Garnet ghost town is an interesting example of what a private, non-profit, preservation association can accomplish. Garnet was established as a gold mining town in the 1890s. Its population briefly reached a little over a thousand around 1898 and then quickly declined in the 20th century. After a revival in the 1930s, Garnet's population dwindled to nothing by the 1950s. Efforts to preserve the townsite, which is on BLM land, began in the 1970s and have grown into one of the most impressive NGO preservation projects I've seen. The Garnet Preservation Association has stabilized and preserved all of the remaining dozens of buildings in Garnet. Walking trails and interpretive signs guide visitors around the site in a mostly unobtrusive way. I appreciated the fact that parking is separated from the townsite by a hundred or so yards of forest. The BLM charges $3 (self-pay envelope) for entrance. There is a visitor center and small giftshop open from 9 to 5 in the town. No visitors are allowed after dark.
There is a volunteer caretaker living on site in an RV. No camping is allowed within a half a mile of Garnet but camping on public land is allowed in the surrounding area. Unfortunately there are no developed or primitive campgrounds nor are there many good places to pull off of the road near Garnet. Garnet can be accessed from either Interstate 90 or highway 200. I took the 10 mile gravel road from highway 200 after reading that the road from 90 was rough. The gravel road from 200 is wide, well maintained and never very steep. There are signs marking the way from highway 200.
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