Garnet Ghost Town Re-Opens To Visitors
With all the bad news about smoke and forest fires growing and hot, dry weather making the rivers dry up, it's nice to hear a bit of good news. The Anderson Hill Fire is no longer endangering Garnet Ghost Town. The Bureau of Land Management closed it down July 16, as the forest fire approached within a mile of the historic site. But with Monday's 100 percent containment of the 750-acre fire, Garnet is open again.
There are two accesses to Garnet, east of Missoula. You can turn off the Interstate at Bearmouth and follow Bear Gulch and Cave Gulch road in. Or you can head up Highway 200 to the north and use the Garnet Range Road. A caution from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. They are still working on the Anderson Hill fire - mainly mop up. but you can expect some fire traffic on those roads, so drive carefully.
The BLM estimates over 30,000 people visit the town every year, where gold was discovered in the 1860. At one point, over a thousand people actually lived there. Not any more. Instead, it is a prime example of a pioneer settlement and it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the meantime, other sites have been threatened by wildfire, including the Big Hole National Battlefield, where the Trail Creek Fire is now over 31,000 acres and the town of Dixie, Idaho, where the Dixie-Jumbo Fire (not to be confused with the California fire of the same name) is over 39,000 acres at last report.