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Montana


karstic
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In August karstic crew will be headed to Montana w/ our 23' motorhome and Jeep Cherokee in tow. We want to spend a few days around Glacier NP but then head down to SW portion of the state and do some geocaching/hiking/4wd exploring/fishing. We interested in seeing ghost towns, mining camps, scenic 4wd routes, interesting geologic and historic locations. We want to get off the beaten path. We'd like to stay at one or two spots for 4 or 5 days at a time and go out exploring with the Jeep.

 

Can anyone offer up any good websites or guidebooks for trip planning?

 

Thanks.

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Through previous experiences, the drive through Anaconda (HWY 1 off of I-90, West of Butte) and Philipsburgh towards Georgetown Lake is a great one, this would fulfill your SW portion of the state info request. The last I heard, my two daughters, had a grand ol' time doing some ice fishing on Georgetown Lake, as well as some snow catting on the various trails in the area during the Christmas time. As far as commodities, I will have to get back to this thread on this one. I know there are some spots that may be of use to you in that area, but I need to verify info, and will post here to help you out. Not sure if this too far west for ya. Stay tuned!

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Bannack is a neat little Ghost Town, well preserved (in a state of arrested decay - but a bit touristy now) in the SW portion of the state. Another really great preserved Ghost is Elkhorn (nice & quiet & not a soul around on our visit) My last visit to these places was about 15 years ago, so hoping it hasn't changed much. Can't remember much about accomodations/food in Montana - nothing stands out.

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Visit this my Webshot Photo Album of a couple ghost towns in Montana we visited near the town of Philipsburgh. Didn't get any pictures of all the great buildings in Philipsburgh. So we hope to return there and take more time looking around. Now that I GeoCache. I am looking forward to include it with our travels next time.

 

The book "Ghost Towns of the Northwest" by Norman D. Weis is a good book to start with. It covers Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming. Try searching the internet. That is where I started before I got the book. There is a lot of information out there on the web.

 

Good luck and have fun. :unsure:

 

Lummieh

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In August karstic crew will be headed to Montana w/ our 23' motorhome and Jeep Cherokee in tow. We want to spend a few days around Glacier NP but then head down to SW portion of the state and do some geocaching/hiking/4wd exploring/fishing. We interested in seeing ghost towns, mining camps, scenic 4wd routes, interesting geologic and historic locations. We want to get off the beaten path. We'd like to stay at one or two spots for 4 or 5 days at a time and go out exploring with the Jeep.

 

Can anyone offer up any good websites or guidebooks for trip planning?

 

Thanks.

 

Here are a couple links to help you out. Pretty much anything off the Interstate or main highway is going to be off the beaten path. I'm glad you're coming to our beautiful state, have fun. If you need any specific questions answered/advise/etc. drop me an email.

 

http://www.visitmt.com/tripplanner/wheretogo/ghosttown.htm

http://www.nps.gov/glac/

http://www.glacier.national-park.com/

http://www.glacierparkinc.com/

 

Ghost towns that are well presevered are Virginia City and Bannack. Other ghost towns may not have much of anything but still fun to explore.

 

Glacier is incredible, make sure you either have lots of film or lots of card sotrage for pics. I went through 9 rolls of fill my first visit up there. Make sure you walk along Lake Mary and go through the historic lodge. Also, if you plan on staying at the campgrounds there, reserve early, they are always full. There is a ton of wildlife to see up there, so keep yours eyes peeled (binocs are a plus). Whitefish is pretty close too, if you can head over that way, it's absolutely gorgeous. If you hike in the park, the only thing I suggest is knowing how to handle yourself in Grizzly bear situation. Every year there seems to be a few issues.

 

If you take any backroad, you're bound to run into some neat stuff. I've run into plenty of black bear just driving slowly on mountain roads. Lots of deer, depending where you go: Bighorn, mountain goats, antelope, even a Griz here and there, just gotta know how to spot wildlife.

 

If you make it towards the Helena area (where I live), try to get to Gates of the Mountains. http://www.gatesofthemountains.com/

It's just a few miles north of Helena off of the interstate. If you can take a boat tour, it's a beautiful ride with tons of history. The Mann Gulch fire, The Meriwether fire just last year, Lewis and Clark boated through here, lost of wildlife and plenty of Bald Eagles.

 

I could really go on and on about all there is to do here but I'm kinda partial to Montana :)

 

As far as geocaching goes, we're not a big numbers hide state because it's still catching on here but there are plenty to do in the more urban areas and the rural areas will be the bigger hikes but less cache locations.

 

Those Falcon books are a great place to find hikes and hot springs out here. I have used them myself to find some obscure spots. I think that visitmt site has a free travel guide offering but if you need a map and some other stuff to help with your trip, let me know, I'll get a little package put togehter for you. Don't forget a Montana Gazetteer, best thing for the back country road drives.

 

Ok, better cut myself off before I just keep going on. Like I said, drop me an email if you need anything.

 

tsun

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We spent a weekend in SW Montana last summer and we could have spent a couple weeks exploring this area.

 

We went to a old mining ghost town outside of Phillipsburg named Hasmark ( N46 19.998 W113 16.055 ). It was somewhat winding drive up a mountain side.

 

We also had a BUNCH of fun at a place called Gem Mountain http://www.gemmtn.com - we had so much fun here. This is a sapphire mine and the owners of the mine sell concentrate from the mine where you and the family can buy buckets of gravel, wash it and hopefully find sapphires.

 

I found a 3.5 carat sapphire. I had it treated and cut (finished 1.12 carat) ans it was appraised at $600.00. We also found 23 carats of cuttable stones. So all and all it was a great weekend.

 

Since we are new to geocaching we thought perhaps on our first hide we would include a couple sapphires from that trip.

 

Anyway, there is a book by Barbara Fifer called Montana Mining Ghosttowns. It would be a great reference for you.

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