Ghost Town Byway

Ghost Town Byway (HM2EL0)

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N 46° 53.208', W 113° 27.679'

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Discover Stories Worth Their Weight in Gold

Once, the Garnet Mountains echoed with the blasts of dynamite, the clatter of hooves on steep, narrow roads, and the shouts of men out to find fortune.
Once, miners swapped stories in the saloons of Beartown, Top O'Deep and Reynolds City — towns that exist only in history and local legend. Once, loggers felled great trees with crosscut saws to supply timber for railroad ties and mine shafts.
Today, follow the Byway to the ghost town of Garnet and continue over the summit to complete a 26-mile journey. You'll take home memories of country that is rich in natural wealth and in stories of hardy individuals who lived and died here.
Why Gold?Between 75 to 70 million years ago, great thrust faults carried the Sapphire Block eastward from the top of the Idaho batholith (near today's Montana/Idaho border). The Garnet Range forms the northern edge of the Sapphire Block. The key to gold mineralization lies in the granite magma that rose molten from the earth's crust, forming a slippery base for the Block to slide on. When the granite cooled in the fractures of sedimentary rocks, the crystallization process separated both quartz and gold into veins. As the rocks weathered, gold flakes eroded into the streams — and into the pans of prospectors.
A Close AllianceTimberrrmr! The

crash of falling trees joined the whistle of stamp mills in the Garnet Range at the turn of the century. The two industries depended on each other. Logging profits came from the sale of timber for mineshaft beams, railroad ties and fuel for the trains that hauled ore from quartz lode mines.
Namesake of the Garnet RangeWhen the granitic magma entered limestone, the two reacted to form a new kind of rock called a "skarn" that consisted mostly of garnet crystals.
1865 · Gold strike at Bear Creek; placer mining era
1883 · Completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad
1895 · Founding of Mitchell, soon to be called Garnet
1896 · Completion of Coloma-Garnet Bearmouth Road
1898 · Fairview quartz lode mine opens
1912 · Fire in Garnet; end of hard-rock era
1937 · Establishment of Lubrecht Experimental Forest
1956 · Barite Mine starts up
HM NumberHM2EL0
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at 7:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 312485 N 5195525
Decimal Degrees46.88680000, -113.46131667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 46° 53.208', W 113° 27.679'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds46° 53' 12.48" N, 113° 27' 40.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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