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Exploring the Haunting Beauty of Fairfax Ghost Town

Fairfax Ghost Town, located in the Mount Rainier Area in Washington, offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the remains of a once-thriving coal mining town.​ This ghost town, now overgrown with moss and surrounded by wilderness, holds a haunted allure that attracts history enthusiasts and adventurous travelers alike.

Exploring the Townsite

The Fairfax Ghost Town hike is a 2.​35-mile round trip trek that takes you through the abandoned remnants of the former townsite.​ The trail, with an elevation gain of 104 feet, offers a relatively easy hike suitable for all skill levels. As you meander through the moss-covered structures and overgrown meadows, you’ll be transported to a different era.​

Many of the town’s buildings and landmarks can still be seen, including the swimming pool, school, and dynamite shack.​ These remnants serve as a reminder of the town’s prosperous past and the lives of the people who once inhabited it.​

The History of Fairfax Ghost Town

The town of Fairfax was established in the early 20th century as a bustling coal mining community.​ At its peak, it was home to hundreds of residents and served as an important hub for the local coal industry.​ However, as the demand for coal declined and the mines became less profitable, the town gradually declined.​ By the 1940s, Fairfax was abandoned and left to the forces of nature.​

Over the years, encroaching forests, floods, and fires took their toll on the town, leaving behind a hauntingly beautiful landscape.​ Today, the preserved area of Fairfax Ghost Town is owned by Pierce County and has been designated as open space for public exploration.​

Experience a Haunted Trek

For those seeking a unique and spine-chilling experience, ghost tours of Fairfax Ghost Town are available.​ Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours allow visitors to delve into the history and hauntings of the former residents who may still roam the area.​ It’s a safe and thrilling way to get a glimpse into the past and unravel the mysteries of this ghostly town.​

Plan Your Visit

To reach Fairfax Ghost Town, first, take I-5 South to I-405.​ From I-405, take SR 167 South toward Auburn.​ After 20 miles, take the SR 410 Exit toward Sumner/Yakima.​ Follow SR 410 for 12 miles to SR 165, then take a right and continue on SR 165 for about 10 miles through Carbonado to the Fairfax Bridge.

As you cross the bridge, continue on SR 165 for half a mile and veer left onto the Carbon River Road when the highway splits. Follow the road for just under two miles until you reach a few large boulders on the left side of the road.​ Here, you’ll find a small pullout where you can park and access the trailhead.​

It’s recommended to wear appropriate hiking gear, such as sturdy boots and comfortable clothing, as the trail may be muddy and overgrown in certain sections.​ Additionally, bring water, snacks, and any necessary hiking equipment.​


Fairfax Ghost Town offers a fascinating journey into a bygone era.​ As you explore the remnants of this once-thriving coal mining community, you’ll discover a haunting beauty and a rich history.​ Whether you embark on a ghost tour or venture out on your own, Fairfax Ghost Town is sure to leave you with a memorable and eerie experience.​