Southwest Montana, tucked between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, encapsulates all the best of the Treasure State. Panoramic views beckon around every bend in the river, the trail or the road; recreation abounds here; and welcoming small-town communities buzz with the creative energy of today’s modern frontier.
Over a dozen historic mining ghost towns lay vacant throughout sweeping expanses of the region. Situated alongside the stunning panorama of the Rocky Mountains, these well-preserved abandoned communities serve as living museums of days gone by.
Take a seasonal ghost walk at Bannack State Park, which, in its heyday, was one of the largest gold-rush towns in Montana. Now a well-preserved ghost town with more than 50 buildings, Bannack is the ultimate destination for a Montana history lesson. Or, walk the evening streets of Virginia City and Nevada City by lantern light. These sister cities are located a mile apart along Alder Gulch, the site of the richest gold strike in the history of the West.
With more than 100 buildings to explore in this open-air museum, learn about the boom-and-bust years of the Old West or mine for gems.