Montana April 19, 2019
There’s A Hike In Montana That Leads You Straight To An Abandoned Village
There’s nothing better than a hike through Big Sky Country, except for a hike with a side of history. The Elkhorn and Crow Peak Trail is a challenging trek, but it takes you to Elkhorn, an old mining town that was abandoned long ago.
This 6-mile trail is located near the town of Boulder in the Deerlodge National Forest.
If you'd like to make it a bit shorter, just drive up the Forest Service road as far as your vehicle will allow, then hike the rest of the way.
The trail consists of one steep incline after another, but the visual rewards are worth it.
The views are spectacular.
Eventually, you'll reach Elkhorn Ghost Town.
Elkhorn was founded in 1872, and unlike many of the mining camps in the area, it was a true family-friendly town.
At one point, Elkhorn had about 2,500 residents.
It was home to a school, a hotel, a church, and (of course) saloon.
But the town began to decline at the turn of the 20th century due to silver prices dropping and a tragic diphtheria epidemic that killed quite a few of the local children.
By the 1970s, it was completely abandoned.
The town's main buildings, Gillian Hall and Fraternity Hall, are fairly well-preserved, and you can explore them if you'd like.
The original fixtures were left in place, just as they were more than 100 years ago. Many other buildings are dilapidated, so proceed with caution.
If you're a history buff, this trail is definitely worth the hike.
Although it's most popular in the summer, it's open year-round, and some Montanans use it for snowshoeing.
Have you ever visited Elkhorn? A similar trail (that’s much easier) will take you to
Garnet Ghost Town.