Images of Bannack taken in 2013 before the devastating July flash floods

I spent a few days photographing one of my very favorite places – Bannack Ghost Town, Montana, near Dillon, Montana. Bannack is a preserved state park that just may be the best ghost town in America. I love the natural manner in which the park rangers maintain the buildings and area, without commercializing things or making things new. You can see the layers of wallpaper and lineoleum that speak of many families passing through each home over the years. The history is rich and I will be posting many of my newest images of this amazing place.

Bannack was hit with devastating flash floods on July 17, 2013, just a few weeks after I captured these images. The Assay office was swept away in a torrent of water that carried debris, mud and hail through the entire town. Buildings were left with a foot or two of ice, cold mud, water and marble-sized hailstones that lasted for days in the cold buildings. The boardwalk that runs along both sides of main street was ripped up and destroyed and visitors barely escaped the raging waters.

I go to Bannack at least three times a year when I take my photography classes from BYU-Idaho. However, I rarely get to shoot much myself while I am there. But in June, I took more photos than I ever have and this if the result. I am so glad I finally took that extra trip I have been planning for five years to photograph Bannack . Fortunately, I was able to record the town before the floods changed the ghost town forever. I hope you enjoy some of my favorites in this blog post. Watch for more posts with lots more memories.


The old barber chair in the saloon serves as a reminder of life in Bannack.

Light Painting of Hotel Meade in Bannack Ghost Town, Montana

Hotel Meade stands as the largest building and the centerpiece of the town. The Asay office that washed away in the July 17 flood is shown on the far left.

CarynEsplin-BannackGhostTown-Old Interntational-Light Painting

A light painting of the iconic old International Truck

Starry night in June - Barn and wagon - Bannack Ghost Town, Montana - Caryn Esplin

A light painting shows one of many barns with an old wagon on a clear, starry night in June.

CarynEsplin-BannackGhostTown-School-MasonicTemple-School Desks

Imagine the tales these old school desks could tell!

CarynEsplin-BannackGhostTown-MasonicTemple-Light Painting

Light Painting of the old Masonic Temple / School

Hotel Meade Porch view - Bannack Ghost Town - Caryn Esplin

The view from the Hotel Meade porch – looking at the Masonic Temple / School


Sunset on the old Masonic Temple with school on the first floor.

Bannack School - Masonic Temple - Moonrise - Caryn Esplin

The moon rises behind the old Masonic Temple and Bannack School

Storm brewing - old white house - Bannack Ghost Town - Caryn Esplin

HDR image of the old white house with a storm brewing in June!

Old Interntational Truck - Bannack Ghost Town, Montana - Caryn Esplin

This old truck is a great place to take portraits, but I love to use my lights at night to bring things to life.


CarynEsplin-BannackGhostTown-House 16

House 16 on the walking tour – one of dozens you can explore inside

CarynEsplin-BannackGhostTown-Old Church

The old church served to soften the rough lifestyle of a gold rush town with multiple saloons.

Light Painting of Hotel Meade during Blue Hour Bannack Ghost Town, Montana- Caryn Esplin

Light Painting of Hotel Meade during Blue Hour


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