Nevada City is literally located right next door to Virginia City, so both of these famous Montana ghost towns can be toured in one day. The old placer gold fields are located next to Nevada City and there are active claims that are open for visitors, which means any extra daylight hours can be spent panning for the shiny metal. A lot of old west history took place in this area and a lot can be learned about the past, so a trip to Nevada City and Virginia City is guaranteed to be a fulfilling experience!
A previous article details old Virginia City and the Boot Hill Road Agent Graveyard, which are a great place to start the day. Virginia City was the commerce center for this territory, so it was a bigger town than Nevada City. This still holds true in modern times and the old historic main street area offers plenty of shopping and dining options. Doing the museum tour in Virginia City will answer all questions, while providing valuable insight as well.
Nevada City is kind of how Virginia City looked back in the early days before this town turned into the main commerce center. Montana was still an unsettled territory when gold was discovered nearby in Grasshopper Creek back in 1863. Grasshopper Creek soon turned into the boom town of Bannack and it did not take long for prospectors from Bannack to discover gold near a small fur trapper outpost in the Crow Territories back then. The newly formed gold camp at this spot later became Nevada City.
Nevada City eventually turned into a prosperous commerce center of its own, but the mountain man roots of this old settlement helped to retain the rustic nature. This shows in the mode of building materials, which is mostly composed of rough split wood and timber poles. Nevada City is as rustic as it gets and this old ghost town truly is representative of just how untamed and lawless this region once was.
There is plenty to see and do in Nevada City even though the old historic main street area is only a couple hundred yards long. Many of the old restored buildings that were saved from mining projects are scattered throughout town and guests can even book an overnight stay in the old original miner cabins. Basically, old Nevada City is managed as an outdoor living museum that offers guests a chance to step back in time.
The sound of walking on the wood plank sidewalks definitely adds to the charm in Nevada City! This destination will appeal to old west ghost town aficionados, because it is one of the rare ghost towns that has some mountain man heritage. Both Nevada City and Virginia City can be done as a day trip, yet for those who want to live the old west experience to the fullest, there certainly are some interesting lodging options to be found in this old historic gold camp!
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