Golden, Oregon, was a mining town in the 1890s, near the Coyote Creek in Oregon. During its heyday, it boasted 150 residents, 2 churches, a mercantile and post office, and most notable, no saloons. Within 20 years, the mine was tapped out and today, Golden, Oregon, is a ghost town.
During our recent trip to Wolf Creek Campground, we had plenty of time to explore a bit. Just 3 miles away was Golden. Our daughter has a bucket list of things to do before she’s 12 and visiting a ghost town is on it. Clearly, we had no choice but to go check it out!
Golden, Oregon, is just a few minutes off I-5 and is a fun way to stretch your legs. Golden is now maintained by Oregon State Parks and is open for anyone to visit.
Parts of the TV show “Bonanza” and several movies were filmed in Golden in the 1950s-1970s, so rumor has it that everything you see isn’t necessarily as old as it looks. But even if it’s not 100% authentic, it’s an adventure and it’s listed as a Heritage Site.
There’s a wide spot in the road for parking. One interpretive sign stands amidst the remaining buildings, inviting visitors to learn more, and to explore. When we arrived, we all jumped out of the van and ran to explore. No one was around, except for some free-ranging chickens. We had the place to ourselves.
Near the church is the mercantile and post office building.
After the mercantile, the school building was next. As late as 1906, they still had 36 children enrolled here.
Golden is an old mining town, and for decades the miners used hydraulic pumps to blast out the hillsides and create this broad valley. For years, it apparently was a wasteland, but now a non-profit group is working to restore it and create wetlands.