Ghost Village

West Yellowstone, Montana (Gallatin County)

Last Updated: 07/27/2021
5 / 5 ( 4 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 1.28 miles
Highest Elevation: 6460 feet
Duration: About 10 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: West Yellowstone
Nearest Town w/ Services: West Yellowstone
Official Road Name: 989
Management Agency: Gallatin National Forest
District: Hebgen Lake Ranger District


Highlight: Ghost Village
An amazing geologic, as well as a tragic piece of history, lies just a half-hour drive northwest of West Yellowstone, Montana. Ghost Village came to be when the August 17, 1959 magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit this area, causing a massive landslide at the east end of the valley damming the Madison River. The water levels rose, creating what is now Earthquake Lake, causing these cabins to float. They floated nearly a mile west and when the water receded, set these cabins down to where they rest today. For those camping in the area during this tragic event, there was no way out. Seventeen of which remain buried below the rubble. Those that survived fled to a nearby location which is now called "Refugee Point." If you are looking for more information, the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center is 5.5 miles further west on Highway 287 and has fantastic photos, videos, and documentation of the event. The memorial for those that lost their lives is also along a scenic hiking path above the visitor center.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Trailhead 989 Ghost Village Road (0 mi)
Exit the highway at Campfire Lodge. The trail runs to the west 100 feet south of the highway.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: West Yellowstone, Montana

Travel north on Highway 191 approximately 8 miles to Highway 287, turn left/east. Continue east for 14 miles. Just after passing the Hebgen Lake Dam take the second road to the left for Campfire Lodge, Ghost Village Road is the first right/east turn after leaving the highway. The trail starts here.


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Trail Reviews (4)

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Writer Information

Cory W

Mapping Crew - Arizona and Montana

Cory grew up traveling the logging roads outside Durango, CO with his dad for his woodcutting business and fell in love with everything about the outdoors. He's moved around a lot since then, from several rural areas of Southern California to Montana, Wyoming to Arizona, even living on a commercial gold mine in Nevada in for several years. In all these areas he has explored several thousand miles of old dirt roads and trails, as well as many old mines and ghost towns. Located in the Mohave Desert of AZ in the winter and the Madison River Valley of MT in the summer.
For individual use only, not to be shared.