First Chance Gulch To Bear Gulch

Total Miles
4.6

Elevation

1818.5 ft

Duration

Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

Best Time

fall, summer, spring

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Trail Overview

This is a great connector trail with amazing views of the canyons below. It connects the well-preserved Garnet Ghost Town to Bear Town. There are plenty of switchbacks and a creek running alongside the whole way. There's even a lovely, well-preserved set of older buildings right in a switchback with the stream running through the middle in pretty little waterfalls. There are some narrow sections and not a ton of pullouts for oncoming traffic. The trail will be rocky and rutted after a good storm and be ready for a few long steeper grades. Not recommended for RV's of vehicles towing trailers. Mostly no cell service.

Difficulty

Easy

History

The following information was gathered from the many kiosks in the area: In the Garnet Range, Granite County Montana At the intersection of Bear Gulch Road and Deep Creek Road and one of the earliest towns in the Bearmouth area, Beartown yielded one million dollars in gold and silver in 1866. The area housed the notorious "Beartown Roughs" and sought to be Montana's capital but then died out. Local folklore says that a Chinaman buried a fortune in a five-pound baking can and adventurers today are still on the hunt to find it. Unfortunately, nothing remains of old Beartown today. The Beartown area is private property, but visitors are welcome. -5,000 men were camped at Bear Gulch a few weeks after (the Reynolds party) discovered gold there late in October 1865. -In 1866, prospectors hammered together Beartown almost overnight. By 1870, the boom ended. Nothing remains visible of Beartown today. Typical of the quickly assembled mining camps of the era. -A miner known as 'Shorty' made local history when he stumbled drunkenly into his own fireplace and badly burned his arm. Dr. Armistead Mitchell sawed-off Shorty's arm and then joined his patient in an all-night poker party. Whiskey proved a powerful anesthetic. -In contrast to Garnet, where family living was common in the late 1890s, this early mining community of Beartown, Montana, fit the classic image of the Wild West.

Technical Rating

3