Things To Do

The beautiful Garnet Mountains have a wealth of beauty to share with you.

At Garnet

A thousand years ago these mountains sat between two rivers, the Clark Fork and the Black Foot Rivers. They were used primarily by the Native Americans to hunt and gather berries. There are no indications that camps or villages were in existence in the Garnet Mountains.

We have listed a variety of things for you to see and do while visiting us. The first area is right here in Garnet. Take one of our trails, and they all leave from the Garnet Parking Lot.

Warren Park Trail

Edward Brook Warren was a Civil War veteran, who built a cabin about a mile and a half from Garnet. The cabin was on a hillside overlooking the Blackfoot River Valley. He lived alone and worked a small underground mine not far from his home. Few people ever visited or came his way, so he decided to build a park. He built long picnic tables, benches around a tree trunk, swings made out of narrow poles instead of rope, even a glider. Mr. Warren built a well-engineered path that led the way, which included a mountain spring surrounded with Lady’s Slippers.

Today you can travel along that trail and walk to Warren Park, go across a bridge that crosses the spring, walk past his house and swing on the swing or glider. Sit a spell, eat your sack lunch and enjoy the peacefulness of the mountains. Imagine and wonder what it was like one hundred years ago as they came in long dresses, big hats; women, children, miners, men and took time for a picnic.

The trail leaves from the parking lot and goes through open areas, the trees, the up and down of the mountain and although not for the faint of heart, it is a good walk, a great piece of scenery and you will be glad that you did. Take along your water bottle and your camera and enjoy it all! (Allow two to three hours)

Sierra Mine Loop Trail

Pick up your Self-Guided Interpretive Trail brochure at the Visitors Center. Leave from the parking lot, cross the road and follow the signs. It explores two different mining operations from the era-the Sierra Claim and the Forest Lode Claim. They were some of the earliest claims in Garnet, dating to 1872 and 1884. Numbered sign posts along the trail correspond to the numbers in the brochure.

As you follow the trail back to the parking lot, think about the scene here more than a hundred years ago.

Tired, dirty men moving tons of rock.
The sounds of dynamite blasts and groaning machinery.
Snow and freezing cold eight months a year.
A simple existence focused on working, eating, and a little bit of rest.

Placer Trail

Coming from the name of Placer Mining, which is the first gold mining work which started in the streams, as they needed the water to wash the dirt out of their mining pans and leaving the gold behind.

As you walk along the Sierra Mine Loop Trail, there comes a split, where you can turn left to go back to the parking lot or turn right and continue on the Placer Trail.

The trail winds around the mountain side, crossing over bridges, going past private property, old cabins, and ending up at the Visitor Center. Another, beautiful walk that takes about an hour to accomplish, but along the way you can see deer in their natural habitat, listen to the birds and enjoy the peacefulness of where you are, maybe hold someone’s hand, or just plain smile.

Activities Nearby

Camping

Although there are no publicly owned campgrounds in this part of the Garnet Range you are allowed to camp for up to 14 days on “Public Land” (unless otherwise designated). No camping is allowed within 1/2 mile of Garnet. You can obtain a map of the location of Public Land around Garnet Ghost Town for $4 from the BLM, Missoula Field Office (address at bottom of page).

Fishing

Elk Creek, just two miles from north-east of Garnet Ghost Town contains populations of Brook, Cut-throat, and Rainbow Trout. Near by, Elk Creek empties into the Blackfoot River, popularized for its excellent fishing in the book “A River Runs Through It”. Information on Montana fishing rules and regulations can be acquired from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

Hiking

Just ten miles from Garnet Ghost Town the 11,580 acre Wales Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is an excellent place to hike. This area is characterized by rather steep timbered drainages ranging in elevation from 4,680 to nearly 7,000 feet. You can obtain more information regarding the Wales Creek WSA from the BLM, Missoula field Office (address at bottom of page).

Hunting

The Garnet Range is home to several species of game including: Elk, Moose, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Mule Deer and Grouse. You can obtain more information on Montana hunting rules and regulations at Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Mountain Biking

The BLM has designated over 30 miles of back country roads and trails for mountain bike use in the Garnet Range. These seldom traveled roads and trails wind through timbered slopes and climb to elevations of 7,000 feet. You can obtain the Garnet Mountain Bike Trail Map from the BLM, Missoula Field Office (address at bottom of page).

Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Riding

The BLM ha designated over 30 miles of back country roads and trails for OHV use in the Garnet Range. You can obtain the Garnet OHV Trails Guide from the BLM, Missoula Field Office (address at bottom of page).

Snowmobiling/Cross Country Ski

The BLM has developed over 110 miles of trails for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers in the Garnet Range. The trails offer a variety of riding conditions, climb to 7,000 feet and offer spectacular views. Trail conditions vary greatly in the Garnet area. Some trails are never groomed either because of continual drifting or provide more of a challenge for experienced riders. Most trails however, are regularly groomed. You can obtain a Garnet winter recreation Trails map from the BLM, Missoula Field Office (address at bottom of page).


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