Ghost Village

5/5 (5 reviews)
West Yellowstone, Montana (Gallatin County)
Last Updated: 09/18/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

5/5 (5 reviews)
Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/19/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The Madison River is also flowing high on its banks, with water nearly up to the road's surface. Just upstream, the Hebgen Lake Dam has water going over the spillway. The road has a lot of potholes, as usual, but it doesn't seem to reduce the number of people driving down to check out the houses off in the distance or fishing. Today a Bald Eagle was circling over the river looking for his next meal.
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
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Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/27/2021

Wow, this road has degraded in the last year. This road is almost all potholes, some near 8 feet in diameter. However, we still love the drive right along the riverbank. There aren't many trails nearby other than South Fork Madison or Warm Springs Creek, where you get to drive right on the river's edge.
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/21/2020

After reading Cory's description of this trail, I had to see this... The trail on my visit was a little rough going but short and fun. Once I reached the trail end (Waypoint 6) I hiked around and tried to take it all in. The ghost village cabins that I saw were on the other side of the Madison River so I wasn't able to get up close to them but the area all around here is just stunning. The Madison River takes a sharp bend near the trail end and with the mountains in the backdrop it is a sight to behold... One of those places you feel like you could easily call home, just an amazing place to spend time wandering, pack a lunch or throw in a line and see what bites. The trail wont take you long, but try to spend some time exploring the area if you can, well worth it... Thanks!
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Matt Charles
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Matt Charles
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Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/24/2020

I had hoped to catch the old cabins with snow on their roofs this year; it highlights them quite a bit. Busy road this Memorial Day weekend, lots of people fishing. Still nice to drive along the river running high on its banks to see the old cabins.
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
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Cory W
Official Crew
26500
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/15/2019

I'm always amazed to see these cabins that floated from their foundations and set here as the water receded. This is one of the trails that I always take people new to the area to go see. It's pretty cool to see and hear a kids reaction when you tell them that house floated to where it sits now.
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
Trail Review: Ghost Village - Cory W
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