Garnet Ghost Town entrance fee raised for first time in nearly two decades

Western Montana DO
Media Contact
David Abrams

MISSOULA, Mont. — Visitors who explore Montana history at Garnet Ghost Town east of Missoula will pay a higher entrance fee starting this summer, marking the first time the Bureau of Land Management has raised the price in nearly 20 years.

“With more than 30,000 visitors each summer coming to Garnet Ghost Town, there are a lot of demands on the historic buildings and surrounding area,” said Erin Carey, BLM Missoula Field Manager. “This fee increase allows us to invest this revenue directly back into the Ghost Town through building stabilization, interpretation, staffing and trail improvements so that we can continue to care for this special place and ensure that future generations can also enjoy the Garnet experience.”

Starting May 20, admission to Garnet Ghost Town will be $10 for those 16 and older and the cost of renting a cabin in the winter will also increase to $50 per night. The previous $3 day-use fee had been in place since 2005 and maintenance and administrative costs had since far outpaced that revenue.

Carey said the increased visitor fee will also help offset costs from fuels treatments near Garnet, modernizing the winter cabin rental program, and parking lot improvements, among other things.

The field office presented its fee proposal to the BLM’s Resource Advisory Council at its January meeting and the group voted unanimously to support the price increase.

One thousand people once called Garnet home back in the 1890s as miners scoured the mountains for gold. Largely abandoned 20 years later when the gold ran out, the town is well-preserved today and offers a glimpse into the daily lives of those early miners and homesteaders.