SeeleyLakeLife.com Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Seeley Lake
Bulletin Board
Seeley Lake
Business Listings
Missoula
Businesses
Seeley Lake
Garage Sales
Seeley Lake
in Pictures
About Me
Local Weather Rice Ridge Fire
Aftermath Menu
What are you
waiting for?
Trails System Points of Interest Area Wildflowers Contact:  

Points of Interest
 

Sign to Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet range of western Montana Coloma, MT, also known as the "Mystery Camp", is a ghost town a few miles north of the better known Garnet Ghost Town in the area of the Garnet Range in Missoula County, Montana.
click here for Coloma Ghost Town location on Google Maps
 
Coloma, MT, also known as the "Mystery Camp", is a ghost town a few miles north of the better known Garnet Ghost Town in the area of the Garnet Range in Missoula County, Montana.  Coloma and several other mining camps, including Reynolds City, Springtown, and Yreka got their starts in 1865 when prospectors found gold in Bear Gulch and Elk Creek. This started one of the last large Montana gold rushes.  Within weeks, 6,000 people moved into the Garnet Mountain mining districts. The settlement of Coloma, was the largest next to Garnet, which would be developed later.

After lode deposits at Coloma were discovered in 1897, the area would really begin to boom and was most active at the turn of the century. Eventually, the Coloma area had two mills (10 & 20 stamps) which crushed the ore that was then hauled out to Helena, Butte, or Anaconda to be treated.

The largest of the Coloma lodes was the Mammoth Mine, which was developed beginning in 1896 and would yield about $200,000 of gold in the next two decades. Other mines, including the Comet, Dixie, Clemantha, Cato, and several others were also operating in the early 20th century; however, most were not profitable as much of the gold was lost in the tailings.

Though mining efforts continued as late as the 1950s, Coloma had all but died by 1918. Other mining camps in the area, including Reynolds city, Springtown, and Yreka had very short lives, lasting only a couple of years. All in all, the district produced only about $250,000 in gold, silver, lead, and zinc. Today, there is little left but a few cabins and mining remains. There are still mining shafts, ventilation systems, pumping machines and remains of narrow-gauge railroad tracks present at the site.  More than the old relics, the main attraction at Coloma is the million dollar view of the Blackfoot Valley and the Swan Mountain Range.

First of several structures seen upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Sign posted to a tree pointing the way to Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet range of western Montana Some text above is from the book "Montana Mining Ghost Towns"
2002 Farcountry Press  ISBN: 1-56037-195-1
click for more historical context from montana.gov
First of several structures seen upon entering Coloma

From Missoula, drive about 9 miles east on Interstate 90, take MT-200 E to Garnet Range Rd 30 min (28.6 mi) and follow Garnet Range Rd to your destination 18 min (7.3 mi) Coloma, MT
 
Pictures taken 5/22/17
all photos by Andy Christen
click on the images to enlarge

Open year-round, however access is limited in the winter. Wheeled vehicles are allowed on the road
from May 1 - January 1, depending on snow conditions.

Road (from the road sign posted on a tree) leading to Coloma ghost town in the Garnet range in western Montana First of several structures seen upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana First of several structures seen upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Road (from the road sign posted on a tree) leading to
Coloma ghost town in the Garnet range in western Montana
First of several structures seen upon entering
Coloma (ghost town) Montana
First of several structures seen upon entering
Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Second of several collapsed cabins seen upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana Almost nothing left of this miner's cabin seen upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana One of several collapsed cabins seen upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Second of several collapsed cabins seen upon entering
Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Almost nothing left of this miner's cabin seen
upon entering Coloma (ghost town) Montana
One of several collapsed cabins seen upon entering
Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Collapsed miner's cabin on a side road in Coloma (ghost town) Collapsed building near the main part of Coloma (ghost town) Very rough road to the main part of Coloma (ghost town) with a collapsed cabin on the left.
Collapsed miner's cabin on a side road in Coloma (ghost town) Collapsed building near the main part of Coloma (ghost town) Very rough road to the main part of Coloma (ghost town)
with a collapsed cabin on the left.
Collapsed miner's cabin on a side road in Coloma (ghost town) The only cabin I saw in Coloma (ghost town) Montana that has not yet collapsed.  There is also an old rusted barrel type wood stove inside. Inside view of the only cabin I saw in Coloma (ghost town) that has not yet collapsed.  Old newspapers can be seen lining the underside of the roof.
Collapsed miner's cabin on a side road in Coloma (ghost town) The only cabin I saw in Coloma that has not yet collapsed.
There is also an old rusted barrel type wood stove inside.
Inside the only cabin (shown left) in Coloma that has not yet collapsed.  Old newspapers can be seen lining the underside of the roof.
Scenic 'Stonehenge' type rock formation seen above Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet mountains of Montana View of the Swans Mountain from the  'Stonehenge' type rock formation seen above Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet mountains of Montana Collapsed structure in the main part of Coloma (ghost town)
Scenic 'Stonehenge' type rock formation seen above Coloma
(ghost town) in the Garnet mountains of Montana.
View of the Swan Range from the  'Stonehenge' type rock formation seen above Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet mountains of Montana. Collapsed structure in the main part of Coloma (ghost town)
Scenic 'Stonehenge' type rock formation (upper left) seen above Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet mountains of Montana.  Collapsed cabin in foreground. Completely collapsed cabin with lower stone wall in Coloma (ghost town) Montana Completely collapsed structure (or is it 2 or 3 structures?) in the main part of Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Scenic 'Stonehenge' type rock formation (upper left) seen above Coloma (ghost town) in the Garnet mountains of Montana.  Collapsed cabin in foreground. Completely collapsed cabin with lower stone wall
in Coloma (ghost town) Montana
Completely collapsed structure (or is it 2 or 3 structures?) in the
main part of Coloma (ghost town) Montana
One of the collapsed cabins in the main section of Coloma (ghost town).  The foundation on the left side seems to have been washed out by running water causing the subsiding on that side of the structure. Who was Frank Hamilton?  No one really knows.  Sign at Sand Park Cemetery not far from Coloma (ghost town) where some of the poorer miners appear to have been buried. Simple wooden grave markers in the back corner of the fenced-in area pay a humble tribute to the five miners buried at the Sand Park Cemetery (shown above) between 1898 and 1914.
One of the collapsed cabins in the main section of Coloma (ghost town).  The foundation on the left side seems to have been eroded by running water causing subsiding on that side of the structure. Who was Frank Hamilton?  No one really knows.  Sign at Sand Park Cemetery not far from Coloma (ghost town) where some of the poorer miners appear to have been buried. Simple wooden grave markers in the back corner of the fenced-in area
pay a humble tribute to the five miners buried at the Sand Park Cemetery (shown above) between 1898 and 1914.