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Getting There -- Virginia City and Nevada City are 13 miles west of Ennis on Mont. 287. From Bozeman, take Mont. 84 west to Norris, then go south on U.S. 287 to Ennis, then west on Mont. 287 to the sites. From Butte, take I-90 east to the Whitehall exit (Mont. 55), then go south 27 miles to Twin Bridges. From Twin Bridges, take Mont. 287 east 30 miles to the sites. They are only about a mile apart, with Nevada City being the farther west.

Bannack is reached by driving about 15 miles west of Dillon on Mont. 278, then south on a gravel road at the sign for Bannack State Park.

Visitor Information -- There are remains of many other Montana ghost towns in this part of the state; it's just that information about them is often hard to find and the towns themselves even harder. Your best bet: Contact the Virginia City Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 218, Virginia City, MT 59755 (tel. 800/829-2969; www.virginiacitychamber.com), and Gold West Country, 1155 Main St., Deer Lodge, MT 59722 (tel. 800/879-1159; www.goldwest.visitmt.com). These two agencies can provide you with free information about the historic ghost towns of Montana. While you're at it, request copies of two brochures that will enhance your visit to the area: Walking Tour, a historical, block-by-block guide to Virginia City; and A Walking Tour of Nevada City, Montana.

Most attractions in Virginia City (and all of them in Nevada City) are run by the Montana Heritage Commission, P.O. Box 338, Virginia City, MT 59755 (tel. 406/843-5247; www.montanaheritagecommission.com and www.virginiacitymt.com), and they're open only during the peak summer season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.