Montana mining camps

eemsreno

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#1
After planning this ride for a couple years Michelle and I finally got it done.
We rode 9 days and 3825 miles.
We set up our camp in Butte for 4 nights so we could ride a light [600lb] bike on the jeep trails mining camp exploring.
Here is a list of the mining camps in the order we went to them.

Cable mine--- Not to great and not much to see but great trails in the area.
Southern Cross--- Limited stuff on private land. But worth checking out.
Granite--- Fantastic! Very remote and lots of mining remains and old buildings.
Garnet---- Fantastic! Can be a blast getting to it if you go in and out on the south side. Lots of buildings and protected. Montana's best Ghost Town.
Comet--- Fantastic! All on private land with limited access, But great buildings. Great trails in the area but be careful about getting in over your head.
Wickes---- Not much
Portal--- Nothing left except a fantastic abandoned train tunnel.
Marysville--- OK, some buildings.
Elkhorn---- Lots to see if you look around, the mine is off limits but has a couple very interesting buildings. New homes in town kind of ruin it.
Quartz Hill--- This was our favorite Trail and jeep road on the trip! Very remote and fun with a lot to see on the loop road.
Glendale--- Was on that loop road we liked ,so it was just a bonus, couple buildings.
Broadway--- Fantastic mines to see but kind of off limits to explore them.
Pony--- Not much to see but it's ok.
Virginia City--- Lots of old buildings but the highway runs through it so it's not remote. Lots of people live there.

On the way out we road through some of the Black Hills.





And the Big Horns.






Then over Beartooth Pass.


 
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eemsreno

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#2
We set up camp [Sort of] Campers cabin at the KOA. in Butte.
When we got to Butte it was 100*F and they had no tent sites left in the shade.
The cabin wasn't much more and had two fans and a refrigerator.
And a good place for locking up all our gear while we rode a stripped down bike.
We try to avoid interstates but north of Yellowstone there is not much choice, so we hopped up on I 90 and with the posted speed of 80 I set in at 90 mph cruising. We came up on some congested traffic and I had to slow down to about 65, Then I seen the slow down was because 6 Harleys was only doing 65. As I got right on them the traffic dispersed and I started past them around 70 mph on my way back to 90. One of them didn't like a big loaded , two up enduro bike passing him so he charged right at me. What he didn't realize was that I wasn't just passing him at 70, I was accelerating hard to get back to 90. So the best he could do was match my speed without gaining and when I leveled out at 90 it looked like his top speed must have been 88 or 89. He very slowly dropped back for 5 minuets then must have realized he had no chance of passing me back and gave up, he instantly fell out of sight and was gone.
Another thing he didn't realize was if he had matched my 90 and tried to pass ,I would have just moved it up another 10, and if he could match that I would move up another 10. Usually over 100 for long I start getting jabbed in the side. But a few jabs are worth upholding the honor of TBDBITW.

Butte KOA


Butte used to have the reputation of being a dirty town [kind of trashy] They are really working hard to clean up their act and it is plenty nice now.






 
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eemsreno

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#8
Garnet
This is Montana's most prized Ghost Town.
There is a ranger present and it is protected.
We came into it from the south and the roads are only jeep trails with no one on them. When we got to Garnet the parking lot had cars in it and some boy told me there is a 15 mile smooth car road coming in from the north.
We would leave south on another jeep trail.













 
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eemsreno

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#10
The next day we went to Comet.
When we left Comet we wanted to ride to Portal and Wickes and as you can see on the map there is a road to them.
When we got to that fork in the road the ATV track to the right was not a road so we stayed left. It wasn't really a road either but better than the right. That trail took us to the top of a mountain and we determined we were not on the way to Portal.
We went back to the fork in the road and tried the two track fork to the right. When it came to a steep narrow down hill [Mountain] ledge , Michelle said what if we go down this and can't come back up? She said " I think we should turn around"
So we went back to the highway and around to Wickes from the north. In Wickes heading out of town to Portal is a sign that said "Road Closed 6 mile Ahead" It's a good idea to listen to your wife!
Going south to Portal it turns into that ATV track road. Someone had even put up their fence right across the road and ATV's had been running right over the fence so it was flat on the ground and we could ride right over it.



Comet, Montana.












This is looking down the shaft and they had pulled the man cage to the top and left it.
 
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eemsreno

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#11
At Corbin, Montana on the way to Wickes is an old train high trestle.


At Wickes.


At portal, Montana is the Boulder Tunnel , 5145 feet long.
I think you can ride through it and come out the other side.
I went in for a ways to see if I could ride Michelle through.
The gravel was deep and loose and it would have been hard to take her so we didn't try it.




 
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eemsreno

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#13
Our last day of stripped down bike exploring was just a blast!
We found one of the all time great Adventure bike roads and it was our favorite road on the trip'
This is a must do loop road for ADV bikes.
We never seen another person and just great riding!
At Dewey go south .


Quartz Hill














 
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