Ghost towns are cool AF. Transformative and history-packed, they allow you to step back in time and actually picture living during another era. You may not have realized it but the US has a higher concentration of ghost towns than any other country in the world. Some are fully abandoned, some are tourist destinations for curious visitors, and some remain occupied by a handful of residents. Check out these rad ghost towns, which are still hanging on today!
Randsburg, California With a grand total of 77 residents in 2000, Randsburg, which was founded in 1895, is located about a mile off of US Highway 395. It is estimated that $20 million worth of gold were excavated from the mines here, and up to 2,500 residents called this home during its heyday. Believe it or not, the general store is still open!
Chesterfield, Idaho One of the more off-the-radar ghost towns still in existence, Chesterfield, build in 1881, is home to about 27 buildings. With a current population of zero, you can go check out some handsome, albeit crumbling brick and stone buildings.
House and Garden
Victoria, Michigan It was all about copper in Victoria, where in 1846 it was first extracted from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1899 there was a surge in the copper industry, and the accompanying camp was founded and named after Queen Victoria. Today visitors can enjoy a walking tour of the area, which is partially restored and furnished for onlookers.
Nevadaville, Colorado A handful of people are left in this once-filled town on the outskirts of the Rocky Mountains. Ruins remain of former businesses, and a renovated brick Masonic Lodge still holds monthly meetings.
Thurber, Texas Home to 48 people as of the 2010 census, Thuber was once a bustling coal-mining town that sourced more than 3,000 tons per day. As railroads converted to locomotives and oil became in-demand, Thurber all but disappeared. Today you can visit the town’s 128-food smokestack, a restaurant (housed in an old storefront), and a museum.
Vulture Mine, Arizona According to local lore, this town’s founder, Henry Wickenburg followed a group of buzzards, finding gold in the very spot he would name Vulture Mine. After producing about $20 million in gold, Vulture Mine is a privately owned site where tourists can check out the unrestored grounds. Rumors of ghosts abound.
Salton Sea, California A “ghost sea” of sorts, this interesting place was once California’s largest lake. In 1958 Salton Sea was a resort boomtown for vacationgoers looking to frolic alongside the water. After tropical storms in 1976 and 1977, heavy rains flooded the area, where the water would become so salty that millions of fish died each month.
Bisbee, Arizona In the early 1900s, Bisbee was filled with about 20,000 people, most of whom worked at The Queen Mine, which yielded eight billion (!) pounds of copper, as well as gold, silver, lead, zinc and other minerals. This town is still kicking today, with a couple thousand cool AF residents.
Grafton, Utah Established by Mormon farmers in 1859, Grafton never had more than 200 residents, and in 1920 only three families were left. Its eerie cemetery, which dates between 1862 and 1924, shows many tombstones of young children, that reveal a multitude of horrifying deaths, including attacks by Native Americans.
Galena, Illinois Once a lead-mining town, Galena mines shipped more than 80 percent of the countries total lead. Described as having the best Victorian architecture in America’s Heartland, this gem is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bodie, California Once home to more than 10,000 people, Bodie’s gold mine facilitated a town filled with business and 65 saloons in the late 1800’s. It has been abandoned since the 1930s, and is now home to 150 weathered buildings, making this arguably the most classic ghost town in America.
Rhyolite, Nevada Just a year after San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake, Rhyolite was a booming gold town with 6,000 inhabitants. By 1920 only 14 people were left. Today you can see the shells of the town’s glory days, including an ornate, still architecturally-sound railroad station.
Bosler, Wyoming If you find yourself on Interstate 287 in Wyoming, you will pass this dusty town, which was once a railroad shipping center and cattle town. During the 1930s Dust Bowl, Bosler cooled down to a population of 264. In 1973 the town unofficially was abandoned once Union Pacific closed the Bosler station and its accompanying loading facility.
Centralia, Pennsylvania Believe it or not, it was burned trash that wiped Centralia off the map. Beginning its life as a coal-mining town in 1954, the town formerly known as Centreville was abandoned in 1963 after the town dump caught fire, which set ablaze century old coal mines under the grounds. It was so intense, in fact, that fire continues to burn under the town to this day.
Jamestown, Virginia The first successful English colony in the New World was settled by 104 men and boys who sailed for 4.5 months across the Atlantic. Jamestown, which was first established in 1607, was abandoned after the colonial capital was switched to Williamsburg. Check out the brick ruin of Jamestown’s church, the only original structure at the original settlement site.
Cahawaba, Alabama Alabama’s first state capital has gone through bouts of yellow fever and flooding, but remained home to about 3,000 residents in 1859. During the Civil War, this town held a 3,000 person POW camp for captured Union soldiers , and after the War, it was basically doomed to extinction.