Barron Ghost Town

As high school history class taught us, in the late 1800’s there was a gold rush in western America. While most headed out west to California, Canada and Alaska, Washington was perfectly settled in the middle. This meant while gold seekers were heading up to Canada for their chance at glory, they were bound to stop in humble Washington.

Barron Ghost Town Whatcom County

“Some Okanogan stragglers succeeded, leading promoters to label this area the “El Dorado of the North.” This meant that within a short burst of time various mining camps were set up along the mountain side, one of them being Barron. Here campers would do the typical water panning, but also “hard-rock drilling and blasting.”

Fun Fact: Barron is named after Alex Barron who was the first miner to discover the gold in this area.

Barron Ghost Town Whatcom County

The Town

Working as a gold miner was no easy feat, but the promise of riches tempted many men alike. For two years men came, slept in tents, worked their tails off- for almost nothing. After two years, the town was barren. Empty, ghosted.

Why? According to Atlas Obscura, “veins of gold quickly disappeared underground and costs were just too high.”

Want to visit?

Great news for visitors, this ghost town is still very much intact and even has mining shafts that are open for the adventurous to check out. Come check out the old cabins, and get a real feel for what the work was like by examining the huge 6 cylinder diesel engine.

This is a free summertime activity, (you won’t see much if it’s covered in snow!) but it is private property. The owners don’t mind guests coming and giving everything a nice look, but please leave things as they are- we don’t want to erase a nice bit of history!

Address: NF-374, Winthrop Washington.

Images don’t belong to us, we got them from here.

MacKenzie Passegger

MacKenzie Passegger is the face behind our various social media accounts, and also routinely writes articles on our blogs (that you’re hopefully enjoying). She's a Washington state native who found herself settling in Austria after bouncing around Europe. When her toddler isn’t keeping her on her toes, she enjoys cooking, craft beer & traveling back home. Being away from Washington allows her to have a different perspective and has deepened her love for the Evergreen State.


  1. DK on May 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Do I need to get permission from the land owners to visit Barron?

    • MacKenzie Passegger on May 31, 2018 at 11:20 am

      You do not! But just please keep in mind that this is a private property and the owners allow people to come and look at things, but they don’t want visitors to touch/ disturb any of the property. Thanks!

      • Kat on December 27, 2020 at 3:25 pm

        Actually you do need permission to go on this private property. The property is posted “No Trespassing” and they do have game cams

  2. Logan on October 8, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Actually the land owners do mind if people come, you know people are gonna take stuff anyways. I’m asking you please delete this or change it to say something about private property and you need permission to come in.

    • Mark on April 29, 2024 at 5:17 pm

      Do you know how to contact any of the property owners?

  3. Willy on December 4, 2020 at 8:27 am

    I spent 2weeks here in 1977..friends leased the mining rights..25yards of ore to trail bc smelter..all the good ore was buried by mineshaft water and difficult getting miners with dyno experience..there even was dyno storage with extremely sensitive dynamite that hadnt been turned in 15yrs…the us park service was out demolishing and removing multiple mine cook bunk houses..shoulda been sure to take 5hr hike west to airplane flats..spent notes in abandoned log cabins there..awesome views of devilsdome etc

  4. Autumn on September 19, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    Is it a long hike in?

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