Family Vacation Ideas - Visit Historic Alder Gulch

By: Rich Herman

Are you looking for some family vacation ideas? Here is an idea for your next family vacation. If you enjoy the Old West, and enjoy beautiful scenery, then relive the 1860's Montana Gold Rush by visiting the historic Alder Gulch area of Southwestern Montana. Located just a little over an hour east of Dillon, Montana there is much to see and do. Not only will your family have a great time, but you will learn a great deal of history when visiting the area.

In the spring of 1863, Alder Gulch was the scene of Montana's greatest placer gold rush. In just a short time over 10,000 people crowded into this narrow gulch and the surrounding hillsides. Over $100,000,000 in gold was eventually mined from this area, at a time when gold was worth less than $20 an ounce. That's enough to give anyone a little bit of gold fever!

Virginia City and Nevada City were the main centers of commerce at that time. Today, these towns still exist and contain a rich collection of historic buildings, mining equipment, and old-west artifacts. These towns are connected by the Alder Gulch Short Line Railroad, which is a great way to travel back and forth between the two towns when touring this area.

While visiting the area be sure and try your hand at panning for gold at the River of Gold just outside of Nevada City. There are walking tours for both Nevada City and Virginia City where you can see over 100 historic buildings, and historic sites. Your family will enjoy the horse drawn stage coach ride around Virginia City. Sit back and relax while the driver gives you a narrated tour of the area, and tells you about the first big gold strike that caused people to flood into the area. Take a trail ride, enjoy a show, or just grab a bite to eat, sit back and relax, and take in some of the scenery. With so much to see and do everyone should have a wonderful time.

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