Day Trip to the Mountains (Ghost Towns, Mining, Scary Roads, Farms)

November 03, 2023  •  1 Comment

I hope I am not boring you with ghost towns but we made it a mission to check out juuuuust one more on a day trip to the mountains near Helena.   Yup it was a BIG day.

The weekend before my brother headed home we loaded up 2 of the dogs and my friend Robin and headed south.   Robin had been to the ghost town of Comet before but I had not and neither had my brother.   It was a most lovely weather day and who knew where we'd end up.  I had my new replacement Gazateer with us and we'd use it (not  always with great success) and I'll tell you now, we tested the Beast Truck to the max.

Below is the first ruin we came upon on our way up to Comet.  An old ore chute and the view from there was also gorgeous.

Then we drove a very short way and there were old buildings everywhere (and a house that is occupied by the folks who now own this land - so yes it is private - be respectful and only take pictures away with you.

Comet, MTComet, MT Robin gratefully took the lead with Epic as she took photos as well.   I had my hands full with the puppy.

Then we walked up to the big building.....it was fascinating.  If you have any doubts how much they used gravity in mining this was proof!  :)

After wandering around the ore processing buildings we explored a bit more down the road around some of the old town buildings.  I love this stuff and so does my brother and friend luckily!   Boy you see some of these houses and realize just how comfortable we have it these days!  I cannot imagine winters in these up in the mountains.

I highly suggest watching this video on Comet:  Part-time Explorer: Comet Montana

We motored on with an idea (and the  map) that we might be able to get over the mountains to the town of Wickes, where Robin and I had been before and couldn't figure out how to get to Comet from that direction.  WELLLLLL....we started over the mountains and holy CRAP.  One of those roads that really is more for ATVs (read single track so once committed you aren't turning around and if you meet someone coming the other way you are both toast!).   It got so bad I chickened out and asked my brother to drive.  It was slow 4-Low driving and Bertha the Beast was put to the test.   She really was too big to be driving down that road.   But we did it and landed at the Boulder Tunnel where some ATV kids were prepping to go thru the tunnel and had seen us coming down that road and told each other we were nuts (yes we were).   The scenery was lovely and once we got off the mountain (still on single track tho) we stopped and let the pups out for a break and a break for the humans!

This is the Boulder-Wickes Tunnel located at the site of the town (long gone) of Amazon.  Here is a link to a GREAT write up about the tunnel:  Ghost Towns, Ghosts and History of Montana

Boulder Tunnel, WickesBoulder Tunnel, Wickes Then we headed off to try to do a cut-across (yeah remember the story above?) to Park Lake.   It didn't turn  out so well and we did turn around before getting into anymore trouble.  But there was some pretty Fall color!

Back we headed to Wickes and then took the road back to Corbin driving by one of the last beehive kilns.  These were used to make charcoal.

Beehive Kiln, WickesBeehive Kiln, Wickes We made a turn at Corbin and stopped at the old Corbin Trestle.   I love this thing - photos do not do it justice.

Tressle by CorbinTressle by Corbin We decided to try to go THIS direction and maybe end up at Park Lake.  Didn't happen but we did make the round about back to Clancy and home.  Along the way though we found this awesome old farmstead.

Between Corbin and Clancy Creek RoadBetween Corbin and Clancy Creek Road Even though we didn't get to all our initial destinations we sure had quite the explore, a great picnic and fun fun day!!!!


Comments

lori(non-registered)
Beautiful fall day - that blue sky is so pretty. I dated a guy from Boulder, and spent quite a bit of time wandering those 'roads' between Boulder, Clancy and Park Lake - there's some beautiful country up there, but not for the unsure driver!
Thanks for the photos!
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