Explore the eerie history of Washington State through its 10 ghost towns, ranging from forgotten settlements to downright creepy remnants of the past. Join us on a journey through these abandoned places in our travel guide.
Ready to step into the haunting past? Embark on a spine-tingling adventure as we explore Washington State’s ghost towns. Join us in uncovering the mysteries and stories that linger in these abandoned places. Your next eerie exploration awaits!
Tucked away in Eastern Washington’s Lincoln County, established in the late 1800s, Govan thrived for decades before gradually fading into history. Once a thriving farming hub and an essential stop along the Central Washington Railway in 1889, Govan was bustling.
At it’s peak, the town’s population surpassed 100, only to face a severe setback when a devastating fire swept through in 1927. The years brought challenges, and by 1933, the construction of Highway 2 that bypassed the town marked a turning point in its fate. The final blow came in 1967, when Govan’s post office shut its doors, marking the end of its once vibrant era.
Today, the remnants of Govan stand as weathered buildings and overgrown foundations, telling the story of a town that once was. While its decline was gradual, some visitors claim to have encountered unexplained phenomena here. Officially marking it as one of the ghost towns in Washington State.
Situated in the heart of the Colville National Forest, Bodie was a logging and mining town. In the late 1800s through the early 1900s, when the hills were once a mining hub. Nonetheless, as the gold reserves ran dry, the town saw a significant decline, as people lost hope for the town and resources.
While a handful of wooden structures still stand on either side of the road, access to these buildings is restricted due to their placement on private property. But, the buildings can still be viewed across the river.
So, Bodie has now become a ghost town in Washington State, and its eerie ambiance is heightened by the dense forest that now engulfs the once-thriving community. Just beware, visitors and owners of the properties have reported hearing phantom footsteps and whispers among the trees.
3. Old Molson
Old Molson, near the Canadian border, was founded during the Gold Rush era. This town was once a booming mining town that was abandoned by an arrogant farmer. Some say that they can see him wandering the abandoned streets at night.
Today, visitors can explore the remnants of its past, including a schoolhouse, general store, and bank. As well as the safe within the bank. Best of all, this town is considered one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Washington State, compared to the rest.
Resting near the Canadian border in Okanogan County, Nighthawk was born during the gold rush days of the late 1800s. Boasting mining claims that trace their roots back to the 1860s, Nighthawk stands as one of Washington’s earliest mining regions and drew in thousands.
Originally a bustling mining town, it’s decline was rapid, and by the early 20th century, it had transformed into a shadow of it’s former self. Marking it as another ghost town in Washington State.
Those embarking on a journey to this historic site, now situated on private land, can catch a glimpse of it’s structures. Amidst a serene valley, a plethora of abandoned structures, such as the hotel, mine buildings, and even a brothel, remain as echoes of its past.
5. The Triangle Of Fire
The Triangle Of Fire is a collection of three forts, being Fort Flagler, Fort Casey, and Fort Worden. Constructed over a century ago, their purpose was to safeguard the region’s vital shipping lanes. The final two constructions emerged during the early 1900s, showcasing their impressive ability to cut through four-inch steel with powerful force. Joining together to create their own structure and “town” and community of sorts.
Not only are these forts welcome to visitors to explore, but there are also an additional five abandoned military batteries, including the original one, that can be explored as well. Although nobody currently resides at any of these, you may just be lucky enough to see U.S. Navy jets from nearby Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. They’ve been known to fly over the campground at any time for several hours.
Also, each of these locations are now considered State Parks, so be sure to have your State Park Pass, but if you don’t have it they have automatic pay stations available too.
6. Monte Cristo
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Monte Cristo was a thriving mining town in the late 1800s. Having once thrived as a gold and silver mining town, Monte Cristo underwent a transformation into a resort destination, sustaining it’s operations until the year 1983.
Today, it’s an eerie testament to it’s former glory, with dilapidated structures and remnants of its once-booming mining industry. Visitors have reported ghostly appearances and unexplained phenomena, adding to the town’s mysterious aura. Which officially adds it to our list of ghost towns in Washington State.
One of the best ways to explore these ruins are on the hiking trail itself, it’s around 8.5 miles, an out-and-back, and doesn’t have much elevation gain to it. Overall, a moderate trail, taking an average of around 3 hours to finish. The town and trail can be best enjoyed from May through December.
Also, be sure to bring your annual National Park & Forest Pass with you because this is nestled within the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. These passes can be bought at Wilderness Centers or online.
Nestled within the foothills of Mount Rainier, Melmont was once a bustling coal-mining town during the early 20th century. It’s strategic position along the Northern Pacific Railway contributed to its growth, attracting miners and their families. However, the decline of the coal industry led to Melmont’s gradual abandonment.
Historically, on Christmas Eve in 1905, an upset miner placed and exploded dynamite under the foreman’s house. Although he was unharmed, he was still shaken. By 1920, the mines were closed and began to wither.
Today, visitors can wander through the remains of this ghost town in Washington State, amongst the main moss-covered ruins of houses and a schoolhouse.
8. Copper City
Located in the rugged landscape of Eastern Washington, Copper City was born during the late 1800s due to the promise of copper mining riches. However, the inevitable nature of mining led to its eventual decline, and now, all that remains is a scattering of weathered structures that echo its past. Currently, all that remains are the foundations of the mill and the crumbles of the bunkhouse.
Whether it’s the remnants of the mine shafts or the shadows cast by abandoned homes, Copper City’s history is rich, even though it may no longer be rich in gold.
Easily enough, Copper City can be reached by driving up to the city and remains. However, if you’d like to see more and get a bit of a deeper immersed experience, hiking up to higher grounds will offer views of the mines.
Nestled in the heart of the Cascades, Liberty was once a bustling gold rush town that sprung to life in the 1870s. Following the discovery of gold in Swauk Creek, the town boomed, drawing hopeful prospectors from near and far.
In 1876, a substantial number of miners who had initially flocked to the Liberty area departed in pursuit of gold rushes in different states. Although many miners had moved on, some stayed and decided to build their lives within the town.
Today, visitors can explore the remnants of Liberty’s past, including weathered cabins, rusted mining equipment, and the preserved Liberty Jail.
Established in 1892 to provide aid to laborers and travelers utilizing the Northern Pacific Railroad in Lester, Washington stood as a strong community. However, a grim turn of events unfolded in the early 1900s, when forest fires wreaked havoc upon the town. While this event wasn’t the sole reason for the population’s decline, it undeniably played a role.
As the 1950s arrived, steam engines were swiftly replaced by newer technologies, rendering the railroad route almost desolate. As opportunities faded and routes changed, people set out in search of towns offering better employment.
Eventually, the city of Tacoma intervened, closing down the town to safeguard the pristine nature of the Green River Watershed.
Now, the remnants of the town are scattered along the rail line, hidden under the overgrown foliage, giving it a unique charm.
It’s Time To Officially Go Explore these Ghost Towns In Washington!
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or an adventure seeker, these haunting places hold stories waiting to be discovered. So, gear up for an expedition into the mysterious and join us on a journey through the forgotten and the eerie. Unearth the past, and make your own ghostly memories along the way.
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