Like to Explore? Well worth a few days visit in your RV – or…

Like to explore?
Brand new, centrally located, and well worth a few days visit in your RV (or treat yourself to a cabin!)…

Boulder Creek Lodge

I’m talking about the Boulder Creek Lodge – a very interesting destination located just south of the town of Hall, Montana – within easy “striking” distance of Missoula, Helena, or even Salmon, Idaho – complete with new proprietors as of May 2015. 
I had the opportunity to make Boulder Creek Lodge my “base camp” for a few days in late October and what follows is some video footage I recorded along with a bunch of pictures to give you a flavor of whats there. 
Lets start with Boulder Creek Lodge itself – situated on a 10 acre property, there are 10 RV sites, 7 with full hookups. There are also several cabins for those without an RV or for those looking for unique accommodations (the cabins remind me of simple New England lodging!)
In between the cabins and the RV sites is a common recreation and gathering area – I can see great potential for family visits and even events! 
There is also a primitive camping area situated along side the Boulder Creek itself – which also looks like a great spot to relax along this energetic creek. In short there is room to spread out across the property.
The lodge itself is described below – but suffice to say, you have to plan on a Prime Rib or Walleye dinner that folks are known to travel 300 miles to enjoy! 
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The Surrounding Region – National Forest, Philipsburg, and 2 Ghost Towns

Boulder Creek Lodge in and of itself is a great destination to unwind and enjoy nature. Situated between two national forests, the hiking and outdoor recreation opportunities are virtually unlimited. 
I personally enjoy exploring a region when I find a great place to stay – and this region offers much – two ghost towns and one that was nearly a ghost town but has been revitalized thanks to a phenomenal candy store and some sharp entrepreneurs. 

Philipsburg

Philipsburg is located 11 miles south of the Boulder Creek Lodge. Nearly deserted a couple of decades ago, it has been restored and revitalized – in part by a young woman who saw its potential and decided to open a candy store – not just any candy store mind you – see the photos below and you’ll perhaps gain a sense of how special this place is. 
Philipsburg has a main street and a number of shops (including a good coffee shop) to visit and explore. While in Philipsburg, you must visit the Station for a meal – reasonably priced and good quality food.
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Philipsburg Candy Store
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Main Street Philipsburg
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Inside the candy store

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Granite

Granite is a ghost town located “above” Philipsburg – specifically about 2000 ft above town! Abandoned nearly a century ago, the road that leads to Granite and the town itself are in rough shape. That said, there is much to see “up there” and there are hiking trails that could require 3 hours to complete, so allow time if you opt to head up to Granite.
Be forewarned the road is one lane and you’re best served heading up in the morning and down later in the day. 
A few photos of Granite…
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Granite Miners Union Hall
The Miners Union Hall
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Granite – Remains of a dwelling
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Granite Remains


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Granite Main Street

Garnet

Granite is not the only ghost town in the region. Garnet is located about 20 miles north of the Boulder Creek Lodge. Garnet’s claim to fame, other than housing over 1000 residents at one time is the fact that it is the best preserved ghost town in the entire state! 
I trust the video that follows captures the essence of Garnet, but it certainly does not replace a visit in person. 
To get to Garnet, you must pass through the small town of Drummond. Drummond is home to the Wagon Wheel. A small motel and restaurant – definitely a good bet for breakfast or lunch – and yes, for those returning from Garnet later in the day, they are open into the early evening. 
 
As with Granite, the road to Garnet is narrow and unimproved – so be patient and hope that you don’t encounter anyone heading the opposite direction! 

 

A few photos (click to enlarge) – 

 

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Inside a simple home
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Inside a 2 room home
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Inside a 2 room home
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Inside a 2 room home
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Garnet Blacksmith Shop
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Garnet Pub
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Garnet’s best hotel
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Bar for lifting luggage to 2nd floor
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Garnet Hotel – Main Parlor
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Garnet Hotel – Description
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Garnet General Store
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Garnet General Store – in service until 1947

Closing Thoughts…

I chose to spend 3 days at the Boulder Creek Lodge, one day to enjoy the immediate surroundings, one to visit Philipsburg and Granite, and one to tackle the ghost town of Garnet. 
 
Additional opportunities certainly exist, and upon my next visit, I’m sure I’ll find more to explore. The road from Boulder Creek Lodge leads north to the interstate which allows for quick access to Missoula, Helena, and Butte and south into the mountains (may be too rugged for RV travel – check on this before attempting). Following the road to the south leads to 93 which serves as a connector between Kalispell/Whitefish and Salmon, Idaho. 
Be sure to check my other posts about travel near SW Montana – Helena and Red Lodge come to mind! And… if heart health is a topic “close” to you – see my banner above about Arginine. 

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