Monday, May 1, 2017

Destination: Garnet, Montana

I looked up from my book as I felt the family car hit a gravel road. My parents were looking at each other and I heard the word "lost" get tossed around a time or two. I looked out the window and noticed a sign that said something about a ghost town. Cool, I thought, too bad we're trying to get home. They'd never make a stop for something like that. 

We continued down the large gravel road until we came upon a lone man in a construction vest. "Which way to the Garnet Ghost Town?" my mom asked him. The man gave a slight grin and pointed toward a sketchy looking road. The sign was covered up, as if people weren't supposed to drive down it, but hey, follow the local advice, right? No way. They ARE taking us to a ghost town! at this point, I knew things were going to get exciting. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I just knew it would be great. I love abandoned places and the thrill of a well told ghost story.

The drive was like nothing we had ever experienced. Comparing it to hairpins and washboards felt like the understatement of the century. Never in my life had I been on a hour-long 10-mile drive, and never before had I been able to look over the edge of a single lane gravel drive to see three layers of road below us and another couple layers of road above. I gave a sympathetic cringe for folks in the large van I saw coming up behind us. What have we gotten ourselves into? And how many pot-holes have we gone over? (the answer to the pot-hole question was close to 600, I later learned).

At last, we made it (and all in one piece- car included!). This family photo was taken in front of the hotel, the largest building in town- 3 stories, all able to be explored by the public! As a matter of fact, every building in town we could enter and explore. The Bureau of Land Management owns and keeps up the property of Garnet, continuously doing little things to stabilize the otherwise naturally decaying town.

Keep scrolling to explore the little community like we did!

(all photos (c) Sarah Iddings)

To learn the history of Garnet and plan your trip, visit!

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