“one of America's best-preserved ghost towns”
One thousand people called Garnet home in the 1890s as they scoured the mountains for gold. Largely abandoned 20 years later when the gold ran out, today the town is well-preserved and offers a glimpse into the struggles of those early miners and homesteaders. The visitor center has information about 19th century life here. Two rental cabins are available December through April; arrangements need to be made in advance by calling the Missoula Field Office BLM. Depending on weather, the visitor center is open daily from late May through September from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.
It's a bit off the beaten path, but it's a road worth traveling that yields fair reward. I had intended to spare a couple hours of a cross country road trip here and instead spent an afternoon basking in the history and stories that the staff had to share. The hotel itself is worth a visit if photography is your goal (especially since they permit you to enter and have a fair bit of furnishings), and other opportunities lie within the wildflowers scattered about the grass between the remaining structures and local wildlife. Simply put: it's worth every effort it takes to get here. It's been six months since my visit and I am still ordering various books that share the history of Garnet, eager for my next opportunity to return. The only advice I have to offer is, don't repeat my mistake if you're driving a sedan: I was told that it was an easy trek from I-90, it is not. Spare yourself and plan to come in from the highway 200 entrance.
I loved this place!! We came up from 200. It was an AWESOME place to hike around for a few hours on our road trip. However, we left taking the !-90 route. After creeping down the super thin rocky unpaved road with no guardrails in my 97 Le Saber and crying the entire way down while looking at the mile drop to my side, I don't think I'll be going there again by way of that road. OMG. If you or your loved ones are scared of heights do not take this road. Get there off 200...leave there off 200. I did find out that they actually rent some of these cabins out to snowmobilers in the winter for less than $50 a night. Great deal! I'm sure that road is a lot less scary via snow mobile. I'd do it.
Here is the coordinates for this place N46° 49.608' W113° 20.179 DO NOT use I90 entrance unless you have all wheel drive vehicle, even that is a nerve racking route! Use Hwy 200, a lot easy to drive, we wish we found the route when we driving there.
This was a fun place... WAY OFF the beaten path. Like 20 minutes one way off the road? Ans once you're there you will have to do a small hike down to the houses. Be prepared to walk it. And, what goes down must come up. If you're already tired and it's hot outside, this is too much. They do have a handicap access road for folks who can't walk much.
Would’ve loved to see this but I drove the 20 or so minutes in and found that the the road had been closed off (another 20 minutes of driving on my gps). There was a lot of lumber work activity so perhaps that is why it was closed, or maybe it is covid related.
Best ghost town I’ve ever seen. Well-maintained without being touristy. The road from I-90 is definitely more primitive than the road off hwy 200 but really beautiful way to enter the area. Nice hiking trails around
It was ok i guess good little leg strecher .
This was an afternoon stop on a cross country road trip. The trek up is quite beautiful if you come up from 90. You'll be on a windy, dirt road for at least 30 minutes before you emerge in this abandoned mining town. The staff at the visitor center is a sweet, couple from the area. They are knowledge and super friendly. You can walk into most of the buildings and really see how everything was left after the town was abandoned. I suggest bringing some food with you for a picnic or lunch. At the top of the hill there are picnic tables and a nice rest area. They even have one of the houses open in the winter for rent for $30 a night. Carry in and carry out, but that would be a pretty special stay for anyone interested. A great place to visit.
Worth the trip out. There's a $3 per person donation. This is the most intact ghost town that I've come across.
Made it to milepost 9 in early April but snow/ice stopped us there. Good luck, drive safe.
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Garnet Ghost Town
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
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- Bureau of Land Management (BLM)