Camp In One of Idaho’s Eerie Ghost Towns For Under $10 a Night
When someone says the words “get rich quick scheme” to you, what comes to mind? Winning the lottery? Trading cryptocurrency? A multi-level marketing business that’s most definitely not a pyramid scheme?
In the grand calculus of the universe, those are all fairly modern answers. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, many dreamed of getting rich by finding gold, precious metals and gemstones. Those dreams are what fueled the number of mining towns scattered across Idaho, a state that proved to be a very good location for finding those valuables.
We recently shared a list of obscure and tiny Idaho towns. Many of them, like Leadore, resemble ghost towns but still had people respond that they were living there during the most recent 2020 Census. 98 people still call Leadore home, but just 18 minutes down the road you’ll find the actual ghost town of Gilmore.
Gilmore began as a tent camp back for the mines back in 1903. In the early days, ore mined in Gilmore had to be hauled by wagon over 70 miles to the railroad in Dubois. According to the historical marker, near Gilmore, this really slowed down how successful lead and silver mining n the town could be.
After the railroad was built in 1910, the town’s mini operations went on to produce over $11,520,852. Unfortunately, the Great Depression and a power plant explosion hit the town of Gilmore hard in 1929. Mining operations shut down. It made the railroad pretty useless, so that shut down for good in 1939.
Today a decent amount of remnants of the once-booming mining town are still standing and you can actually camp there! A Hipcamp listing for Camp Badger caught our eye with the title “Camp Inside a Real Ghost Town.” For just $5 a night, you get access to what the host calls the only campsite available within the Gilmore townsite. (There’s a pretty significant amount of the abandoned town that’s private property.) There’s nothing fancy about the campsite. It has a small dirt pad, fire pit and tent pad. The real appeal is the fact that you’re very close to some of the abandoned buildings.
There are six signs sharing the history of the town near what used to be the post office and mercantile. According to YouTubers “A Pin in the Atlas” the signs invite you can walk up to the homes and look at them from the outside, but you should not enter them for several reasons: safety and the fact that many of them are still privately owned. We’ve included some cool photos of the video they took through windows and doors so you have a better idea of what you may see if you book a night at Camp Badger!
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter these properties. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.