Hiking to Melmont Ghost Town

What I won’t do to have a little adventure in my life.

Today the plan was a hike to Melmont Ghost Town.  We were to see remnants of buildings left behind from a time when Melmont Coal Mine was active.  As is usually the case with me, I picked this hike based on a story that I skimmed.  I like some mystery in my adventures, so I don’t want to know too much about a location before I go there myself.  I found Melmont on Nathan and Jer’s site, Hiking with My Brother, a few weeks ago.  I recommend going to their site and checking out the details of this hike as well as get ideas for other hikes in Washington.

The weather did not want to cooperate with us, but we were pretty darn determined.  Our drive started in the rain, but by the time we reached Fairfax bridge over the Carbon River the rain had turned to light snow.  During the hike the snow turned from light to heavy.  Although the contrast of green and white made for some beautiful sites, our photos were just mediocre.  Right after turning around and heading back, it started to rain.

Fairfax Bridge over Carbon River

Carbon RiverView from Fairfax Bridge

On the way back we got an amazing treat.  My friend noticed some tracks.  At first we thought they were a dog, but we didn’t see any other people on the trail and we also noticed the tracks didn’t have claws.  We wondered if it could have been a cougar track.  I have since confirmed, by comparing my photos to information online, that the tracks were indeed a cougar.  It was a bit unnerving to know that a cougar had been following us, but still awesome.

Cougar Track

We found a couple of old structures, but never actually found Melmont.  It didn’t matter to us; we had a great time anyway.  We later found out, at Carbonado Saloon, that we had passed the trail that went down into the valley where we would have been able to see Melmont Ghost Town.  Since we plan on going back, we are not too concerned.

Structure Front

Structure SideStructure Inside

Notes of Interest

  • There are no bathroom facilities.
  • There are no garbage cans, so take it out with you.
  • Apparently cougars hang out in the area.  Be watchful.
  • Getting down to the trail from the road is a bit treacherous, but the trail it’s self is quite flat (railroad grade) and well maintained (although today there were some fallen branches and it was really muddy).
  • For getting to the trailhead and Melmont check out Hiking with My Brother.  According to the gal at Carbonardo Saloon, you need to take the trail that goes off to the right (into a flat valley area) to get to Melmont.  If you miss it, don’t worry; the hike is still amazing.
  • Stop by the historical Carbonado Saloon for lunch if hungry.  The burgers are AMAZING!  Honestly, one of the best burgers I have every eaten.

More Photos

What Season Is It?Tree with Moss and Snow

Moss and SnowSnowy Trail

Snowing on Trail

Orange Fungus

Me and Mud

And, just in case you thought I was kidding about the mud…

Yep it was Muddy

For more hikes click here.

6 Replies to “Hiking to Melmont Ghost Town”

  1. Hi Pam –

    Cool hike on a day where the weather left alot to be desired! I was going to run the Snoqualmie St. Pat’s 5K, but after hot yoga Friday night, I was pooped. Do you know what that bright orange stuff is? I’ve seen it on many hikes and wondered…. How are you doing?


  2. Great! I’ve only shot in snow twice but it’s a real challenge. One tip I have (more for camera care) is to take a big ziplock plastic bag and put the camera into it before heading back inside to the warmth – then let the camera adjust temperature gradually for an hour or so before opening – it lets the camera warm more slowly and prevents condensation inside the body and lens (which can be baaaaaaad).

    I have no tips for focusing in snow though – it’s tough!

    Lovely pics.

    • Luckily it wasn’t as cold as the snow would seem to indicate and I have a dry sack to keep my camera in while I’m not using it. That helped a lot. Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to keep that in mind in the future.

    • Thank you. It was a hard day to take photos. Snow is a new medium for me when it comes to photography. But, it was a fantastic day.