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ghost town in shaniko oregon

Located in north-central Oregon, the ghost town of Shaniko offers visitors a glimpse into the past.​ Once a bustling wool shipping center in the early 1900s٫ Shaniko is now a fascinating destination for those interested in history and the stories of the Old West.​

A Brief History of Shaniko

Shaniko, formerly known as Cross Hollows, was an important railroad town until 1966 when the rail line was cut off.​ It was once the Wool Capital of the World and played a significant role in the region’s economy.​ However, by 1982, the population dwindled, and the town became virtually empty.​ Today, only a few people call Shaniko home.​

Attractions in Shaniko

Despite its ghost town status, Shaniko still has several structures that stand as a testament to its past. Visitors can explore the old wooden water tower, city hall (complete with an old jail), the school, and the old post office. These buildings have weathered beautifully over time and provide a glimpse into the town’s former glory.​

Additionally, local businesses operate from April to September, catering to the tourists who visit Shaniko each year.​ This limited tourist season is due to water issues that prevent large-scale tourism in the area.

Visiting Shaniko

Shaniko is conveniently located on U.​S.​ Route 97 and Oregon Route 218, making it easily accessible by car. It is approximately a 2.​5-hour drive from Portland, southeast of the city. The Journey Through Time Scenic Byway leads to Shaniko, adding to the charm of the journey.

When planning a visit to Shaniko, it’s worth noting that the town is a popular destination for ghost town enthusiasts. Therefore, it is advisable to plan your visit during the established tourist season (April to September) to ensure that businesses and attractions are open.​

While exploring Shaniko, visitors can immerse themselves in the history of the town by walking through its streets, admiring the historic buildings, and imagining what life was like during its heyday.​ The town’s atmosphere, with its weathered structures and remnants of the past, creates a unique and memorable experience.​


Shaniko, Oregon is a ghost town that offers a captivating journey into the past.​ With its historic buildings and fascinating history, it is a must-visit destination for history buffs, ghost town enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a unique experience.​ Plan your trip to Shaniko and step back in time to explore this charming slice of Oregon’s history.