Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Adventure

About a year ago we decided that if we were going to get into the most popular rental in the Gallatin then we needed to grab whatever weekend we could. So for a couple nights when a new block of dates became available I was there to hit the reserve button. Finally I got one.


“When did we get it for?”

“The 7th through the 9th … in April … wow, that is right after my birthday”

“Cool, it will be your birthday celebration …”

Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Adventure
The first signs of spring

Thursday night after work I arrived to a house strewn with gear. There was a little bit of excitement because neither one of us had spent the night in a fire tower.

I tried to back in the day. With my friend Paul and my dog Marcy. A late night thunder storm killed the chance of making it through the night and we bailed. This week I could finally do it.

Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Adventure
Looking across the valley to Storm Castle Mountain (guessing)

The plan was to hike up with backpacks and snow shoes. It had been super dry and I didn’t even expect to see a lot of snow. We brought along our bikes just in case.  This was a good idea. When we got to the gate … wait … A GATE?

Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Adventure
The trail was bone dry the day before

Yea, a gate. We had to hike 3 miles down the road to the trailhead. We pulled out our bikes and loaded them up. The new plan was to bike to the trail head and make a decision. Bike all the way up the snowmobile route for 12 miles or stash the bikes and hike the 3000 vertical feet to the tower. The sky started to darken as we rode down the road to the trailhead.

“Well what do you think”, I inquired as I peered up the dry trail. Mo pulled up to me and gave no hesitation.

“I would be into trying to climb it on the bikes”.


Garnet Mountain Fire Lookout Adventure
Mo enjoying the 3000 feet of vertical gain

Next thing we know we got into the rhythm and the challenge of riding the entire way up the trail. Turns out it was dry and if we could just muster some endurance we might just possibly ride the entire thing. Almost! With maybe a little titch of walking near the top we finally did crest this mountain and stood peering at the tower.

Just then all hell broke loose …o/o

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