This old town was originally founded in 1900 when a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific Railway opened a coal mine. However, the coal was only used by Northern Pacific, so when they switched from steam locomotives to diesel and electric, the economy was pretty much destroyed. The mines closed up and town's buildings were emptied by the 1920s.
Melmont can be found south of Carbonado, just off Highway 165. To get here, you can cross the Fairfax Bridge and there will be a small area for parking. Then walk back over the bridge and look out for the short, steep path on the side that descends to the railroad grade. To access the trail, you can step over the rail and follow the route down. From there, you'll be able to start exploring what's left of this old mining town.
Along the trail, you'll come across this old structure covered in moss and missing a few stones. It used to serve as a dynamite shack where the railroad stored a number of explosives.
Perhaps the most notable feature of this old ghost town is the foundation that remains of the old schoolhouse. It used to have three stories, but the top two were demolished after abandonment so that the wood could be used to construct the Carbon River Ranch a few miles down the road.
In this shot, you can see the remains of the old townsite. The field may look flat, but there are several pits and mounds that mark where some of the buildings used to be. After the town's abandonment, structures that weren't salvaged for construction were destroyed in a forest fire.
This abandoned truck cab can also be spotted near the old schoolhouse and townsite. It's almost completely reclaimed by nature and lies covered in moss. Even though it sits on a hill, the trees that grow around it help hold it in place.
This dog-friendly trail is known to be muddy, so wearing good shoes is essential. Even though little remains, the short trip though this old mining town still makes for a fascinating adventure.
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