Garnet, A Gem in the Rough
Tucked up in the gorgeous mountains north of Missoula is Montana’s best-preserved ghost town, Garnet. This marvelous well-preserved example of a mining town was founded in the late 1890s and by the 1920s was basically a ghost town. Garnet was not your typical mining town. Its residents built schools and churches and kept out the ton of saloons and brothels you’d typically find at a mining camp. Because of this, the example of the buildings still left is a marvelous photographic subject. Much of their original furnishings and utilities still remain.
You can do a bit of walking exploring Garnet with your camera so you might wanna travel light. I shot the entire day with just the Nikon Z6 & Z24-200 and had a great time. In normal times, all the buildings are open for exploration. Today, just a hand full are open to promote social distancing. Go into every building you can and look at the light that finds its way in. You might recheck buildings just an hour later as the light will change bringing to life photos not there before. I came back with a few hundred images, all unique and the vast majority favorites. I shot in color, B&W, and a lot in Mode #17 Charcoal. If you don’t know what that can do for your photographs, you can see below.
Be sure to check the weather before you head up, it’s at 8000k feet and has snow in the winter. It’s about forty-five minutes outside of Missoula, the last 8 miles being a dirt road. Take food, water and a sense of adventure and being ready to take a step back in time. Garnet ghost town is a photographic gem you want to mine with your camera!