|Canyon Creek Charcoal Kilns|
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Beaverhead National Forest: Poking Around
Heavy duty guide schedule of the past couple weeks so tired the ol' boy all desire to rant was put on temporary hold...lucky you, eh? But of course we did muster up enough gumption to take advantage of a couple days off, do a little poking about in Canyon Creek--a place we haven't visited in several years. Carved by the lively, gin clear crick, towering limestone (and other rock we have yet to ID) cliffs, soaring golden eagles and the very real opportunity to glimpse all sorts of wildlife, including the resident goat herd (alas no goats this time) the awesome canyon itself is reason enough to go but...
...the presence of these 23 (several restored) charcoal kilns makes it unique--one of a kind so far as I know. The kilns turned wood into charcoal to fire the smelter at Glendale five miles east of here. Between 1894 and 1900 the smelter produced more than $20,000,000 from silver and lead ore mined in the surrounding Hecla Mining District—among the most productive in the state.
A few miles further upstream the public road ends at this gate offering up a pretty nifty view of the still (mid-July) snow-splashed peaks of the East Pioneer Range. The ranch, by the way, is part of the Merewether Ranch which is currently in foreclosure so I assume CCGR is also? At any rate this day the place was abandoned. The nearby USFS campground is also closed at the moment to remove mountain pine beatle killed trees.
Gale could not resist (who could blame her?) tempting the crick's colorful brookies to sample her favorite Orange Stimi--obviously a ploy worked to perfection.