Garnet Ghost Town is Montana's most authentic and intact ghost town. Sure, some people say it's haunted, but c'mon what ghost town isn't?! The mountain town of Garnet was on the up-and-up throughout the 19th century, gold and silver were discovered in the area and the place was a veritable boomtown. Until, it all came crashing down in the 1940s, and Garnet went belly up. 

These days, the only souls wandering around Garnet are tourists and volunteers selected by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management who are tasked with upkeep, providing tours and selling souvenirs. These volunteers are also pretty well-rewarded for their duties. A volunteer at Garnet Ghost town gets to live in a fully-furnished cabin, is allowed a food stipend, and a modest paycheck (so, yeah, it's not COMPLETE volunteering, but it's a very meager paycheck). What volunteers don't get is WiFi, electricity, or running water.


According to The Montana Standard:

"The positions typically last a month or more at the remote mining village east of Missoula in the Garnet Mountains. In the past, one volunteer from Buffalo, New York, spent 11 consecutive summers at Garnet, while another couple made it their summer plan for a decade. This year, however, the calendar is open for the months of August and September."

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I mean, this sounds awesome, but I also get a strong feeling that after a while, when the tourists are gone, that it may start to feel like The Shining: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy..."

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But, I guess if you love the outdoors, there's plenty of that to keep you occupied.

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Plus, the town is pretty rad in general.

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Daniel Hagerman
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Daniel Hagerman
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Daniel Hagerman
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Daniel Hagerman

If you're interested in volunteering, you'll want to contact Gainan at the BLM Missoula Field Office at (406) 329-3735 or email ngainan@blm.gov to get an application for next year. For more information on Garnet's history: blm.gov/j5ld.

H/T Huffington Post


If you can't make it out to Garnet Ghost Town, then I recommend visiting Bannack State Park and staying at Bannack Campground.

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