This year, Montana is celebrating the 150th anniversary of gold being struck in Alder Gulch, leading to booms in nearby towns such as Bannack, Virginia City and Nevada City. Fast forward a century and a half and the story seems common enough: gold was discovered, miners hoping to keep their finding to themselves got found out, the population of these towns exploded, then busted and on and on.
Throughout the year, Virginia City is hosting events to commemorate the occasion, including concerts, farmer's markets and art shows. For visitors eager to see a few spots, there is a short tourist train connecting the towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, which both feature reenactments. Nearby Bannack is a state park and is among the best preserved ghost towns around.
For those not making a visit to the Treasure State, check out photos of and info on the abandoned spots below.