Ghost Towns of Washington State

Mining towns boomed across Okanogan County’s sprawling sun-kissed hills by the dozen a century ago. Many have since vanished, but a few remain as ghost towns, including these five favorite haunts.


Molson is a ghost town in Okanogan County, Washington

In Conconully, hunters, anglers, hikers, and campers have long replaced miners. This former county seat at the edge of the North Cascades makes a big stink each January with its annual outhouse races.

Only a few buildings and residents remain in Loomis, which once boasted eight saloons and two dance halls. Mining relics litter nearby Palmer Mountain, and a band of bighorn sheep tramp the hills prospectors once scrounged.

Nighthawk lies within the shadows of towering peaks along the Canadian border, remaining much like it did 100 years ago. Today its hotel and house of ill repute entertain imaginations instead of guests, and hikers and bicyclists have replaced trains on the rail line along the Similkameen River. Molson boomed and busted three times; it had a bank built on skids and a post office that was stolen. Wander among its old buildings at the Old Molson Museum.

Named after a Chinese miner and merchant, Chesaw once bustled with two hotels, two department stores, and three saloons. Only a few structures ww remain, including a tavern, where present-day miners enjoy spirits in this ghost town.

About the Author

Craig Romano