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12 Ghost Towns In Alaska [MAP]

    ghost towns in Alaska

    If you’re searching for ghost towns in Alaska, we’ve got you covered! Below are 12 different ghost towns you can explore across Alaska along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

    We rate ghost towns in Alaska based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

    • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
    • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
    • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
    • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
    • Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
    • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.


    1. Kennicott

    61.48242, -142.88628
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    The town started life as a mining community in the 1900s, when wealthy investors discovered rich copper ore deposits near the Wrangell mountain. To transport the ore to the port, the railroad was built. Within a few years, a small town was founded near the port. The town’s name is actually a misprint of the copper mining company’s name. Originally called Kennecott Copper Corporation, the town’s name was a misspelling of the name.

    The town of Kennicott, Alaska, was left mostly abandoned when the copper mine closed in 1938. After the mine closed, the town became a virtual time capsule of an era gone by.

    What’s Left?

    Visitors today can explore the abandoned buildings and learn about the town’s history. Kennicott is an amazing place, and is easily one of my personal favorite ghost towns in Alaska.


    2. Pilgrim Hot Springs

    65.0906, -164.92494
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    This subarctic oasis is full of bubbling hot springs and tundra trees. During the early 1900s, gold miners flocked to the area to make a living. Today, it’s a ghost town, but the buildings and grounds are still worth exploring.

    What’s Left?

     Located in the Seward Peninsula, Pilgrim Hot Springs is located on land belonging to the Mary’s Igloo Native Corporation. It can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle or by charter air. Pilgrim Hot Springs is one of the most remote ghost towns in Alaska, but well worth the trip in my opinion.


    3. Portlock

    59.21408, -151.75275
    Status: Barren

    History:

    Portlock is easily one of the most haunted ghost towns in Alaska. This eerie town is located 16 miles south of Seldovia on the Kenai Peninsula. It is named after Captain Nathaniel Portlock, a British Royal Navy officer who arrived in Alaska in 1787. The town was a bustling cannery community until the early 1930s, when gold miners and hunters began disappearing. Body parts began washing ashore which was the final straw for the last remaining residents.

    What’s Left?

    Today only the haunting stories remain. Only ruins and old buried foundations can be found in Portlock.


    4. Ukivok Stilt Village

    64.97035, -168.06884
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    The village was inhabited by the Inupiat people who called themselves the Aseuluk (People of the Sea). Their village was named “Ukivokmuit”, which means “group of people.” Originally, the people survived by fishing and whaling and trapping. Their stilts helped them keep warm in the winter. However, the harsh conditions caused the Ukivok population to relocate to the mainland.

    What’s Left?

    King Island where the village resides is completely abandoned. It’s best seen from the ocean, as landing on the island is no easy task. Of all the ghost towns in Alaska, the Ukivok Stilt Village is by far the most isolated.


    5. Dyea

    59.50419, -135.3608
    Status:
    Abandoned

    History:

    Before the Dyea mining boom, the town was a bustling trading center, with over 150 businesses, including stores, restaurants, saloons, and supply houses. The Olympic Hotel was the largest in the state, and the town was home to two breweries. It also boasted attorneys, bankers, and freighting companies. There were also two newspapers in town. The town’s prosperity came to an end in 1898, when the Palm Sunday avalanche swept through the Chilkoot Trail and trapped many travelers.

    What’s Left?

    Today the area has a few cabins as well as a campground and trails. Very little remains of the original settlement.


    6. Chatanika Gold Dredge

    65.11422, -147.50678
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: overtacoma – reddit.com

    History:

    The mining operation, known as the Chatanika Gold Dredge, was run by the local subsidiary of the U.S. Smelting, Refining, and Mining Company. These massive machines, known as gold dredges, sift through tons of water and mineral-laden gravel to find gold.

    What’s Left?

    Today, visitors to Chatanika can tour the abandoned gold camp. It has many mining artifacts, including a former bunkhouse where the Chatanika Gold Dredge 3 worked. There is also a nearby lodge if you want to spend the night.


    7. Adak Military Base

    51.88, -176.65805
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    In the Cold War, the Adak Island was home to a submarine base and naval air station. Over 6,000 servicemen and their families lived here. It had schools, a bowling alley, and even a McDonald’s. But the Pentagon decided to close the base in the 1990s.

    What’s Left?

    Now it’s mostly deserted, but it’s not completely abandoned, however many buildings lie in disrepair and there are many abandoned structures and ruins that date back to World War II.


    8. Kiska Army Airfield

    51.98375, 177.54242
    Status:
    Abandoned

    History:

    Kiska Army Airfield was first built by the occupying Japanese during World War II. After it was taken back by Canada and the United States, the air force took control of the island.

    What’s Left?

    There are tons of old spent munitions casings, plane engines, and scars from the battles that took place here. Some of the more interesting things left behind are the old Zero aircraft engines as well as a few right-hand drive Japaneese trucks that are decaying on the island.

    You can even see the wrecked Japanese Nissan Maru vessel off the coastline. Of all the ghost towns in Alaska, Kiska Island is my favorite.


    9. Shemya Air Force Base

    52.71938, 174.12219
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    During the Cold War, Shemya was an essential refueling station for Strategic Air Command’s B-52 Stratofortress bombers. It also hosted KC-135 tankers which rotated through the base and refueled B-52s on their way across the Pacific. It also supported the Boeing RC-135 “Rivet” reconnaissance aircraft, which was fitted with on-board sensors to detect electromagnetic spectrum.

    What’s Left?

     Today, the base hosts an Air Force surveillance center and radar facility. During this time, the base hosted a number of Cold War-era missions including monitoring Soviet satellite launches. While some parts of the base are still active, many buildings are abandoned and only a few people work on the island.


    10. Attu Station

    52.86595, 173.1903
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: thebirdingproject.com

    History:

    The town’s population consists of about a dozen people – many of them former coast guard personnel. The last Coast Guard personnel left the island in August 2010. The island was used to monitor incoming Japanese planes as well as keep tabs on Soviet activity.

    What’s Left?

    In 2007, the census reported the population at three. The town’s name was changed to Attu Naval Station. In 2010, the census listed the town as a CDP. However, in August 2010 the Coast Guard officially closed the station.

    Urban explorers can find various ruins, including the old LORAN station ruins located on Theodore Point.

    12. Independence Mine

    61.7909, -149.282
    Status: Historic

    History:

    The Independence Mine Ghost Town is located near a high-mountain pass and offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains. Gold was discovered in this area in 1908 by Robert hatcher and the camp boomed in 1936. The mine used an aerial tramway to haul the ore, which was cutting edge at the time.

    What’s Left?

    Independence Mine is one of the few ghost towns in Alaska that is protected and considered historic. The town is surrounded by many beautiful nature trails, as well as a few lodges visitors can stay.


    Go out and explore!

    That concludes our list of ghost towns in Alaska but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

    If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.

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