If you are driving in Montana and you see the sign below best take heed! Montanans are stealthy in all aspects but even for us there are times when caution makes good sense. If you are in the area driving a sedan or even an SUV with two ply tires you may want to think twice.
A few weekends ago Helen and I took a couple day trips and on Sunday we came upon this sign on the way to Granite Ghost Town east of Philipsburg. On the way up and back we did see some out of state vehicles making the trek the four miles from Philipsburg to Granite but they were moving very slow. The road is what the sign says as it is rough, steep and lots of loose rocks and at only four miles it was a long trip. I was even tempted to turn around right out the gate and we were in a truck with ten ply tires which got us there and back but I would recommend nothing less. Along the roadside you can see some casualties down in a gully but they have been there for many years. And don’t let this picture of the road fool you. It is much steep than the photo shows and much rougher too. These cars are just off the inside of this corner.
The ghost town of Granite is listed as a State Park on the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks web site and it clearly states that you should “bring your camera and your courage!” Not to say that you shouldn’t make the trip but again I say one should certainly pay attention to this advice. We didn’t find so much to photograph but there were a couple interesting items along the way. What I liked the most is what is left of the tram that went from the mine in Granite to what was know as Kirkville near Philipsburg. Not much left but along with the informational plaque the bits and pieces certainly tell a story.
As for the town of Granite there really isn’t much left. We didn’t take time to make the suggested two hour hike around town and around the mine. Too late in the day so maybe next time if we find ourselves with nothing to do but beat up that old road again so we can hike around in some mine tailings. Just the same check out the couple of photos we did get and see if it can peak your interest enough to make the trek yourself.
Watch for our next Ghost Town post about Garnet. The drive is longer but the dirt road is well maintained and the town has a great visitor center and there are a lot of buildings with artifacts inside. Life is good!
There are more than 60 ghost town across the state of Montana.
In what town would you find the Ghost Town Hall of Fame? Than would be Philipsburg in Granite County.