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Get Ready to Haunt Garnet Ghost Town

garnet ghost town
Part of downtown Garnet. (KLYQ File Photo)

Most Montanans know about and many have visited the very active ghost towns of Virginia City, Nevada City and Bannack.

Another ghost town that is hidden in the forest near Missoula and Drummond is Garnet.

The annual Garnet Interpretive Day will be Saturday, June 23 at Garnet Ghost Town.

The old mining town is 35 miles east of Missoula, and you can reach it in two ways.

The best way is from Highway 200. Look for the turn on the Garnet Range Road (between mile markers 22 and 23) and drive south through the mountains for about 11 miles.

If you’re coming from I-90, turn at the Bearmouth exit, take the frontage road to Bear Gulch and follow that road 10 miles north. This is the steeper route, and if you’re hauling a trailer, don’t do it.

When you get there Saturday, the activities start at 11am with gold-panning demonstrations, music by Dan Dubuque, kids games, a pie auction and tours of the town by a BLM park ranger.

The ice cream social is a highlight, which was a regular happening when Garnet had more of a population. Lunch will be available for purchase. Organized events end at 4pm.

The day is organized by the Garnet Preservation Association and the Bureau of Land Management, and is a tribute to the people who searched for precious metals in the Garnet Mountains.

Gold became harder to mine, and then there was a disastrous fire which caused people to leave. The ghost town is now owned and managed by the BLM.

There is an admission charge of $3. Those who are 15 and younger are admitted free.



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