Gone But Not Forgotten

A longtime urban explorer ventures to Bradian, B.C.—an abandoned ghost town hidden in the woods, high in the mountains.

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B.C. Ghost Town - Bradian, B.C. main street now
Photo: Brent Hendric
A view from the end of the street in Bradian, B.C., with the mountains as a backdrop to the abandoned houses.

Why Bradian, B.C., was at the top of my bucket list

Last September, I decided to book a seven-day trip to British Columbia. I am a long time “urban explorer” and enjoy visiting abandoned places and taking photos, as well as filming and documenting them for my YouTube channel and Instagram page.

My father took me to my first abandoned farmhouse when I was just seven years old. The house had a lot of decay and unsafe floors but ever since that day I have been hooked on exploring abandoned places.

My aunt Stephanie lives on the Sunshine Coast, so I was planning on visiting her and had a few places in mind that I wanted to explore while there. An abandoned town called Bradian, B.C., was at the top of my list. About two hours north of Pemberton, this abandoned mining town is known to be one of the most intact ghost town in the province, with 22 houses in various states of repair, still standing.

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Black bear on the Hurley River, B.C.
Photo: Brent Hendric
A black bear eating salmon on the riverbank of the Hurley River.

The road to Bradian, B.C.

Stephanie and I set out on September 28, headed for Bradian, B.C. The drive was amazing with great views of mountains and nature all around us. The road runs along beautiful turquoise-coloured Carpenter Lake and Hurley River. We made a number of stops to take some pictures and a video of bears eating salmon on the river bank, and deer running across the road. The drive took us along a lot of dirt roads that were very high up and right on the edge of the mountains, making it a very dangerous drive. This area is known for landslides and avalanches, so driving here presented some obstacles. There is also no cell phone service for a good part of the trip, so if we were to break down, there was no calling CAA.

Check out more hidden gems in B.C.

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Empty house in Bradian, B.C. ghost town
Photo: Brent Hendric
A lone empty house sits on a corner lot.

Echoes of the gold rush

We drove through a small town called Bralorne that sits right beside Bradian. The Bralorne Mine operated from 1931 to 1970 when four million ounces of gold and 1.2 million ounces of silver were produced—more than any other mining operation in British Columbia.

Here’s more hauntingly beautiful photography from across Canada.

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Dusty kitchen in an abandoned Bradian, B.C., home
Photo: Brent Hendric
A dusty kitchen inside one of the abandoned houses in Bradian, B.C.

B.C. ghost town for sale

When the mines closed in 1970, the residents of Bradian found themselves hours from civilization with no jobs or income, so they left town. Bradian sat abandoned from 1970 until Tom and Kathleen Gutenburg bought it for $100,000 in 1997. For 17 years, they slowly fixed up the houses to protect them from rotting away from the elements, adding new steel roofs and painting most of them. The couple sold the town in 2014 to a Chinese investment company for a million dollars. After six months of ownership, when their plans feel through, the Chinese company re-listed the property for sale.

Check out these beautiful photos of Saskatchewan’s ghost towns.

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Dirt road along Hurley River, B.C.
Photo: Brent Hendric
A dirt road running alongside the Hurley River.

A fascinating adventure

Exploring Bradian and the surrounding area was a fascinating adventure. The highlights of our trip included all the wildlife we saw, the stunning views of the scenery and, of course, the eerily abandoned houses in this tiny, fascinating ghost town.

Now that you know the story of Bradian, B.C., read up on Ontario’s most famous ghost town—and why it’s disappearing.

Originally Published in Our Canada

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