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Exploring the Best Ghost Towns in Oregon

Oregon is known for its beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities, but it also has a rich history of ghost towns.​ These abandoned towns give visitors a glimpse into the past and offer a unique and eerie experience.​ If you’re a fan of exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, then you should definitely add these ghost towns to your Oregon bucket list. In this article, we will explore some of the best ghost towns in Oregon.​

1.​ Shaniko

Shaniko is often regarded as one of the best ghost towns in Oregon. Located in the north-central part of the state, it was once the Wool Capital of the World. Today, it stands as one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the country.​ Exploring Shaniko feels like stepping back in time, with its historic buildings and a fascinating history.​ Visitors can learn about the town’s wool industry and explore the remnants of its old railway.

2. Bridal Veil

Just 30 minutes from Portland, Bridal Veil is another must-visit ghost town in Oregon. It was once a bustling lumber town and home to Oregon’s first paper mill.​ Today, visitors can explore the remnants of old buildings and enjoy the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls located nearby.​ This ghost town offers a unique opportunity to experience Oregon’s natural beauty while also stepping into its past.

3.​ Sumpter

Situated 30 miles west of Baker City, Sumpter is a ghost town with a rich mining history. It was a boomtown during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to the discovery of gold.​ Today, visitors can explore historic buildings on the main street and visit the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area.​ The scenic mountain peaks of the Elkhorn Range provide a picturesque backdrop for this ghost town.​

4.​ Greenhorn

Greenhorn is a remote ghost town located in a mountainous area of Oregon.​ It was once a hub for gold mining from 1910 to 1915.​ Although the town ceased to exist after a gold mining ban in 1942, visitors can still see numerous cabins and buildings that remain.​ The rugged beauty of the surrounding wilderness adds to the allure of this ghost town.​

5.​ Bourne

Bourne is an example of an early mining ghost town in eastern Oregon.​ Founded in 1888, it quickly grew in population due to the surrounding mining properties.​ At its peak, Bourne had over one thousand residents.​ Today, visitors can explore the remnants of the town’s mining past and imagine what life was like during its bustling heyday.​


Oregon is home to several remarkable ghost towns that offer a unique blend of history, mystery, and natural beauty.​ Whether you’re interested in the state’s mining past, the remnants of its old industries, or simply the allure of abandoned places, these ghost towns will not disappoint.​ Exploring Shaniko, Bridal Veil, Sumpter, Greenhorn, and Bourne will transport you back in time and allow you to experience Oregon’s fascinating past.​ Make sure to add these ghost towns to your Oregon itinerary for a truly unforgettable adventure.​