In this episode our travels take us to the most amazing ghost town and ultimately lead to our most amazing campsite yet!
But first, we make a quick pitstop in Missoula, MT to have a chat with a fellow motorcycle vagabond who not only travels on a BMW GS model, lives in a tent AND works a full-time office job – watch to see how he accomplishes this.
There’s GOLD in them thar hills! Garnet Ghost Town, - you will find one of the most intact and best-preserved ghost town in Montana. It’s also one of the least visited, so if you’re looking to get away from the crowds, then this place is for you.
It was founded on the blood, sweat and tears of gold miners – with almost $1million in gold extracted during its lifetime.
What set Garnet apart from many other gold-mining towns of the era was the family atmosphere. Wives and children often lived there, which helped curb some of the miner’s exuberance. There’s even one cabin solely dedicated to honeymooning couples, who can live in the cabin for a year rent free – only needing to vacate it for the next honeymooning couple.
There were hotels, saloons, stores, a school, a butcher shop, a doctor’s office, a laundry and barbershops, along with a daily stagecoach. All supporting the population of 1,200 hardy men, women and children who made this place their home.
Unfortunately, after the gold ran out, the population dwindled to just a few hardy folks and the town started its inevitable decline. That’s where it could have ended, but through the efforts from numerous volunteers and organizations who are dedicated to preserving Montana’s rich mining history, the town is being restored and preserved for future generations to visit and explore. It’s fascinating to walk through such a complete ghost town as Garnet and experience history first hand.
And to top things off, the entire area, including the town is owned and operated by the Bureau of Land Management. – which means there’s dispersed camping in the area.
We found probably one of our best dispersed camping spots just minutes from the town – dubbed “The Phone Booth” because it’s the only place for miles around with cell reception. Our plans had been to push on toward Butte, MT to find a camping spot, this was too good of a place to pass up. So, we settled in for a few days.