waiting to be discovered. 

Astoria Underground Tour provides a unique perspective into the city’s history. Artifacts and entirely recreated rooms where people used to live are featured during the tour. The 45-minute tour includes historical details of the tunnels’ origins and purposes, as well as the role the system had in developing Astoria.

While most of the tunnels remain closed to the public, Daly has carefully restored a portion of Astoria’s subterranean tunnels, complete with visual effects, to give visitors a unique view into a location that is rarely seen and, until recently, entirely forgotten. Of all the abandoned places in Oregon on this list, the Astoria Underground is rumored to be the most haunted.

Go out and explore!

That concludes our list of abandoned places in Oregon, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

If you’re having trouble finding abandoned places, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places , or explore abandoned places near you .

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abandoned oregon ghost towns map

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Shaniko Ghost Town, Oregon

Photo of Shaniko by Jasperdo – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Find Secluded Camping Near Ghost Towns in Oregon

These vestiges of Oregon’s pioneering history are fascinating destinations to learn about the Old West. Ghost towns, or what remains of them, are like time machines, offering a wonderful insight in the hardships of frontier life and on the history of the United States in general. Additionally, especially around Halloween, they make for super-fun options for camping road trips with the kids. Camping in Oregon is possible virtually everywhere in the state, meaning you’ll find a nice spot to set up camp near these ghost towns.

1. Sumpter Ghost Town in Baker County

Sumpter, Oregon Ghost Towns

Photo of Sumpter by Baker County Tourism  – CC BY-ND 2.0

A mining boom town in Baker County around the turn of the 20 th century, Sumpter is one of the best examples of Old West towns in Oregon. In 1897, the new narrow-gauge Sumpter Valley Railway resulted in rapid urban growth around a collection of deep-shaft gold mines. Before an eventual decline in population caused by a fire, the town had everything from saloons and a brewery to an opera house, churches, sidewalks and electric lights.

Nowadays, about 200 people still live in Sumpter. It’s a wonderful place to experience the bygone days of gold mining and the railroads. One of its main touristic highlights is the opportunity for tourists to legally pan for gold. Rides on the historic Sumpter Valley Railroad , offered on select days, are popular as well.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Camp Nearby: Union Creek Campground

“This is a beautiful, clean campground. Tons of undergrowth which makes for very private spots. Spots along Union Creek are great, spots on the river are great, even the spots in the open aren’t bad amongst the towering trees.” — The Dyrt camper Chantelle M.

Prepare for your next adventure by downloading maps. The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. “My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service”.

2. Granite Ghost Town in Grant County

Granite, Oregon - Ghost Towns in Oregon

Photo of Granite by JH Moyer – CC BY 2.0

The historic town of Granite lies just 15 miles north of Sumpter, in the ghost town-dotted Blue Mountains region of northeastern Oregon. This is yet another former gold-mining town, once bustling and now nearly deserted.

During the gold rush of the late-1800s, Granite’s population numbered about 5,000 people, quite a high number in those days. At the turn of the 20 th century, there were five saloons, three general stores, two hotels, a drug store, a post office, a school and a livery stable.

The current population doesn’t exceed 40, however, making it one of Oregon’s least populated incorporated towns. Numerous buildings still stand, although most of them are in a less-than-ideal condition. You can still see the drug store, school building, one of the general stores and several former residences.

Camp Nearby: Olive Lake Campground

“Have camped here twice, once when I was a kid, and once this summer, and it’s wonderful. Most spots feel secluded and private, and if you get there on an off-day, you can get a good one with water access.” — The Dyrt camper Sarah E. 

3. Shaniko Ghost Town in Wasco County

Shaniko, Oregon Ghost Towns

Photo of Shaniko by Ian Sane – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Another tourist-friendly ghost town in Oregon is Shaniko, located on the plains of North-Central Oregon’s Wasco County. The tagline on its website says it all: “Where the West still lives.” It’s one of the best-known ghost towns in Oregon.

After a lucky prospector discovered gold in Canyon City in 1862, camps began popping up along the route between The Dalles on the Columbia River and Canyon City. One of those camps was Cross Hollows, where a man named August Scherneckau was postmaster. The town’s name is a derivation of the postmaster’s last name.

Shaniko’s heyday was in the 1900s’ first decade, when the Columbia Southern Railway made it a real transportation hub. At the time, it was known as the “Wool Capital of the World”, the focal point of the wool, cattle, wheat and sheep industries in a 20,000-square-mile area. After a new railroad linked Portland to Bend, the town started to decline. Currently, only about 30 people live there year-round.

Camp Nearby:  Beavertail Campground

“A gloriously tucked away, all-year campground on the confident, adventure-inducing Deschutes River. Provides a nice balance of openness and privacy, with good space between a lot of sites, a chatty, rapid-filled river to muffle noise and high cliff walls and hills on all sides. […] Great walking and hiking, Mt. Hood and other tall peaks in view as you drive around and plenty of rafters and fisherpeople to give everything a well-rounded, sanctuary feel.” — The Dyrt camper Bjorn S.

4. Hardman Ghost Town in Morrow County

Hardman, Oregon Ghost Towns

Photo of Hardman by 2WheelTravlr – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the vast farming country of northeastern Oregon lies Hardman, once a popular stopping point for stagecoaches. Late-19 th  century newspapers touted these Oregon grasslands as some of the best farming areas and stock ranges in the West.

This, of course, attracted numerous hopeful pioneers, among whom was David N. Hardman who arrived with an ox train in 1878. He founded a settlement and became postmaster of a post office bearing his name. The settlement grew into a thriving Oregon Trail town as more and more settlers arrived. In its heyday, in addition to the post office, it was home to two hotels, three general stores, a saloon, a barbershop, a newspaper, schools, two blacksmiths, a telephone office and a church.

It wasn’t until the railroads and eventually automobiles and trucks became the most popular modes of transportation that Hardman’s days of prosperity were over. Today, the town remains home to about 20 permanent residents, while several old, abandoned buildings still stand.

Camp Nearby:  Bull Prairie Lake Campground

“A wonderful place to unclutter your mind and renew your spirit!” — The Dyrt camper Jill S.

5. Golden Ghost Town in Josephine County

Golden, Oregon - Ghost Towns in Oregon

Photo of Golden by Tedder – CC BY 3.0

One of the true ghost towns in Oregon, now completely abandoned, Golden was established during the 1840s gold rush. At first a simple mining camp on Coyote Creek in southwestern Oregon, it eventually developed into a town around 1890, a hub serving the people working in more remote places nearby.

At its height, more than 150 people called Golden home. There was a church, a post office, a large orchard and a general store. However, unlike many other mining towns, it distinguished itself by not having any saloons.

Golden is blessed with a beautiful location in peaceful woodlands and has its very own historic district—the Golden State Heritage Site . You can explore the four remaining structures: a residence, shed, church and the building that housed the store and post office.

Camp Nearby:  Wolf Creek County Park

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6. Buncom Ghost Town in Jackson County

Photo of Buncom courtesy of Southern Oregon Outdoors

In Jackson County, Southern Oregon , sits Buncom. An abandoned mid-19 th  century mining town, this is one of Oregon’s best-preserved ghost towns. Now uninhabited, it was founded in 1851 by Chinese miners after gold was found in Jacksonville and Sterling Creek.

In addition to gold, the area’s mines yielded silver, chromite and cinnabar as well. The town had its own saloon and general store within a decade of its founding—two significant indications of a settlement’s success. A post office was added in 1896. Besides gold miners, Buncom also attracted farmers, ranchers and loggers.

Only three buildings from those prosperous days survive today. The bunkhouse, post office and cookhouse are now protected and preserved by the Buncom Historical Society , which organizes an annual event called Buncom Day for fundraising efforts.

Camp Nearby:  Squaw Lakes Campground

“This is truly an Oregon gem. Swimming, non-motorized boating, fishing, hiking, trail cycling, you name it, this place has it. Pack-in/Pack-out, with the option to hire the camp host and his four-wheeler to drop your gear off at your site. You’ll have to walk in. The water has the most beautiful silver shale sparkles, and almost always feels warm.” — The Dyrt camper Jennifer A.

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14 spine-chilling ghost towns in oregon.

Ghost Towns in Oregon

1. Auburn, Baker County

Auburn Oregon Ghost Town

A few obliterated gravestones in an unkempt cemetery are all that remains in the barren city of Auburn which once had a thriving economy with a population of over 6000.

In 1861, a prospector named John Adams walked into an indistinct location in Wasco County looking for gold. Soon, one of the members in Adams’ mining party, Henry Griffin, unearthed a gold reserve in a spot (known as Griffin Creek) that attracted a host of settlers to the place.

With the gold reserves getting depleted at a fast pace because of the large number of miners aiming at it, the settlers gradually left the town, making it deserted as declared by the Salem Statesman in 1864.

How to get there

2. Shaniko, Wasco County

Shaniko Oregon Ghost Town

The seed for Shaniko, originally called Cross Hollows, was planted when the first European Americans poured into this region after gold got uncovered in Canyon City. Gradually being converted to the “Wool Capital of the World”, after the first three sales of wool brought in a record profit, this city become immensely populous, and a trading centre for cattle, sheep, wheat and wool.

However, its importance decreased when in 1911, the Oregon–Washington Railroad and Navigation Company started using an alternate line linking Bend and Portland, which was more direct and less time consuming.

The Columbia Southern line was closed down permanently in 1966. By 1982, Shaniko had turned into a ghost town, recording a population of a meagre 37 as per the 2014 consensus.

3. Antelope, Wasco County

Antelope Oregon Ghost Town

The town got its name from its history of the numerous antelope grazing on the valley that it had settled upon. As it continued to function as a resting stop for prairie wagons transporting goods and passengers, the population increased rapidly, making it a hub for cattlemen. Its importance increased further with the opening of a post office in August 1871.

However, the entire town was destroyed by a fire in 1898 wherein merely one building on the main street survived. Although the town was restored soon, it began to fade away alarmingly fast after the neighboring town Shaniko became the terminus of the Columbia Southern Railway. Even today, it continues to be one of the best ghost towns of Oregon in terms of spookiness.

4. Bridal Veil, Multnomah County

Bridal Veil Oregon Ghost Town

Bridal Veil of Multnomah County was founded in 1886 as a boom town for timber logging when a logging company began to harvest timber on the Larch Mountain nearby and built a corresponding sawmill. The timber reserves began to run out by 1936, during which a fire destroyed the mill. The Bridal Veils Lumbering Company then ceased its operations and gave up ownership. A year later the whole town was taken over by a company named Bridal Veil Lumber and Box , making wooden cheese boxes, which too closed in 1960.

Another reason for the population decline was the epidemics of small pox and diphtheria that afflicted many. The local cemetery had its last burial in 1934. Presently, President of the Bridal Veil Historical Preservation Society Geri Canzler, her husband Rod and a few volunteers acquired the exclusive right to maintain the cemetery. Post the demolition of the Bridal Veil Community Church in 2011, all that still stands in the town is the US Oregon Post Office and the cemetery.

5. Idiotville, Tillamook County

Idiotville Tillamook Burn

Twenty years of four devastating forest fires between 1933 and 1951 ruined the wilderness in Idiotville, besides destroying lumber worth almost half a billion dollars. After the fires, recovery camps like Ryan’s camp were set up in a few locations, but reaching the sites were time taking. Despite all the toil and trouble, the attempts at recovery were futile. Since the very project wherein the cons weighed more than the pros bordered on idiocy, the town soon came to be popularly known as Idiotville. The town with the amusingly graphic name now lies deserted with absolutely no traces of prior inhabitation.

6. Greenhorn, Baker and Grant Counties

Greenhorn City

The history of this town is as peculiar as the way it attained its name. Two young amateur prospectors known as the Greenhorns had strolled into a camp in the Blue Mountains looking for gold. Legend has it that when they accidentally stumbled upon a chunk of rock that was way more valuable than gold, the town soon began going by the name of Greenhorn. After this discovery, the little camp began to grow into a well- functioning town. By 1895, the population had reached over 3000 people. However, the mineral reserves started to run out soon. It became harder and harder to break- even and within a short time, the city of Greenhorn turned into a ghost town without a single soul in sight.

7. Golden, Josephine County

Golden Oregon Ghost Town

Golden, Josephine County is a long abandoned town in Coyote Creek that was once a gold mining spot. Although the goods store, the Church, the carriage house and a few houses are all that’s left behind, Golden Heritage District has now been declared as a State Heritage site in the National Register of Historic places.

8. Blitzen, Harney County

Harney County Oregon Ghost Towns

Named after the Donner und Blitzen River, the now- abandoned ghost town of Blitzen acquired its first post office in 1915 which served as a rural delivery site till February 1943 until it closed down.

Although there are a few run-down buildings still standing in the ghost town, there seems to be no trace of this morbid town ever being inhabited.

9. Shedd, Linn County

Boston Flour Mills Shedd Oregon

The town of Boston, which moved west and relocated to become Shedd, is currently an unincorporated community. Since the railroad was built in Shedd instead of Boston, the post- office and the buildings in Boston moved to Shedd to be near the railroad after 1871.

The National Register of Historic Places has listed the Boston Flour Mill and Oregon’s oldest operating water-powered mill at the site that was earlier known as Boston Mills. It is one of the only two gristmills that are still running. As per the last census, the total population of Shedd, Oregon was 204.

10. Sumpter, Baker County

Baker County Oregon Ghost Towns

Sumpter happened to be a gold-mining boom town in 1899. After the construction of the Sumpter Valley Railway line, the city expanded further towards a collection of deep-shaft gold mines. The population grew considerably as ranchers, miners, timber companies, and breweries settled in for business. However, the gold reserves began to get depleted. Soon after, a raging fire broke out in 1917. Dynamite was used to tame the fire, which in turn annihilated about a dozen blocks of the towns.

As of now, only a few establishments remain which is used as retail shops.

11. Dufur, Wasco County

Central Oregon Ghost Towns

This teensy ghost town once housed the largest apple orchard in the country. Established in the 1870s, it acquired its name after Andrew J. Dufur and Enoch Burnham Dufur, the local land-owning brothers.

As per the 2013 population consensus, only 604 people reside in this little community. A hotel, a log cabin, a school and a museum are a few of the most noticeable structures which still remain of t he town.

12. Buncom, Jackson County

Jackson County Oregon Ghost Towns

Also known as Buncombe, this puny southern Oregon town is regarded as a ghost town by the Buncom Historical Society. Originally a mining town, the Chinese miners were the first settlers after the discovery of gold in the neighboring Jacksonville and Sterling Creek regions. The town also drew in a substantial number of farmers and ranchers looking to trade from here. Several facilities like a general store, saloon and post office was built.

However, by 1918, all the gold in the area was exhausted with the town being abandoned by 1920. Soon, the buildings fell prey to wear and tear, many of which were later burned down.

Today, only three buildings of this tiny town remain – the cookhouse, the post-office and the bunkhouse and are preserved by its respective historical society.

13. Ashwood, Jefferson County

Ghost Towns Near Bend Oregon

Owing to the railroad facility in Shaniko which enabled the shipping of wool, the town of Ashwood became dependent upon sheep ranching for their livelihood in 1900. Then by 1920, it turned into a center for gold and silver mining. However, as the treasure chest began to run out, the locals were forced to return to agriculture and threshing to sustain themselves. Still underdeveloped and mostly unkempt, there is very little that is remembered or revered in this town, whose population census is not conducted formally.

14. Divide, Lane County

Lane County Oregon Ghost Towns

Divide, a historic town and a spot loved by hiking enthusiasts, acquired its name from the fact that it demarcates the boundary of the Willamette and Umpqua river in the north and south as well as the Coast Fork Willamette river and Pass Creek in the east and west.

This town is completely off the radar with no population census conducted formally for it.

The 14 listed ghost towns in Oregon are enough to tickle your tastes for the ghoulish. Many of these towns serve as great heritage sites with an engrossing history that are bound to attract those that love to explore long- forgotten towns haunted by ghosts of the centuries past.

2 responses to “14 Spine-Chilling Ghost Towns in Oregon”

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The first photo of “Auburn” is the Central railway station in Sydney, Australia. It even says Sydney on the image.

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have you had any luck with a town the use to be called The Cliffs or Cliff washington?

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abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Oregon's bewitching ghost town trail

The haunting skeletal remains of Oregon's gold rush era.

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Created by Destination Strange - December 14th 2017

W hen to comes to ghost towns, Oregon might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about states that are full of them. But, it's surprisingly full of abandoned settlements that died off as the intoxicating illusion of the golden West faded. Each town's story might feel similar (gold is found, miners come, town grows, railroad passes the town, town dies) but as you visit each, you'll start to notice subtle differences. Some towns lasted longer than others, some moved into more than just mining, and in some, determined local residents refused to let their home be erased from the map... or from history.

Sumpter Valley Dredge

Sumpter, OR

It's hard to believe looking at it now, but the Sumpter Valley Dredge dug up nearly 4 million dollars' worth of gold in its day. The now-silent dredge is at the heart of the town of Sumpter which is seeing a bit of a revival, thanks to the fact that the dredge has been turned into part of an interpretive state park. There's a little museum, a few shops and antique stores, and the Sumpter Valley Railroad, making the town a perfect little day trip.

Galena couldn't be more different from Sumpter. While the previous settlement has turned its ghost town-iness into an attraction, Galena has that more authentically abandoned feel. Originally called Susanville (after one of the original inhabitants), it was renamed Galena after the galena ore being mined here. The residents weren't the most creative, I guess. Anyways, meadering the grassy swath of riverbank for abandoned buildings is pretty exciting. Ritter, another nearby town, is worth poking around as well.

Heppner, OR

Formed from two settlements called "Rawdog" and "Yallerdog" (much more inventive names than "Susanville" if you ask me), Hardman was, for a short period, a pretty nice place to live. Marketed as a place known for its fertile farmland, it once boasted three general stores, two hotels, two blacksmiths, a saloon, a barber shop, a church, schools, a post office, a newspaper, and a telephone office, two meeting halls, even a skating rink, and a racetrack. Only a few of these buildings still stand, as the town started to die when a railroad was built bypassing the town, but some of the structures left standing are on the National Register of Historic Places. You might find a few friendly locals still living here as well.

This quiet, almost abandoned ghost town called Shaniko was once the wool capital of the world. A major railroad transportation hub, it was a bustling settlement until rail lines started passing it by in favor of other routes. Despite this, the few locals left love their little town. It hosts the Wool Gathering, Pioneer and Shaniko Days, a vintage music festival, and the occasional car show (the town has a barn filled with antique cars you can check out.) There's a jail, a post office, a few shops, and the hotel, which has been lovingly restored. You can feel the residents' love for the town and sense their passion to keep it alive.

Jawbone Flats Trail

In the middle of the breathtaking Opal Creek Wilderness sits Jawbone Flats. Once a camp for gold miners in the 1850s, it attracted the Amalgamated Mining Co. 1930 as a place where lead, zinc, copper and silver could be processed. It was never terribly successful, and it took until the 1990s for people to see the real value of the town... the beauty and rare ecosystem of the forest around it. It's been protected and you can check out the totally off-the-grid amenities around present-day Jawbone Flats, only accessible via a hike through the gorgeous wilderness.

Welcome to Millican, population 4 (as of 2011)! This ghost town is a little less Wild West and a little more... modern day grunge. Because it's mostly a gas station. But it's got a morbid appeal... because its last resident was murdered. It's changed hands a few times since then and has a caretaker today, but it remains one of the more bone-chilling ghost towns in Oregon.

There may be only three buildings left in Buncom, but it's still worth a peek. The town's other buildings burned down in a fire, but at its peak it had a post office and a saloon. Because no settlement is a proper town without those two very important things. Check out the post office (circa 1910), the cookhouse, and the bunkhouse, recently restored, and soak up the antique vibes.

Like most of these ghost towns, Golden was established as a gold mining camp (obviously.) The town was abandoned several times over the course of its life, first when the miners here left for Salmon Creek, where more gold had been discovered 1850. Chinese immigrants then took over the abandoned mines, but were kicked out when the original miners came back. From there, the town grew to have a population of about 150. In 1915 a stamp mill was built, and even though the post office closed shortly after, in 1920, the church was rebuilt as recently as 1950. It all makes for an interesting mix of buildings and architecture.

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Visit These Oregon Ghost Towns This Fall

By Gabriel Granillo October 28, 2021

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Shaniko, Oregon

Image: Courtesy Izzet Safer/Shutterstock

What makes a town a ghost town? Is it a town overrun with paranormal activity? Fun, but not quite. Is it a completely abandoned town with decrepit buildings and not a soul in sight? Not quite either. (Some ghost towns are home to handfuls of people—sometimes even thousands.)

The state of Oregon, which has more than 200 ghost towns (more than any other state), legally defines a ghost town as an incorporated city with land acquired under a US patent, that does not have a sufficient number of registered electors residing within the city, and is of historic interest. But there's a bit more to ghost towns than all that technical mumbo jumbo, and it often defies explanation. Through a dwindling economy that failed to support its people, or through the people who failed to see the damage they'd done and the seeds they sowed, many ghost towns share a history of decline: a once-was timber manufacturer that exhausted its resources, a mining boomtown that succumbed to fires and the Depression, places that time forgot. 

From the eastern desert to the Pacific coast, Oregon's many ghost towns hold remnants of the state's past. Getting there can be a long drive, but worth it. So fill up your tank, grab some snacks, queue up  Portland Monthly 's fall playlist , and venture out. These Oregon ghost towns await. 

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Bridal Veil mill

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Bridal Veil

About 30 minutes from Portland

You don’t have to travel outside of Multnomah County to find an Oregon ghost town. Bridal Veil, a once bustling lumber town home to Oregon’s first paper mill, lies just 40 minutes west of Portland and its namesake Bridal Veil Falls is one of many waterfalls that dot the Columbia River Gorge . For about 70 years since its establishment in the 1880s, Bridal Veil functioned as the Bridal Veil Falls Lumbering Company which logged at Larch Mountain. By 1988, most of the timber in the area had been extracted, while fires (including one in the nearby town of Palmer), and a change of ownership sealed Bridal Veil’s doomed fate, and most residents of the town left in the months and years following.

Visitors today will find only a cemetery and a post office—the third smallest post office in America. But despite Bridal Veil’s reputation as a ghost town (and a Christmas Eve break-in that shuttered its operation in 2018), its post office is alive and well, particularly during wedding season, when newlyweds can get a specialized stamp on their wedding invitation.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

An abandoned building in Shaniko 

Image: Courtesy TFoxFoto/Shutterstock

Boyd, Friend, Shaniko & Antelope

About 1 hour and 30 minutes from Portland

About an hour-and-a-half drive on the I-84 gets you to the US-197 in the Dalles, along which you’ll find a handful of ghost towns in Wasco County. First up, the former farming town of Boyd , named after local miller T.P. Boyd and founded in 1870. The town, once home to about 200 or so people, boasts only a few residents nowadays and the remnants of an 1883 wooden granary. Another 15 or so miles down the 197 brings you to Friend where you’ll find the town’s old general store, a one-room schoolhouse (now a community center for the few residents in the area), and a cemetery. About an hour southeast of Friend, tourist-friendly Shaniko , the former “Wool Capital of the World,” awaits off the US-97. Shaniko is easily one of Oregon’s most famous ghost towns, with beautifully weathered buildings and a surprisingly lively atmosphere. (The town is home to some 30 or so residents who hold annual events, festivals, and jamborees.) Finally, about an eight-mile drive south you’ll find Antelope , an old ranching town that briefly became home to members of the Rajneesh Movement.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

The Peter Iredale wreckage near Fort Stevens in Clatsop County

Image: Courtesy Thye-Wee Gn/Shutterstock

Fort Stevens

About 1 hour and 4o minutes from Portland

More of a ghost site then a ghost town , Fort Stevens, now managed by Oregon State Parks , is a former military installation established to defend the mouth of the Columbia River during the Civil War, but it wasn’t until World War II that the site saw combat. The attack by an Imperial Japanese submarine fortunately suffered no casualties and only minimal damage, but it did bestow on Fort Stevens an accolade as the only military installation in the continental U.S. to be attacked by the Axis during World War II.

Visitors now can explore the abandoned historic military site and, during the summer, take underground tours of a gun battery that served during World War II. For an added abandoned bonus, check out the wreckage of Peter Iredale . In October 1906, the British barque sailing vessel ran ashore so hard that three of the ship’s masts broke off. Visitors can walk up to the 100-year-old wreckage during low tide.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

An abandoned mercantile in Golden

Image: Courtesy Oregon State Parks

About 3 hours and 40 minutes from Portland

Originally a gold mining camp established near Coyote Creek in the 1840s and ‘50s, the aptly-named Golden developed into a fully established town around 1890 and was home to around 100 or so people—mostly religious sorts who had forsworn saloons and bars in favor of churches and orchards. Early miners recovered upwards of $1 million in gold from nearby streams and hillsides, but by the 1920s, with mined-out creeks and a downward-sloping economy, Golden was abandoned.

Today, only four structures remain in the town: a church, store, post office, and one home, all of which are now known as the Golden State Heritage Site  which is open for day use year round.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

The historic Sumpter Valley Railway

Image: Courtesy Wasim Muklashy/Shutterstock

About 5 hours and 15 minutes from Portland

In Portland we put a bird on it. In Sumpter they put a “P” on it. According to the Rust, Rot & Ruin: Stories of Oregon Ghost Towns online exhibit, this former mining boomtown found its name when early settlers discovered a “large, round stone which reminded them of a cannonball and, inexplicably, Fort Sumter in South Carolina.” Shortly after its founding in 1898, the railroad came (expanding the city and bringing people and goods), the city expanded its deep-shaft gold mines, and the population grew. Before a devastating fire in 1917, Sumpter had become a bustling modern town, with a brewery, saloons, an opera house, and a few newspapers. The fire, which had burned down nearly 100 buildings in town, and a dwindling mining industry caused many to relocate.

Sumpter is still home to about 200 people, and offers gold panning and rides on the historic Sumpter Valley Railroad for visiting tourists. The city is also a gateway to adventures at Elkhorn Crest Trail and Olive Lake , plus other nearby ghost towns like Bourne, Granite, Greenhorn, and Whitney.

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Ghost Towns of Oregon

This is by far the most complete list of Oregon’s Ghost Towns in existence. Many people say that Oregon has between 60 and 80 ghost towns, I have identified 268 on the map below and have another 50+ to add to the map.

*update* After much research, I believe that the number of ghost towns in Oregon is actually closer to 1600. Yes, that number is outstandingly hard to believe. But one of my primary sources, Oregon Post Offices 1847-1985 ” has that many entries. Another source, Lat-long.com lists 1614 “historical” post offices that no longer exist. Even accounting for absorbed post office, we still have a large number of towns that that never had post offices too, making me think that even this number is low. And yes, that is still more post offices then any other state.

Many of these towns simply do not exist anymore. If we’re lucky, they have left a name on modern maps. The ebb and flow of multiple gold strikes in the early days of Oregon, land speculation as Oregon was the last location of “cheap” land, and optimistic homesteaders choosing the wrong location, and railroads bypassing towns, led to many towns being built and then dwindling away.

Some of these towns persisted despite the odds. Maybe they were saved by the coming of the rail road, newly discovered industry or tourism. Frequently they died a few decades later as the rail roads lost profit, tourism moved on, or worse of all, highways bypassed towns completely. All of these left hints of civilization around the state. Historic Barns from past farms sit in back yards. Elegant Victorian homes are surrounded by neighborhoods of modern houses. Little green City Signs dot rural highways naming a small hamlet of two or three ramshackle buildings.

If you know anything more about any specific town, or know of any abandoned towns that are not on my list, please email me , or post a comment below on the relevant town.

An explanation of the Class and one digit codes on each town can be found here .

Town names and locations are gathered from a variety of sources. Here is a list of books that I personally own and rely on for Ghost Town Names and locations. I also rely on a variety of web based sources such as the Ghost Town Forums , WikiPedia (and it’s sources,) the Lat-Long.com Oregon Web Page, and of course, Google Maps for without, much of this research would not be possible.

Thank you for visiting my site!

The Ghost Towns

Click below to find more information about individual Ghost Towns of Oregon

Airlie – Terminus of the Oregon Railway Company

Altamont (Leland)

Bacona – isolated timber town SE of Vernonia that is now totally gone.

Bellfountain

Bellwood – Needs more information!

Bloomington

Boones Landing (Boone’s Ferry, Boon)

Bourne (Cracker)

Bridal Veil

Butteville (Butes, La Butte, Buteville, St. Alexcie)

Cabell City

Champoeg (Encampment du Sable)

Cherryville

Clackamas City

Clarksville

Clatsop City

Crawfordsville

Cross Hollows

Currinsville (Young’s Prairie, Zion)

Cutler City

Dead Ox Flats

Detroit (Coe)

Dolph (Tillamook County)

Eureka (Baker County)

Eureka (Eureka Bar)(Wallowa County)

Farmington Mall

Garrsion’s Landing

Gilkey Station

Grande Ronde

Granite (Independence)

Horse Haven

Idaville (Jawbone)

Independence

Irving – Once a stop on the Oregon and California Railroad, now part of Eugene’s Santa Clara Neighborhood.

Jacksonville

Jawbone Flats

Jennyopolis

Kerby (Kirbeyville, Napoleon)

King’s Valley

Kirk (Kirkford)

Ghost Town of Linslaw Oregon

Little Sweden (Green Basin)

Longcoy’s Grand View Park (Longcoy’s, Grand View)

Malheur City

Ghost Town of Maxville Oregon (Vincent)

Millirons (Stage Coach Stop)

Mount Tabor

Multnomah City

Pleasant Hill

Point Terrace

Quartzville

Robisonville

Salmonberry

Sharksville

Shelburn (Shellburn)

Snooseville Corner (Snooseville) – Small village that contained a saw mill

Silver Falls

Simnasho – Located on the Warmsprings Reservation

Starrs Point

Sterlingville

Taft (Johnson)

Tampico (No information!)

Taylor’s Bridge

Three Forks

Troy (Nauvoo)

Umpqua City

Van – abandoned ranching community in Harney County

Waldo (Sailor’s Diggings)

Westfall (Bully)

Wilderville

Willow Creek

Oregon Ghost Town Books

Ghosts of Times Past: A Road Trip of Eastern Oregon Ghost Towns

Ghost Towns of the Pacific Northwest: Your Guide to the Hidden History of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia

Ghost Towns of the Pacific Northwest: Your Guide to Ghost Towns, Mining Camps, and Historic Forts of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

Oregon’s Ghost Towns

BUNCOM: CROSSROADS STATION: An Oregon Ghost Town’s Gift from the Past

Willamette Landings Ghost Towns of the River

And last but certainly far from least, Lambert Florin has a huge series of Ghost Town Books . Many cover Oregon Towns.

40 Responses to “ Ghost Towns of Oregon ”

Thank you so much for this! You’re list is very helpful! I am planning a trip to oregon (staying mainly on the coast but going into portland) and I was wondering what you think the BEST ghost town in oregon is?!

Hello Sierra, I hope you enjoy your trip to Oregon. There aren’t really any good ghost towns along the coast. There are several historic communities such as Waldport and Toledo that are worth visiting. The sea air, scavenging for building materials, forest fires, and flooding ruined most towns.

If you can take the time, Shaniko is probably your best bet. It’s only a couple of hours east of Portland. If you’re further south traveling along I-5, Golden and Buncom are both good trips.

Hey Rick, do you know of any abandoned radio or cellphone towers in Oregon? Thanks I’m advance!

Hello Timothy, thank you for stopping by. I do not know of any abandoned radio or cell towers. I’m making the assumption that most of those get reused or taken down for safety reasons pretty quickly .

I love this list you have put together although I have two other ghost towns for your consideration. Marmot, OR and Wapinitia, OR both have ties to my family. Marmot was established by my great grandfather around 1886. Wapinitia is where my family currently lives and though the population be small many buildings still stand including the church, school gymnasium and one of the hotels along with many other small buildings and homes. Both are ghost towns I think would be a great addition to your list!

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

How about the Wreck of Peter Iredale? Is that still around? Maybe they’d like to see that. It’s like a ghost ship.

The wreck of the Peter Iredale is still around, you can find more information about it here: http://pnwphotoblog.com/peter-iredale-at-fort-stevens/

My grandmother and her family used to live on a farm near the town of Mineral Springs. Nearly everyone had to leave because they lost their farms during the Depression. I’m not finding any info about it online. I have been to this place. I don’t know the exact location, but I have been there myself and there is a sign saying “Mineral Springs.” When everyone had to leave, because they lost their farms and businesses, my family donated some land to the state to be used as a burial ground for the people leaving, so the families leaving would have a place to bury their loved ones. The bodies were moved from their farms to our family’s little cemetery. I’ve seen that too. There’s a little jar that you can open, hidden somewhere, with the names and locations of everyone in the cemetery. I’m surprised you don’t have Mineral Springs in your list. At least one person still lives there, they have what looks like a little B&B where the hot springs are located.

Hello Hanna, thank you for stopping by. Mineral Springs is a new one for me. The name does not appear in Oregon Posts Offices or Oregon Geographic names so I haven’t run across it at all. There is a springs called Mineral Springs here in Malheur County: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mineral+Springs,+Oregon/@43.4451595,-117.556283,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x54b035f062ac01f1:0x46fc7378a65b493e There was a town called Mineral a few miles east of Bohemia outside of Cottage Grove.

Hi Rick –

Awesome site! I’m trying to find reference to a ghost town in Curry County on the Sixes River called Somersville, or possibly Summersville / Sommersville or some other variant. I’ve heard it was located at the site of the current Sixes River Recreation area, but I’ve not been able to pinpoint its exact location. Any ideas?

Hello Brian!

I just took a look over at Lat-long.com for anything I could find. Unfortunately the only version of that spelling is Sommerville Dam, OR in Malheur County. If the town existed, it wasn’t big enough for a post office. I have no doubt it did exist though, that area was the location of a major gold strike and towns would have sprung up all over the place.

I’d suggest going into the Coos County or Marshfield Newspaper archives and see what might be found. Or contacting the Coos County Historical Society might generate some leads.

Thanks Rick – Appreciate the assistance! I’ll check with the Coos County Historical Society on my next visit.

Regards, Brian

FYI there was a gold mine camp at the site of the current Campground in the recreational area on the sixes River they have several informative dioramas explaining the history of the site well worth the visit good luck! Alan

Melissa Shatka

Larry Blymyer

David Kealoha Folsom

You missed Kansas City just north of Forest Grove on the way to Clapshaw Hill, Snooseville Corners North of Mountaindale Cochran Outside Timber,and Cherry Grove not a ghost town but a zombie town.

Hello Nitro! Do you perhaps have GPS coordinates for those towns, along with any information about them?

Austin Galvan Dani McNally check this map out.

Ghost towns in Nevada are way cool

Check my site out for a couple more around the Madras area:

http://www.meccagrade.com/vintages/

Your missing the town of Booth – it was located on Tahkenitch Lake .

Meghan Haley Janet Haley

Frank Cunningham

Emily Piercy David B. Jammin

Damon would love this

I am writing a book abut Grandview, it’s the story of Hope Nance, who was born there in 1917. I have been interviewing her for over a year now, and hope to have the book done and out in late 1916. I have a sample chapter on the internet at http://www.photographicimage.com/FindingHope.html . It will basically cover the history of the town of Grandview from the mid-teens of the 20th century to the early 1930’s when it began to decline. comments welcome.

Why is Drain considered a ghost town? Are there just a lot of ghosts here?

Generally, a town is considered a ghost town when the population reaches 1/10th of what it was at it’s population height.

Perrydale has a school, one of the best in Polk Co. There was a mechanic shop there also. And I went to the first grade in Westfir, OR. Edward J. Hines Lmbr. Co. was there then. Maybe it went the way of Valsetz?

My boyfriend and i are trying to plan a trip allover oregon to check out old overgrown abandoned houses and property, things deep in oregon the hidden stuff. I’m however having a extremely hard time finding all these locations i would appreciate any sort of help to get either a general area or addresses anything too help us find these long forgotten homes or old cars we want rusty creepy broke down and beautiful thanks for reading and i can be reached by email [email protected] My name is shay enjoy your day.

What happened to West Fork? Flooded out by the Rogue River, and never rebuilt.

Hello larry, this is the first I’ve heard of West Fork. Do you know where it was exactly and any history about it?

I saw the location of the remnants of West Fork in 1992, but I don’t remember the exact location, just that it was on the Rogue. It had been a “Criteser” town to start with, according to a cousin, Larry McLane and wife Dariel. They said the town was destroyed by a flood of the Rogue R. and never rebuilt. I have found an old photo of West Fork: https://www.oldoregonphotos.com/waiting-at-the-west-fork-depot-c-1895.html

Are you refering to the West Fork Rd near Trail, OR? The Rogue River flooed a lot of Trail and Shady Cove. I didn’t think there was ever a town there. I know there was a mill on that road that has since been turned into a lake and possibly a resort. My ex-husband worked at that mill. Trail might also be considered a ghost town. There is a market on the highway near there, and the old tavern has been turned into a museum. There are still several homes there.

There is Brownsboro, located about 5 miles out of Eagle Point, OR. Named after my ancestor, George Brown. Nothing left there, except newer homes, a church and a cemetary. Also, there’s Climax, OR which is between E. Antelope Rd and Lake Creek, Or. My grandparents Walter and Bertha Charley and their 10 children lived there. My grandmother was the post mistress, and the pigeonhole sorter was in their house. My aunt found part of that when they explored the homestead, but the house was down. There’s a beautiful hand-pegged barn near by that is over 100 years old

Also, there was Laurelhurst, above Shady Cove across the Rogue River from Hwy 62 . There was an orchard there, and my brothers worked there for a while. It is all gone now. Some of it possibly under water from Lost Lake. And there was McLeod, which is above Shady Cove, and on the way to Prospect. There used to be a store near there, and they had a bear chained in the yard. The bear drank soda, so people bought it for him. All that is left now is McLeon Park, which sets on the Rogue River. There is also Wonder, which is between Grants Pass and Cave Junction. There’s only a store and some old buildings, and new homes. And there’s an actual ghost town further up toward Kerby. I believe it is called Gold Gulch. And there’s Wilderville, which isn’t very big.

You forgot Copper, Oregon. Now under the Applegate Lake in southern Oregon.

Does anyone remember a ghost town in northwest Oregon which was built possibly by German settlers, and that contains a number of elaborately made organs in it? I’ve been trying to find this town for a while, and remember it having dirt roads, 6-10 buildings, all with beautiful, working, organs (the musical instruments). Would much appreciate any info, including the towns name. Thanks!

Saw no reference to Kingston. It was located approx 1/2-3/4 miles SE of Stayton on what is now Kingston Jordan Rd SE (where it is bisected by Kingston Lyons Rd SE). They had a post office and store and more, I believe. I grew up 1/4 mile away. Is well known. Definitely a ghost town.

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This ghost town road trip in oregon is the perfect adventure.

oregon ghost towns

Did you know there are more ghost towns in Oregon than anywhere in the United States? As I love learning about the rich history of our beautiful state, naturally, ghost towns in Oregon have always fascinated me.

This particular road trip I plan on doing this myself this summer, as I recently picked up a new camera as I have taken up photography this year! I'll be hitting the road, hopefully around July, and I can't wait to venture into these incredible ghost towns and take some great photos myself.

If you are looking for a fun adventure to take with loved ones, you'll love this road trip that we have made, which focuses on historic towns primarily in Eastern Oregon . You can check out the map here , which we have made on Google Maps, and also see the map we have embedded below. We recommend you plan well; this trip is a few hundred miles depending on where you are starting. You can change this trip to whatever accommodates your adventure best!

Ghost Towns in Oregon

shaniko ghost town, near columbia southern railway

The historic town of Shaniko was no accident. Danielle (thepdxphotographer) took one of my favorite photos in this article, shown above in Shaniko. The town was planned before it was born. It was the brainchild of a group of bankers and businessmen in The Dalles, and by 1900 Shaniko offered hotel, a combination City Hall, Fire Hall and jail and other structures some of which still stand.

The reason for the town was the enormous production of wool, Central Oregon being one huge sheep ranch in the 1900s. The only outlet for these thousands of bales of fleece was the The Dalles. In 1898, in order to expedite the shipment of wool, a railroad was brought in from Biggs Junction on the Columbia River. Since a railroad could not be useful without a terminal, Shaniko was built for that express purpose.

The hotel here has been beautifully restored, and there are several antique stores said to be open in the spring, summer, and fall.

ghost towns in oregon

Condon is technically not a ghost town, but you will come across this tiny town in route on our ghost town road trip. Condon, a Norman Rockwell-esque community, is situated less than 30 miles southeast from the park.

You will certainly be hungry along the way, and we recommend stopping in at the Buckhorn Saloon for a bite to eat. There’s also an old-fashioned soda fountain and a branch of the famous Powell’s Bookstore next door at Country Flowers , as well as some other wonderful shops and eateries ( Sandi’s Soups , for example) along Condon’s beautifully restored historic Main Street.

Famous geologist Thomas Condon founded the town in 1893, and helped work with the John Fossil Beds. It was also where Linus Pauling grew up (Nobel Prize winning physicist). 

RELATED: 26 Historic Oregon Schoolhouses Still Standing Today

ghost towns in oregon

According to the United States Census Bureau, Lonerock, which was founded in 1881 has a total area of 1.01 square miles all of it land. Lonerock was started as a service center for the surrounding ranches and and today is another ghost town worth a visit.

One thing you'll notice here is an unusual, 35-foot high lone rock which still stands in the town near the old Methodist church, hence the city name Lonerock . The city's population grew from 68 in 1900 to 70 in 1910, 73 in 1920 and then to a high of 82 in 1930. By 1940 Lonerock's population dwindled to 46, and continued to drop to 38 in 1950, 31 in 1960, and then bottomed out to 12 residents in 1970. The city grew to 26 citizens in 1980, before falling to 11 in the 1990 census. As of the census of 2010, there were 21 people, 12 households, and 5 families residing in the city.

Check out this shed size jail that still stands, courtesy of Lynne Hammonds who ventured through Lonerock.

oregon ghost towns, abandoned buildings

Located on SH 207, just nine miles south of Ruggs and 20 miles south of Heppner, you will find Hardman. This golden ghost town is a travel center and agricultural ghost on Oregon’s eastern grasslands. This fascinating place was founded in the 1870s, and the first post office was established in 1881. Hotels stores, and other businesses soon followed. When automobile and trucks came into their own, the town faded.

John F. Royse and his brother, the first settlers in the area, started a school in 1879 which was known as Dairyville. Locals referred to this place as  Rawdog . At the same time, David N. Hardman, who arrived in the jackson county in 1878, started a settlement a mile to the southeast. In 1881 a post office was established, and was known as Hardman. A mile to the northwest of Dairyville was the community of Adamsville, known to the locals as Yallerdog . In 1882, the Hardman post office was moved to Dairyville but retained the Hardman name. Adamsville post office was established in 1884 and closed in 1885, and thereafter, all activity centered on what is now Hardman, where the post office ran intermittently until 1968. Locals called the place "Dogtown" after its two predecessors. Why the locals named these communities after dogs is unknown.

Galena is a former gold mining camp settled in 1865, also considered a ghost town about 20 miles from Austin Junction in the Blue Mountains. Galena is on the Middle Fork John Day River in the Malheur national forest.

The town was named Susanville after one of the earliest inhabitants, Susan Ward. Galena post office was established in 1901 when a group of miners were able to get the Susanville post office moved from the current site of Galena two miles up Elk Creek to their mine. The new building was named for a body of galena ore in the area, and the town was renamed as well. The mines were worked extensively in the 1860s and were still active in 1940.

oregon ghost towns, coyote creek

These great photos are courtesy of Rick at pnwphotoblog.com , where you can find even more information on this awesome little town ( HERE ).

oregon ghost towns

As of 2010, Greenhorn has been completely abandoned with a total population of 0. There are reportedly 7 homes which still stand here. This town was first populated in 1860s as miners prospected for gold in the area. It was platted in 1904, though it lost two-thirds of its population between 1900 and 1910.

The mining district was composed first of placer mines, but soon many lode deep shaft gold mines developed. The abandoned city was incorporated in 1903. It continued as a viable community until 1942 when gold mining was made illegal by Federal Public Law 208 during World War II.

In later years, the old Greenhorn Jail (dating to 1910) was removed to Canyon City under suspicious circumstances. A court case ensued for its return, but because the city straddles the Blue Mountain ridge, the district attorneys of Baker County and Grant County could not even agree in which court house it should be held. The case was eventually heard by the Circuit Court for Grant County in Canyon City. The jail remains in Canyon City.

oregon ghost towns, eastern oregon

Granite was another late 1800s gold mining town, booming with 5000 people. You will find this town just 15 miles northwest of Sumpter, in the northeastern corner of the county about 45 miles out of Baker City.

oregon ghost towns, granite ghost town

Back on July 4, 1862 the first gold was found here. By 1900 Granite had a drug store, two hotels, livery stable, a post office, five saloons and three stores. When the gold was gone the town faded, and today Granite has around a dozen or so citizens. If you'd like to read more about Granite, we'd definitely recommend checking out pnwphotoblog.com with more very detailed information on many ghost towns in Oregon.

sumpter ghost town

Tucked away in the trees and nestled in Oregon’s Elkhorn Mountain Range, lies the historic gold mining town of Sumpter. Three Carolinans settled here in the 1960s and started farming. They called their homestead Fort Sumter, but when gold was found and the valley was overrun with Northern sympathizer miners, the name was changed to Sumpter.

Incredible shot of the dredge in Sumpter from Danielle Denham:

oregon ghost towns

Sumpter is on the Elkhorn Scenic Byway and is surrounded by incredible landscapes. Mountains, rivers, streams, and lakes and offer great fishing, swimming, nearby boating, camping, gold panning, hunting, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, backpacking, 4-wheeling, ATV’ing, hiking and exploring the gorgeous area.

oregon ghost towns, most ghost towns, mining towns

Just 7 miles north of Sumpter, along Cracker Creek you will find Bourne. Sumpter is on SH 7, 20 miles northwest of Salisbury and West of Baker City in the Blue Mountains. Back in the 1870s, this placer mining camp was bustling with saloons and other businesses, along main street. A post office here operated from 1895 to 1927. Some mines are still producing, and a few buildings remain.

oregon ghost towns

Some 20 million dollars in gold came from this wild and wooly gold mining town full of shootings, saloons and “sporting” ladies. Shortly after the gold was found in 1885, 1000 miners flocked to the town. In 1898 the town relocated a quarter mile to a new location, and it grew quickly. The mines faded, the town died, and by the 1970s only empty buildings remained. The town is in the Wallowa National Forest, 12 miles northwest of Halfway. Some summer cabins have been built in recent years. Here's a excellent article to read more about the history of Cornucopia. ( READ HERE )

Have you been to any of these towns or plan on going soon? Would you like to share more about other ghost towns in Oregon? Let us know in the comments, we'd love to hear! Make sure and like Danielle Denham's thepdxphotographer Facebook page also to see more awesome photography in Oregon!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: what is the best way to explore these ghost towns.

A: The best way to explore these ghost towns is to take a road trip. Start by driving from one town to the next and exploring each location. Bring a map to know where and what sights you want to see!

Q: How can I find more information about these towns?

A: You can check out the websites we’ve linked in our article, as well as other online sources such as Wikipedia and Google, to get more detailed information. Additionally, you can visit a local library or museum for even more information on each town.

Q: Is it safe to take a ghost town road trip?

A: Yes, it is safe to take a ghost town road trip - as long as you follow the safety precautions and guidelines. Ensure you bring all the necessary supplies, such as snacks, water, flashlights, and first-aid kits. Additionally, research each location before visiting so you know what to expect.

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64 comments.

I’ve been to seven of them. https://youtu.be/ElCoFojGXK0

We should share this soon! great video.

I went to You Tube so I could watch in full screen. And shared it.

here’s one of my favorite not on the list. Located near Wolf Creek Tavern south of Roseburg.

https://youtu.be/xXIXNSP8PMo

Used to live about half a mile from Golden, at Lichen. My ex’s grandparents lived there for ages. The school house was on another property opposite where I lived. It wasn’t open for tours at the time though.

Thanks for this great video @rick_dancer:disqus!

Wolf Creek does not seem a ghost town at all, post office school and people! I love the place.

It’s outside of wolf creek, called golden

I love this! Thank you.

I’m in Junction City. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

Nice video- thanks for sharing 😉

Rick, I absolutely loved this video. Thank you for sharing! As it’d be a bit of a distance from Portland, would you (or anyone else) recommend any interesting, tasty, or worthwhile stops/diversions (e.g. notable cemetery, covered bridge, historic landmark, diner) on the way or upon return to break up the long drive? Much appreciation! ????

what about sydney and Valsetz?

Mom graduated Valsetz high school 1949- 50?? Yeah no town there at all.

Those are both in western Oregon, although Valsetz was burned to the ground by the lumber company so there is nothing left of it.

I have ridden this route and it is a great one!! Hope to ride it again soon. Also, ABATE of Oregon’s largest Run, The Fossil Run, covers one area of this route and I have been on it more times than I care to count. Make the Fossil Run on Memorial Day weekend and finish the route the next week!!

Ridden as in motorcycle? I am considering riding it…

I’m surprised there aren’t more mill towns. I know we have a few around here. Old company towns. Wendling, Oregon I think? I used to know a guy who tracked down abandoned railroad equipment. It seems our forests have quite a bit from when a railroad would run from a mill out or something like that. It’s pretty cool to see!

The mill towns are more in western Oregon, or the southern park of central Oregon.

Most of the Mill Towns in Eastern Oregon were dedicated to serving several towns. The Sumpter Railroad area is a great example, logs from Tipton and Austin were shipped to Wendling to be made into lumber. From there they were sent to Granite, Sumpter, Bourne, and a few other towns including as far as Baker and LaGrande.

Excellent Article

Thank you Douglas, glad you enjoyed it.

I used to live in the Condon, Heppner and Hardman area as a little girl. My grandma used to cook at The Round Up back in the early 80’s….

Condon is not really a ghost town…. plenty of people still live there. Same with Shaniko.

My family settled Condon in 1848, before Mr. Condon ever arrived. Check the graveyard. Downer’s.

It’s a vast landscape with a lot of really cool secrets. Travel prepared!

Great photo Chris! Thanks for sharing.

Is this route Motorhome friendly? Would really like to do this with the family in our rv trip

I too would like to know if it can be traveled in a motorhome

yes, all paved last I drove to Condon and Fossil.

Thanks Julie!

I like the article a lot. I am also wondering about the roads to some of those. I believe the road into Lone Rock is gravel. It’s best access I also believe is from Oregon 206 between Heppner and Condon, which in itself is super scenic, I like to ride a loop from Hermiston to Heppner, to Condon, then if I have time, on to Wasco and Biggs Junction, on across to Highway 14 in Washington and on up the river to comeback across at Umatilla. Those that are on gravel might be difficult for those of us in or on street vehicles like motorhomes, street bikes, and cars with low clearance. Two other semi-ghost towns in NE Oregon are Troy and Flora. Those are way out in nowhere in the Blue Mountains, but very scenic areas. Flora is accessible from Highway 3 north of Enterprise, again, another scenic road that goes into some amazing mountain areas in SE Washington, eventually coming out on the Snake River at Asotin. Troy as I recall, from when I was a kid, is accessible from a graveled road out of Flora though I think Redmond Grade. You can go out and end up at Jubilee Lake and then Highway 204 between Elgin and Weston too, but you need a good map because it’s a long drive on gravel roads and there are a bunch of forest roads to watch, though I seem to recall it was fairly well signed. However I was pretty young, so it may have changed. I would also suggest carrying a firearm out in the remote areas at least. We have predators out there, like wolves, cougars, and bears, and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared if you have a breakdown.

My uncle lived in Richland, and ran cattle on government land near Halfway and another ghost town named Sparta. I was only 12 and don’t remember exactly where Sparta was. There were lots of rattlesnakes, I remember that! My Uncle Kenny also packed elk hunters into the Wallows from Cornicopia for years. One of my fondest childhood memories (50 years ago now!) was a pack trip I took with my dad, my uncle and his daughter for 2 weeks leaving out of Cornicopia and camping up near the Imnaha River. There used to be huge stacks of “Fools Gold”(iron pyrite) at Cornicopia, and I was fooled by my uncle that it was real gold, so filled my pockets 🙂 I still have a few of those bright shiny nuggets.

This is a great post! Makes me wanna go on another road trip in OR!

When I was a youngster, my family, extended family lived near a town named John Day. My Dad, Uncles, Brothers, cousins, all went out looking for gold everyday. Never came home with anything substantial that I can remember. My grandmother, mother and my sister and me all stayed at the “campsite” (a tent with a wood floor, big tent) and did the women things. It was in the mountains and in the winter it was darn cold. My problem is: my older sibs and parents have passed on and I do not know where John Day is or what mountain range we were in. It was very exciting as a child, we found arrowheads, beautiful polished stones in the creek beds and saw all kinds of wild life, but never any gold. Could you help me with the location. It was a great time in beautiful Oregon. Oh, by the way, we are originally from Wisconsin, but moved back to Oregon in the 60’s and I graduated from North Salem High School. I now live on the East coast and am trying to fill my grand kids in on my life in the West. If you can help, Thanks in advance.

I replied but don’t think I was logged in. My family is from Canyon City, John Day. We camped above John Day on Strawberry Mountain, in the Wallowa Mountains. Lots of places it could have been. We also would go gold panning, especially in Canyon City, found more fossils than gold. If you come back to visit, your memories will help identify where you were. It all looks the same, pristine, beautiful. McGoon Lake my favorite crystal clear water. Dad tree thinned for forest service, and we camped up in mountains too. Also all my family is passed. Originally settled Condon, 1848. Way before Mr. Condon. Lots buried in cemetery in Condon.

Carol, it is in Grant County , Oregon between Bend, Oregon and Baker, Oregon. Lots of info on line if you enter “John Day, Oregon”

I’ve been to Shaniko more than once, and visited Granite and Sumter a few years back and rode the train…you can almost imagine what it was like back then.

Having photographed almost every cemetery in the state, I’ve been to all those places and more. A lot of those place certainly aren’t ghost towns, however diminished they are from their former glory. My wife and I still fantasize about moving to Lone Rock. Once you see the “lone rock,” you’re hooked. Sort of.

Seal Rock Cemetery, off Hwy 101 at the top of Cross Street?

Lone Rock is so tiny and in the middle of no where, really charming though.

I am planning on doing this trip this weekend from Portland. Are there any hotels/cabins that are not too far off the route?

The hotel on Condon is pictured above.

Lots to see in the Sumpter area. [img]https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8255/8872610237_659312245d_c.jpg[/img]

I ride my street bike (was HD now Victory) almost every Memorial Day weekend out there from Springfield, Oregon out to the John Day, Sumpter area. I like it so much I’ve extended the weekend to a full week. [img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7425/9497044411_05be6df4f3_c.jpg[/img]

Sumpter has a huge flee market Memorial weekend.

interesting article but are you an affiliate for amazon?

Yes we are affiliated with Amazon!

I have got to do this! I love ghost towns. Are there any roads that require 4WD?

Nope, did this whole trip today in about 13 hours from Portland. Honestly most of them are so small that driving hours to see one little shack makes you feel a little short changed. Shaniko, and Sumpter were the only places to actually get out and walk around. I think for just a ghost town shaniko is wonderful. I had a fun trip but be prepared to take a map as allot of the places aren’t on most GPS systems and when I asked someone for directions to Galena they laughed at me becuase it’s literally one tiny building.

Thanks Sara! Great advice about the map.

You didn’t get out and walk through Lonerock or Hardman? You missed out.

can some one tell me if one day will be enough to check all places ? (from Troutdale OR) or I have to take hotel somewhere there and come back home next day, thanks

Hotel would be best, although I have done that trip in one day – 900 miles round trip.

Great roundup. I will try to add a couple of these towns when I update my guidebook “Photographing Oregon” http://www.gregvaughn.com/books.html

As I get a social security check now I could maybe go anywhere as long as I can afford rent. My check is only $700. though. I would love to live somewhere off the beaten path. My grandparents came from Missouri by wagon and settled in the Southeast corner of Oregon. Can’t remember the name of anywhere nearby. I was there when I was 9 in 1961 and the homestead at one time had a dirt floor. Grandma got married at 15, they had 5 girls, 2 boys and stayed married til grandpa died in 1969.

i’m sure you are already “off the beaten path”.

Condon is a thriving town/city, what makes it a ghost town?

Is this route motor home friendly? 38′

This would be great if I could use the map

just returned from central Oregon. Shaniko only had a sandwich/ice cream shop open, and a little “antique”/junk store that just opened a few weeks ago. Hotel/restaurant are closed. But you can walk into a lot of the old buildings, like the jail, museum, etc. Some things will probably open in summer, and there is an RV park. But, it is fun to walk around. The few that live there are very friendly and told us which buildings are open, and seemed quite happy to share their town with us. It is worth the stop.

Very neat! I’m going, thanks for sharing

I just attempted this little adventure and got about as far as Hardman then had to get gas in Heppner, i started in baker city with a full tank. This is a gorgeous journey in the summertime. It is definitely worth it. Sumpter was great and my favorite. For people looking for an adventure this is it – but I also do strongly recommend have PLENTY of gas, there aren’t places out there to gas up, also make sure you have a good vehicle that can go up and down constantly through the mountains.Your GPS will not work out here, DO take a map/directions. Maybe next year I’ll start at the other end and work my way over – fantastic drive!

Great information, I might add that coincidently the roads connecting these ghost towns make some of the best motorcycle roads anywhere, or at least anywhere I’ve been. We just completed an eight-day tour of Oregon, mostly on and near these roads. Fantastic country, Oregon is perhaps the most beautiful state in the country. I live in Washington and it ain’t bad either, but Oregon has a bunch of everything and a lot of wide open roads.

Have you gotten a chance to do this roadtrip? I’m curious about the time it took if you did. Do you recommend any particular place to stop to rest, lodging, food, etc? We’re in Bend and are hoping to do this trip but need more info. Thanks!

https://youtu.be/R707KRwBR9E This is on the border of Oregon and Idaho in the Jordan Valley, a very awesome place. Go in the summer though all roads are gravel.

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Take A Thrilling Road Trip To The 8 Most Abandoned Places In Oregon

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Tessa Metcalf

More by this Author

There’s something undeniably alluring about many of the abandoned places in Oregon. Not only do some hold significant historical value, but they also remind us of days gone by. Seeing how nature has slowly reclaimed some of these once-important landmarks is both haunting and beautiful. With that in mind, we’ve created an itinerary for exploring some of the most abandoned places in Oregon . From ghost towns to shipwrecks, this road trip adventure will take you to some truly fascinating destinations.

The trip takes roughly nine hours of driving and can be spread out over as many days and nights as you’d like. Customize your itinerary using this interactive map .

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

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Nature Is Reclaiming This One Abandoned Oregon Spot And It's Actually Amazing

Nature Is Reclaiming This One Abandoned Oregon Spot And It's Actually Amazing

Not Many People Know About The Secret, Abandoned WWII Bunker Hiding In Oregon

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Tourists Used To Flock To This Tiny Oregon Town To Experience Mysterious Vortex

Tourists Used To Flock To This Tiny Oregon Town To Experience Mysterious Vortex

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

What are your thoughts on this road trip to these abandoned places in Oregon? Be sure to share your thoughts with us in the comments below! For more eerily fascinating places, check out this Oregon ghost towns road trip .

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Abandoned places in oregon.

What is the most famous abandoned place in Oregon?

The most famous abandoned place in Oregon is Shaniko.

As you can tell from the above road trip, there are several fascinating abandoned places in Oregon. Yet of all of these places, the abandoned town of Shaniko truly stands out. When it was incorporated in 1901, Shaniko was actually the fifth largest city in Wasco County. As the Wool Capital of the World, Shaniko would ship millions of pounds of wool and livestock to market each year. Many considered the town to be second only to Portland in importance to the local economy. The boom lasted only ten years and the population declined after a competing railway line was built from Deschutes River Canyon to Bend.

What is the most haunted place in Oregon?

The most haunted place in Oregon is the Geiser Grand Hotel.

It's no surprise that a state as historic as Oregon would also have a handful of haunted landmarks. Among the most famous is the Geiser Grand Hotel . The accommodation was primarily built for wealthy miners in the 1880s and also attracted the attention of gamblers. By the 1960s, the hotel had fallen into disrepair and wouldn't be restored and reopened until the 1990s. By that time, however, it seemed as though many of the hotel's original guests had yet to leave; reports of apparitions, paranormal activity, and general feelings of discomfort remained. Today, it's considered to be a top haunted place in Oregon.

Can I go ghost-hunting in Oregon?

Yes, you can go ghost-hunting in Oregon on ghost-hunting tours.

It's possible to explore some of the most haunted places in Oregon when you sign up for a ghost-hunting tour . There are several offered throughout the state, most of which take place in Portland. These nightly walking tours take curious guests to some of Portland's paranormal hot spots, including the Merchant Hotel.

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abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Exploring Oregon’s Ghost Towns

Relics & Recorded Histories

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Oregon harbors over 300 documented ghost towns, all of which have intriguing stories, unique to their area. Often abandoned because of floods, fires, epidemics, and other tragedies, these communities hold lost pieces of history housed in cemeteries, remaining buildings, written records, and oral accounts passed on through generations.

Here are a few nearby:

Orleans, Oregon was a small community located opposite Corvallis, east of the Willamette River and west of Highway 34. Established in 1850, Orleans was like any other tiny town in the valley during the 19th century, with houses, a blacksmith, a church, and other businesses and services.

Orleans met its demise in 1861, when rain and snow melt caused the greatest flood in Willamette Valley history. Since there were no warning services at the time, there was little opportunity to save life or property from harm. The Weekly Oregon Statesman reported in December of 1861 that Orleans “washed away completely.”

The only remaining structure is the Orleans Cemetery, located off of Riverside Drive in Albany. The earliest grave located there is that of Lucy Hess, who died on February 25, 1855. Orleans now stands as a natural area with a bike path to cross the Willamette River. For more information and directions to Orleans, read Advocate writer John M. Burt’s article, “The Lost City of Orleans.”

Hiking to the top of Marys Peak is a rite of passage for Corvallisites and residents of surrounding areas. According to the Benton County Historical Society, this region was once home to a small community of settlers, and included a post office, a cedar shingle mill, and a one-room school. The town was named Peak.

The earliest settlers of Peak were the native Kalapuya, who called Marys Peak tcha Timanwi , “place of spiritual power.” The Kalapuya lived off of the resources that the forest and streams provided. White settlers stole the land in the early 1900s before officially establishing Peak as a town.

Almost twenty years after its establishment

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

in 1898, Peak struggled to survive when the highway to Newport bypassed the town. Because of the lack of direct access, it soon dwindled and was abandoned by its citizens.

Davidson Cemetery, photographs, and records are the only remains of Peak. Twelve graves are marked with names of Peak citizens in the cemetery. To explore this cemetery, take Highway 20 W, turn left on Woods Creek Rd, turn right to stay on Woods Creek, and the destination will be on the right.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

This Lane County treasure is the quintessential gold mining town gone desolate. Officially born as a city in 1866, Bohemia became a flourishing community with saloons, residential homes, and a hotel.

According to the publication the Lane County Historian, Vol. 26, gold was found in the area by James “Bohemia” Johnson in 1863, and this attracted miners and their families to the area. Their close proximity to Cottage Grove provided them with goods to sustain themselves while they worked.

Merle Snodgrass Moore, a young Eugene native, traveled to the Bohemia Mines for work in 1914. His letters to his family survived and are retrievable through the Lane County Historian. In these documents, Moore wrote about the harsh conditions at the mining site, but also spoke in wonder about the beauty of the area.

The Bohemia community was eventually abandoned, possibly for a lack of resources or gold. The public can visit the Bohemia Mountain Trail. The three-mile hike will take you right back to the 1860s. According to the blog Califoregonia’s article, “Bohemia Mountain and Ghost Town,” the Bohemia post office still stands, as well as old mining shafts and a water silo. It’s strongly advised to take a 4×4 vehicle to the site.

Visitors can also explore the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum in Cottage Grove, open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. This museum houses photographs, tools, ore samples, and other artifacts. Cottage Grove also pays tribute to the lost town every year during the Bohemia Mining Days festival in July, which features a carnival, parades, games, a beer and wine garden, food, and lessons on the history of Bohemia for the public.

Bohemia is an example of a ghost town that has managed to stay alive despite its abandonment, through the voices of those who are committed to its legacy.

Champoeg (sham-POO-ee) is perhaps the most important ghost town featured on this list. Located in Marion County, halfway between Salem and Oregon City, Champoeg is one site of Oregon’s beginnings.

According to an Oregon State Parks Progress Report in 2004, the town of Champoeg was platted by Robert Newell and Andre Longtain. Newell was already considered a prominent member of Oregon Country by this time – he was literate, engaged in local concerns, and respected by most. In 1843, a year before the town was officially mapped, many members of the community came together and decided to make Champoeg the location of Oregon’s territorial government. This lasted until Joseph Lane became governor in 1849.

The Oregon Encyclopedia website explained that Champoeg, once it was established, became a place for settler meetings and Indian treaty meetings because of its accessibility.

In the early 1850s, Champoeg was “a straggling settlement of eleven or twelve buildings” according to historian John A. Hussey, but later in the decade, it blossomed with named streets, a school, saloons, warehouses, a hotel, a blacksmith, a church, and more houses. It’s estimated that 180 people lived in the town at this time.

Champoeg also met its end in the flood of 1861, where it succumbed to 30 feet of fast-flowing water. No lives were lost, but the town was almost completely washed away. What had been a once thriving city had become a wasteland. What remains of Champoeg now is the Champoeg State Heritage Area, which features trails and campsites.

Each of these ghost towns tells a unique story that speaks to Oregon’s history and its people. There’s much to explore in our state, so why not try adventuring in places that aren’t even on the map anymore?

For more information on our local ghost towns, visit the Benton County Historical Society’s location at 1101 Main St in Philomath or their website, bentoncountymuseum.org , and check out the Linn County Historical Museum at 101 Park Ave in Brownsville, or online, linnparks.com . Want to explore outside of our area? Read Travel Oregon’s handy guide, “The Secrets of Oregon’s Ghost Towns,” on their website traveloregon.com .

By Cara Nixon

Do you have a story for The Advocate? Email [email protected]

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

SOUTHERN OREGON GHOST TOWNS

Did you see a shadow move behind you, hear an unexplained creaking or get an eerie feeling that sends shivers down your spine?

Then you’re in a ghost town! 

Southern Oregon has a handful of ghost towns, rich with history, stories and creepy fun.

 Visit these local ghost towns to learn about Oregon’s interesting past, and maybe see a spirit or two.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

An abandoned mid-19th century mining town, Buncom is one of Oregon’s best-preserved ghost towns. It was founded in 1851 by Chinese miners after gold was discovered in Jacksonville and Sterling Creek. In addition to gold, the mines contained silver, chromite and cinnabar. 

In its heyday, Buncom had a saloon and general store, and a post office was added in 1896. Besides gold miners, Buncom attracted farmers, ranchers and loggers.

Only three buildings from the past still survive. The bunkhouse, post office and cookhouse are protected and preserved by the Buncom Historical Society, which organizes an annual event — Buncom Day (the last Saturday in May) — for fundraising effort

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Now completely abandoned, Golden is a true Oregon ghost town. The city was established during the 1840s gold rush and began as a mining camp on Coyote Creek. It developed into a town around 1890; a hub that served people working in more remote places nearby.

At its peak, more than 150 people called Golden home. There was a church, post office, orchard and general store. However, it did not have any saloons.

Golden sits in peaceful woodlands and has its own historic district — the Golden State Heritage Site. You can explore the four remaining structures: a residence, shed, church and the building that housed the store and post office. 

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

4.2 miles from Buncom, Sterlingville Cemetery isn’t haunted, but this graveyard is all that remains of the gold mining township of Sterlingville.

Stop at the aluminum gate on the dirt road and enter the cemetery through the side gate. A sign displays how a 1,200-person town grew after miners James Sterling and Aaron Davis located a gold strike in 1854.

As miners arrived, stores opened: a saloon, bakery, boarding house and warehouse. Today, Sterlingville is overgrown with trees and brush, with no trace of where it once stood, except for the cemetery.

To get to Sterlingville Cemetery, go south toward Jacksonville. Take Oregon Street (Highway 238) west and turn left on Cady Road. Follow Cady Road for 1.8 miles and turn right onto Sterling Creek Road. Go 6.3 miles. You’ll see a dirt road to the left with an old wooden sign stating “Sterlingville Cemetery 1863.”

Visit these classic Southern Oregon ghost towns and learn more about our region’s fascinating and spooky history. Plan your trip at TravelMedford.org . 

RELATED ARTICLES

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

A fake ghost town haunts the side of an Oregon highway

  • Published: Oct. 20, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
  • Jamie Hale | The Oregonian/OregonLive

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

by Jamie Hale | The Oregonian, OregonLive

Oregon is known for its many ghost towns – abandoned Old West locales that still stand in remote corners of the high desert – but one ghost town stands out for a particularly unique quality: it's fake. There's nothing authentic about the Short Bridge Ghost Town, an Old West façade on the side of Oregon Route 20 east of Sweet Home, but that doesn't make it any less legitimate as a funky roadside attraction. Pull off the highway in front of the "town" and you can explore its many storefronts, like Slim's Café, the Drunken Horse Saloon and Ye Old Stage Stop. Many macabre decorations underscore the hardscrabble living of the era, like the misplaced skull on a spittoon and the coffin outside the town undertaker's place.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

There are fewer than a dozen storefronts at Short Bridge, each decorated with its own odd assortment of Western artifacts, including old lamps, a pioneer oven and few rusted wagon wheels. There's a wanted poster for Jesse and Frank James and old, two-man crosscut saws. It's a fun façade, but take a peek through the glass windows and you won't see the inside of the stores, but a piece of private property behind them. It's not totally clear who owns the property and manages the Short Bridge Ghost Town (which, for some reason, is occasionally spelled "Towne"). There's no indication at the site, and the attraction has little digital footprint outside of visitor posts to Pinterest and Flickr. There is a Facebook page that appears to be run by the owners of the attraction, but the manager of the page didn't respond to a request for comment. An employee at the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce offered to track down some information, but didn't respond in time for this story, and didn't answer further calls.

abandoned oregon ghost towns map

However, in a 2013 post to the attraction's Facebook page, the apparent owners did explain some of the reasoning behind their creation. "Our goal for the Short Bridge Ghost Town is to keep our local history of this area alive for our children and others, so that it does not die," the post reads. "We hope each and every one of you stop by and see our ghost town as we made it for all of you." Other posts indicate that work began on the ghost town façade in 2007, using local history as a guide for the various storefronts that went up over the years. It also appears that the attraction has added and removed several other features, including a pair of peacocks. There was once interest in horse-drawn wagon rides and staged gunfights at the site, but it's not clear if those ideas ever came to fruition. Mysterious ownership and origins aside, the Short Bridge Ghost Town is a fun pit stop if you're driving highway 20 between the Willamette Valley and the Cascade Mountains. It's also near the Short Covered Bridge and Cascadia State Park , which are both worth your time. It might not be a real ghost town, but Short Bridge is certainly a real roadside attraction, and among the strangest you'll find around Oregon.

See more photos below. --Jamie Hale | [email protected] | @HaleJamesB

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Northwest Distributors, Inc – Historical Maps Online

Our Ghost Town maps are easy to read, with a paper map base layer that shows modern landmarks and roads, and a transparent top layer that shows locations of ghost towns, past settlements, mining camps and ranches.

Using Our Ghost Town Maps

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Immerse yourself in the mysterious allure of ghost towns with our Historical Ghost Town Map Packages. These meticulously crafted maps will transport you to a bygone era, where you can walk in the footsteps of the people who shaped the West. Dive into the world of ghost towns and embark on a journey of discovery through the remnants of forgotten history!

Ghost towns grace the landscape of the American West, each bearing witness and telling stories of people and times past. Discover mountainside mining camps, distant ranches, trading posts, old saloons, stagecoach stops, military forts, train depots, post offices, or once bustling towns; all fading into history and waiting to be discovered by a new generation. Whether your interest is discovering abandoned places, stumbling across lost treasures, following the footsteps of explorers, understanding the history of the United States, or appreciating the sublime beauty of this rugged and verdant land; you’ll find invaluable guidance in our handy maps.

Compiled over the course of decades by our company’s founder, our maps contain the routes and locations needed to embark on countless expeditions of your own, whether it’s an easy day trip or a month-long jaunt. We have Historical Ghost Town Map Packages for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana. No wifi or internet connection is needed for our sturdy paper and acetate map packages. Just load up your vehicle and hit the road.

All maps included in our Ghost Town series are reproduced from authentic documents on file from various collections such as the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and various state libraries. Each map was selected for its quality, age, and location details. These unique packets include transparent overlays of modern road maps, making historical locations easier to find and population comparisons for 100 years which lets YOU determine “What is a Ghost Town?”. Our company founder spent 40 years searching archives and traveling across the West, so others could more easily discover Ghost Towns and historical sites. We sincerely hope you find them helpful in your own adventures.

To see how to use the Map Overlays, please  click here .

TheTravel

10 Must-Visit Historical Ghost Towns Of The American West

  • The historic ghost towns in the American West, such as Grafton and Garnet, offer eerie tourist attractions with a spooky history.
  • These American West ghost towns were once thriving settlements, but economic decline led to their abandonment.
  • Visitors can explore well-preserved buildings and learn about the past of each of these historic ghost towns in the US through self-guided or guided tours.

In bustling towns, laughter fills the air, and the streets teem with life as people go about their daily routines. On the other hand, ghost towns paint a different picture, where deserted streets, abandoned structures, and eerie silence prove that not everything that once thrived has a happy ending. Still, the idea of touring one is oddly satisfying, especially when it has a spooky history tied to it.

The deserted towns of the American West, including the ghost towns in Arizona , make eerie tourist attractions. The history of these old American ghost towns followed a similar path, where they experienced impeccable growth before their source of income, whether mining or farming, declined and the settlements dissipated. Whatever their story, these are some of the many must-visit historic ghost towns of the American West for that paranormal thrill.

Related: 10 Incredible Ghost Towns In Canada To Explore Today

Grafton, Utah

When it was completely abandoned: 1944.

History and breathtaking natural beauty define the once-bustling town of Grafton . Located in Utah near the renowned Zion National Park , Grafton dates back to 1859 when several families cooperated to do agriculture and build homes. Unfortunately, the community suffered raging floods and relocated from their original settlement to the current townsite between 1862 and 1866.

Although the last known resident moved away from the town in 1944, travelers still explore the ghost town of Grafton, which is also the most photographed ghost town of the West . Here, visitors can discover a cemetery and well-preserved buildings, including a schoolhouse constructed in 1886, the 1888 Adobe Russell Home, and the 1907 Ballard Home, among others.

  • Date Founded: 1859
  • Admission Fee: Free
  • Open: Year-round

Garnet, Montana

When it was completely abandoned: early 1940s.

Garnet was once home to about 1,000 people when the gold mining business was booming. This charming town had profitable years in the 1890s as the Nancy Hank Mine worked on and off until the Montana School of Mines declared it dead by 1960. An enormous fire burned nearly half of Garnet and drove it into disrepair until restoration works began in the 1970s. By this time, there was no one to call it home, as miners had to seek employment elsewhere.

Currently, this ghost town boasts over 30 well-preserved buildings, which visitors wander into as they enjoy the Old West Town vibe. While here, travelers can start exploring at the Visitor Center to check out memorabilia before proceeding to the self-guided trails with interpretive signs.

  • Date Founded: 1860s
  • Admission Fee: $3 for adults; Free for visitors under 16 years
  • Visitor Center opening hours: Daily from late May through September from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The route leading to Garnet, just after Bear Gulch Road, is steep, narrow, and bumpy, so it's not suitable for RVs and trailers.

Kennecott, Alaska

When it was completely abandoned: 1938.

Kennecott ghost town still fascinates people with its history . It became a thriving mining town when the Kennecott Mining Corporation came to life in 1903 and established five copper mines. The corporation drew miners with higher salaries and produced about $200 million worth of ore before depleting.

By 1938, Kennecott’s mining successes were history as it became a ghost town, leaving iconic buildings such as the Concentration Mill as a testament to its financial and mining prowess. Tourists tour the ghost town on self-guided tours by following the National Park Service Map or taking an immersive guided tour with St. Elias Guides .

  • Date Founded: 1903
  • Admission Fee: St. Elias Alpine Guides charge Adults (13+) $34 and Children(12-) $17 to access the 14-story Concentration Mill

St. Elias Alpine Guides offers tours from late May to early September

Related: Living History: Inside The Ghost Towns That Are Still Considered 'Home' Today

Rhyolite, Nevada

When it was completely abandoned: 1924.

Rhyolite is a historic ghost town in Nevada with hauntings and legends to explore . It traces its roots back to 1904 when prospectors Shorty Harris and E. L. Cross discovered quartz. The establishment of the Montgomery Shoshone Mine brought more people to the town, who built hotels, a school, stores, two electric plants, and a hospital.

Unfortunately, financial panic brought Rhyolite to its knees as mines ceased operating, banks failed, and mill production slowed, leading to a decrease in population. While walking around town, travelers find remnants of Rhyolite's past, such as the Bottle House, the train depot, and parts of the old jail and bank.

  • Date Founded: 1904
  • Open: Year-round from sunrise to sunset

Melmont, Washington

When it was completely abandoned: in the early 1920s.

Melmont is another American West ghost town in Pierce County, Washington, founded in the early 1900s when the Northwest Improvement Company set up a coal mine in the area. Although little of Melmont’s bustling days remain today, it had a train depot, a saloon, miners’ cottages, a hotel, and a post office.

Melmont gained ghost town status when the mines ceased operating in the early 1920s, and a forest fire raged over what remained. However, an easy hike through the townsite exposes travelers to an old shed used to store dynamite, the foundation of a schoolhouse, and wall structures.

  • Date Founded: 1900

Golden, Oregon

When it was completely abandoned: 1920s.

Golden is one of the many must-visit American West ghost towns; it was abandoned in the 1920s and is known for its fascinating history of building churches instead of saloons like other mining towns. This town dates back to the early 80s when small placer mines found small amounts of gold. However, the Americans who founded the camp pursued greener pastures, and Chinese miners took over, but the founders drove them out years later.

By the 1890s, Golden was a true mining town as hydraulic operations stripped gold off the streams. Today, ghost town enthusiasts stroll around Golden to explore the restored structures, including a former home, a church, a building that housed a store and a post office, and a shed.

  • Date Founded: In the 1890s

Bonanza, Idaho

When it was completely abandoned: around 1910.

Bonanza was the first community settlement in the Yankee Fork area in 1877. By 1881, the population had grown to approximately 600, and the town had a tin shop and a saloon where miners came to celebrate and socialize. However, a fire burned much of Bonanza in 1889, resulting in most residents moving to the nearby town of Custer.

Mining idleness also contributed to its abandonment, but the construction of a gold dredge in 1939 brought new life before collapsing again. The dredge is open seasonally for tours, and a few remaining buildings await history buffs to discover during a walking tour.

  • Date Founded: 1877
  • Open: Summer, Spring, & Fall

Related: Shaniko: Visiting What Is Possibly Oregon's Coolest Ghost Town

Miner's Delight, Wyoming

Miner's Delight is one of Wyoming's earliest towns, founded when miners discovered gold in the area in around 1867. The town offers insight into the state's early history, gold mining culture, and resilience after producing more than $5 million worth of gold ore despite facing closures and the Great Depression.

The townsite preserves several cabins, including one with rusting iron equipment such as an old stove and iron box screens. Travelers access Miner's Delight via a 0.25-mile-long walking trail near Fort Stambaugh Road.

  • Date Founded: 1867

Calico, California

When it was completely abandoned: 1907.

Calico is an old mining town in San Bernardino County, California, established in 1881 due to the discovery of silver ore. However, silver lost value and pushed miners to desert Calico in the 1890s. Subsequently, Calico lost its luster, but Walter Knott bought it in the 1950s and restored the buildings to their former glory.

Today, this town is part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks, and tourists come here to explore its intriguing history at the Lucy Lane Museum, which displays Calico's relics and old photographs. The Maggie Mine also allows travelers to explore Calico's mining history through its exhibits and displays. Aside from such exhibits, Calico is full of spooks that make it famous .

  • Date Founded: 1881
  • Admission Fee: Adults 12 & over - $10; Youth ages 4 to 11 - $5; Ages 3 and under - Free admission
  • Open: Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Note: Each attraction within Calico charges a different fee

Goldfield, Arizona

When it was completely abandoned: 1898.

During its heyday in the 1890s, Goldfield had three lively saloons, a schoolhouse, a brewery, a general store, and thriving mines. Unfortunately, the grade of ore dropped, and the once bustling community became what is today one of the many Western ghost towns to visit, despite efforts to revive the mines.

Today, this ghost town is a hub for travelers seeking an authentic Wild West adventure as they can witness gunfights performed by the Goldfield Gunfighters from high noon. Additionally, tourists can explore the town's mining history during the Goldfield Mine Tours, led by guides narrating Goldfield's heritage, gold mining procedures, and equipment.

  • Date Founded: 1892
  • Open: Year-round except on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Each attraction charges a different fee in this town.

10 Must-Visit Historical Ghost Towns Of The American West

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  1. 22 Ghost Towns In Oregon [MAP]

    The town of Bourne is a prime example of an early mining ghost town. The town was founded in 1888, and was surrounded by some of the best properties for mining in eastern Oregon. As a result, the population of Bourne quickly increased. By the 1890s, it had a population of over one thousand people.

  2. Ghost Towns in Oregon

    Ghost Towns. The ghost towns you see dotting the map of Oregon were once thriving communities, filled with people who followed their dreams here. Now they remain as a window to another time, full of places to ponder and history to discover. Fuel up, bring extra snacks, a paper map and plenty of good road trip music when you head out to explore ...

  3. List of ghost towns in Oregon

    CL. According to several historians, the U.S. state of Oregon contains over 200 ghost towns. [1] [2] Professor and historian Stephen Arndt has counted a total of 256 ghost towns in the state, some well known, others "really obscure." [3] The high number of ghost towns and former communities in the state is largely due to its frontier history ...

  4. 21 Abandoned Places In Oregon [MAP]

    The schoolhouse is one of the more popular abandoned places in Oregon with photographers and history buffs, but its rare to ever run into anyone else up there at the same time. 9. Latourell Ghost Town. 32.59386, -116.8461

  5. 6 Oregon Ghost Towns with Eerie, Wild West Vibes

    1. Sumpter Ghost Town in Baker County. A mining boom town in Baker County around the turn of the 20 th century, Sumpter is one of the best examples of Old West towns in Oregon. In 1897, the new narrow-gauge Sumpter Valley Railway resulted in rapid urban growth around a collection of deep-shaft gold mines.

  6. 14 Spine-Chilling Ghost Towns in Oregon

    Abandoned, lifeless and creepy- these 3 words more than perfectly sum up the ghost towns of the state of Oregon, USA. From discarded old mining towns to abandoned logging regions, Oregon has it all. Although there are over 300 documented abandoned towns in Oregon, here's a look at 14 of the most spectral ones. 1. Auburn, Baker County

  7. Oregon Ghost Towns

    I especially love the oldest of ghost towns where remnants of the infamous Gold Rush linger around with splintered wagon wheels and rotting saloon swing doors. If the abandoned, aged remnants could speak, their history says it all. From the 200 ghost towns of Oregon, I have collected an exciting list of 10 ghost towns for you to explore!

  8. Oregon Ghost Towns: Boyd, Dufur and Friend

    The ghost towns dotting the state were once bustling farming communities filled with immigrants who, like so many of us, followed their dreams to Oregon. (Photo credit: Deej6 Photography) The weathered grey buildings and aging grain silos are now lingering memories of the 19th-century small farming communities that faded away in the 20th century.

  9. Friend Ghost Town

    Discover Friend Ghost Town in Dufur, Oregon: The short-lived railroad town in central Oregon has been abandoned since the 1930s.

  10. Oregon's bewitching ghost town trail

    841 mi. $117. Take This Trip. Share. Featured Trip Guides. Created by Destination Strange - December 14th 2017. View Map. W hen to comes to ghost towns, Oregon might not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about states that are full of them. But, it's surprisingly full of abandoned settlements that died off as the intoxicating ...

  11. 17 Abandoned and Forgotten Ghost Towns in Oregon

    Greenhorn is the highest town in Oregon at 6,000 feet. The only thing that remains in this ghost town is rotting wooden structures. 5. Hardman. Hardman was the center for the goods and services of farms. The town developed schools, stores, hotels, a small newspaper company, and a telephone office.

  12. Visit These Oregon Ghost Towns This Fall

    Boyd, Friend, Shaniko & Antelope. About 1 hour and 30 minutes from Portland. About an hour-and-a-half drive on the I-84 gets you to the US-197 in the Dalles, along which you'll find a handful of ghost towns in Wasco County. First up, the former farming town of Boyd, named after local miller T.P. Boyd and founded in 1870.

  13. The Secrets of Oregon's Ghost Towns

    By Daniel Ter-Nedden/GhostTownGallery.com. Shaniko Central Oregon. Once touted as the "Wool Capital of the World," Shaniko survives as a living ghost town with a year-round population of 30. Of all of Oregon's mostly abandoned boomtowns, Shaniko saw one of the most dramatic declines.Today, run-down cars, a darling schoolhouse and annual events make it a tourist-friendly place.

  14. Ghost Towns of Oregon

    This is by far the most complete list of Oregon's Ghost Towns in existence. Many people say that Oregon has between 60 and 80 ghost towns, I have identified 268 on the map below and have another 50+ to add to the map. *update* After much research, I believe that the number of ghost towns in Oregon is actually closer to 1600.

  15. Oregon Ghost Towns: A Road Trip You Will Never Forget

    Hardman. Located on SH 207, just nine miles south of Ruggs and 20 miles south of Heppner, you will find Hardman. This golden ghost town is a travel center and agricultural ghost on Oregon's eastern grasslands. This fascinating place was founded in the 1870s, and the first post office was established in 1881.

  16. Discover Abandoned Places In Oregon On This Haunting Road Trip

    With that in mind, we've created an itinerary for exploring some of the most abandoned places in Oregon. From ghost towns to shipwrecks, this road trip adventure will take you to some truly fascinating destinations. ... Customize your itinerary using this interactive map. 1. Fort Stevens State Park. Fort Stevens State Park, 1675 Peter Iredale ...

  17. Exploring Oregon's Ghost Towns

    Relics & Recorded Histories Oregon harbors over 300 documented ghost towns, all of which have intriguing stories, unique to their area. Often abandoned because of floods, fires, epidemics, and other tragedies, these communities hold lost pieces of history housed in cemeteries, remaining buildings, written records, and oral accounts passed on through generations. Here are a few nearby: Orleans ...

  18. State of Oregon: Oregon Ghost Towns

    Coastal Ghost Towns. An old artillery gun at Fort Stevens State Park near where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. The location was seen as strategically important for defense before modern warfare advances made the fort obsolete. The site is now the military equivalent of a ghost town. (Oregon State Archives, 2015)

  19. SOUTHERN OREGON GHOST TOWNS

    Golden, Josephine County. Now completely abandoned, Golden is a true Oregon ghost town. The city was established during the 1840s gold rush and began as a mining camp on Coyote Creek. It developed into a town around 1890; a hub that served people working in more remote places nearby. At its peak, more than 150 people called Golden home.

  20. A fake ghost town haunts the side of an Oregon highway

    Mysterious ownership and origins aside, the Short Bridge Ghost Town is a fun pit stop if you're driving highway 20 between the Willamette Valley and the Cascade Mountains. It's also near the Short ...

  21. Ghost Town Maps

    We offer Ghost Town maps for 10 western states, showing locations of abandoned towns, mining camps, landmarks and more. Each state's map packet contains regional maps, composed of historical maps... 1. Immerse yourself in the mysterious allure of ghost towns with our Historical Ghost Town Map Packages. These meticulously crafted maps will ...

  22. State of Oregon: Oregon Ghost Towns

    Mining Ghost Towns. A gold miner blasts rock and dirt with a powerful stream of water along a river bed near Galice, Oregon in 1910. Hydraulic mining was among the most environmentally destructive forms of mining during the 1800s and early 1900s. (Courtesy of Oregon Historical Society) Enlarge Image. Mining, by definition an extraction industry ...

  23. Use These Maps to Find Ghost Towns in Your Area

    To create the " Ghost Towns of America " map, the team at the telematics company Geolab researched more than 3,800 ghost towns located across all 50 states. To use the map, click on the state ...

  24. 10 Must-Visit Historical Ghost Towns Of The American West

    When it was completely abandoned: 1944. Grafton Zion National Park. explore the ghost town of Grafton, which is also the most photographed ghost town of the West. Date Founded: 1859. Admission Fee ...