8 Ghost Towns in the U.S. You Can Still Visit

Billy Rogers

Silver City, California:

Located in California’s Kern River Valley, Silver City was preserved by Dave and Arvilla Mills in the 1960s, saving over 20 historic buildings from demolition. 

St. Elmo, Colorado:

Founded in 1880 as a gold and silver mining community, St. Elmo was abandoned by the early 20th century. 

Terlingua, Texas:

Once a major producer of quicksilver, Terlingua faced decline in the 1940s but has seen a revival with new residents. The former mining town now welcomes visitors with its historic charm and lively atmosphere.

Rhyolite, Nevada:

Rhyolite flourished with quartz mining but declined when the industry collapsed. Visitors can explore remnants like the old bank and jail, imagining life in this bustling 20th-century community.

Custer, Idaho:

Founded in 1879 during the gold rush, Custer peaked with 600 residents by 1896. Abandoned by 1910, its well-preserved buildings are now part of the Challis National Forest, offering summer tours.

Kennecott, Alaska:

Once a thriving copper mining camp, Kennecott closed in 1938. Now preserved by the National Park Service, visitors can explore its historic buildings on a self-guided tour.

Calico, California:

Calico was a bustling silver mining town until the 1890s. Rescued and restored by Walter Knott in the 1950s, it’s now open daily for visitors to explore its historic buildings.

South Pass City, Wyoming:

Founded as a gold mining town, South Pass City now boasts 17 restored original structures. It’s open year-round for tours, offering a glimpse into its gold rush history.

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