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View Full Version : Going to South Dakota, Montana this summer



andrgo
01-28-2007, 05:15 PM
Hey guys,

I'm going to South Dakota and Montana this summer and I want to plan the trip out in advance in regard to stopping at a few ghost towns.

Can any of you recommend some of the better/more interesting ghost towns in these states?

Thanks,
Andrew

Mike Woodfin
01-28-2007, 08:14 PM
;) I enjoyed visiting the ghost towns in the Black Hills, especially Spokane, SD. Would also appreciate a report on the condition of the town. The schoolhouse there is one of the most photographed ghost town structures in SD. For that matter, who does not like the Black Hills?
Mike
http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/sd/images/SpokSchool.jpg

andrgo
01-28-2007, 08:20 PM
Hey thanks for the idea, I read earlier about Spokane on this website. Is the schoolhouse on gov't property and can you sneak a peak inside?

speedy
01-29-2007, 06:48 AM
You might try to visit Coolidge Mt. it is south of Wise River which is South of Butte. Was a really great place to visit. Also not too far is Bannack Mt. also a good place to see. Both of these towns are on this web site. I loved my visit.....Speedy

Mike Woodfin
01-30-2007, 04:15 PM
The last time I was there the park service, I assume, had closed the road due to a lot of vehicles driving in and vandalizing. :mad: There is a lot of visitors trying to camp out during the Sturgis Bike Week. :eek: You could just park at the gate and walk the short walk in. You could go into the schoolhouse however, don't get too excited. It is a gutted shell. :( If you explore throughout the area you can find other structures along with the area where the mine and headframe was. That was dismantled a while back. I guess for liability problems.

Tsarevna
01-31-2007, 10:06 AM
Oooh you coud go to Deadwood! The place where the gold rush started. There's gotta be ghost towns all around it too, because tens of thousands of miners flocked all around the place seeking the gold.

Rent the HBO series "Deadwood" (beware the foul language and sexual content, don't watch it with the kids!) and read up on it, fascinating town.

http://www.deadwood.org/Index.cfm

andrgo
05-07-2007, 10:05 AM
Just thought I'd bump this topic once more, my family and I are beginning to plan our trip right now so if anyone has any additional recommendations please let me know!

Our destination will be Yellowstone Park which will actually bring us into Wyoming some in addition to Montana and South Dakota.

I'd like to see ghost towns that still have a lot of their original buildings (even if it's only a couple.) The bigger, the better (and more interesting) I guess. Directions would be extremely helpful too! :)

Thanks again very very much in advance!

andrgo
05-28-2007, 06:04 PM
Well, sorry to bump it once more (this is the last time, I promise!)

I know for sure we're going to
- Deadwood, SD
- Central City, SD
- Lead, SD
- Bannack, MT

Now, here's where I need extra help. There are TONS of ghost towns in the Dakota's and I obviously won't be able to visit every single one. I'd like to, but since I'm travelling with other people (who aren't really into ghost towns like I am) it probably won't go over too well if we stop at "too many" ghost towns.

So, I have compiled a list/map of all of the ghost towns I'm interested in seeing in the Dakota's. It is located here (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&om=1&msa=0&msid=100741872388689041216.00000112b4b7cf17433f3&mid=1180379827).
Please note: the map will be taken off from public access as soon as I get back from my trip. I know maps to GT's aren't appreciated here, so it's only temporary and only to help me (and I am not a vandal!)

Please look at my map (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&om=1&msa=0&msid=100741872388689041216.00000112b4b7cf17433f3&mid=1180379827) if you're familiar with the Dakota's.
All of the ghost towns in Yellow are ones I want to see, all of the ones in Blue are ones I will stop at if I'm within a 20 mile radius. I only put "the BEST" ghost towns on the map, the ones I know have buildings and are still accessible.

Since there are SO many GREAT ghost towns in N. and S. Dakota I need YOUR HELP picking out the TOP 3 in EACH state (from the ones off of my map (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&om=1&msa=0&msid=100741872388689041216.00000112b4b7cf17433f3&mid=1180379827))!

Please fill out the list below before Friday!:
-------
North Dakota:
1.
2.
3

South Dakota:
1.
2.
3.
-----

Like I said, I wish I could see EVERY ghost town on my map but I don't have the time! Please let me know which one (from my map) are the best in both of the Dakotas.

I will be SURE to take MANY high quality pictures of the GT's I visit and share them with everyone here. (I just bought a new $600+ camera just for this trip!)

MANY THANKS IN ADVANCE!
Please remember I leave Friday morning!

Darin
05-29-2007, 09:29 PM
Just west of Dickinson, N.D. is the great lil town of Medora where Teddy R. and the roughriders stayed. Great tourist town with a lot of history and if you are going to Bannack, I would say follow the road to Virginia City and Nevada City. Lots of buildings and some history of Sheriff Plummer and the Vigilanties. Also, most of the movie "Return to Lonesome Dove" was filmed there. These are places that I have personally been and are fond of. My wife really liked Virginia and Nevada Cities, and they are fairly close to the enterance to Yellowstone. And by the way, have a great time on your trip.

Molly
07-01-2007, 05:17 PM
Just thought I'd bump this topic once more, my family and I are beginning to plan our trip right now so if anyone has any additional recommendations please let me know!

Our destination will be Yellowstone Park which will actually bring us into Wyoming some in addition to Montana and South Dakota.

I'd like to see ghost towns that still have a lot of their original buildings (even if it's only a couple.) The bigger, the better (and more interesting) I guess. Directions would be extremely helpful too! :)

Thanks again very very much in advance!

Looks like we are taking the same trip. We are leaving the 3rd week in Sept. Departing from Ohio going up to SD then out to Yellowstone. We are looking for "real Ghost towns" not places that do reenactments of gun fights ect....
So let me know where you stopped and if it was worth your time.
If you ever get down UT in the Zion National Park area. You have to visit Grafton. To date that is my all time favorite Ghost town.

ballistic64
07-26-2007, 10:13 PM
The Rochford and Mystic areas are good visits and relatively close to each other.From Rapid City go out Hwy 44 and turn north (right) on Hwy 385.About 4.5 miles on 385 turn west (left) on forest service rd. 237 (first left past Trout Haven).Approx. 5.5-6 miles turn south (left) on FS 231.This will lead you straight to Mystic in about 3-4 miles.1 to 1.5 miles south of Mystic continuing on FS 231 turn (west) right on FS 181.This is the site of Castleton and FS 181 leads you through some very historic and scenic mining country.About 4 miles in on FS181 (CastlePeak RD) you come to the remains of the Lookout Mill on the right side of the road.The Lookout mine was discovered in 1882 and supposedly had a population of 600 in 1886.But as with many BH ghost towns,not a lot of the buildings remain,but evidence of them can be found with some leg work.The Lookout mill is easily seen though and marks the general area of the camp.Following FS 181 farther youll come to Castle Peak campground which is an excellent place to stay (relatively primitive and secluded) in Sept. after most tourists have gone.Further up FS 181,about 2-3 miles youll come to some cabin ruins right along side the road on the right side,which no doubt date back to the late 1800s.Coming to the end of FS 181,stay right and the road changes to FS 187,which ends shortly at a main FS road.Turn north (right) here and follow it to FS 231 and turn east (right).This will lead you straight into Rochford (founded in 1877).It reported a population of 500 in 1878 and had over 200 houses and a solid block of stores.From Rochford go east on FS 231 (this is the gravel road straight across from the Rochford bar).About a mile out of town on the right side youll see the remains of the Standby mill for the two mines that were there.Both mines (the Evangeline & Minnesota) had had a combine forty stamps for crushing ore which was considerable size for that time.Following FS 231 farther will lead you to FS 237 in about 5-6 miles where youll turn east (left) and will lead you to your original point of entry on Hwy 385.
Another very interesting area to explore is the Keystone mining district (no,I'm not talking about the present day tourist trap town of Keystone,but the mines and surrounding area to the southeast of it).This area is a little more complicated to give initial directions out of Keystone,as the roads arent marked and going through them gives the appearance of traveling through private property.If your interested Ill post directions if youll be in this area.The Black Hills are loaded with history and a very good book to obtain prior to your trip is "Black Hills Ghost Towns" by Watson Parker,along with a BH forest service map.Have fun and dont forget the metal detector if you have one.:D