Crossing Montana: Castle Valley

What do we have here? I hope that’s not a No Trespassing sign to ruin my fun. Though I’d probably check it out anyway…

Too often I hear people complain about driving across Middle America. Flat and boring? Au contraire! The Plains are only flat if you insist on seeing them at 70+ miles an hour. Get out and take a walk and you’ll find the earth and sky dance all the way to the horizons. Once you’re upright, look around and you’ll find endless treasure, like these ruins along highway 89, which runs through Montana’s Castle Valley to Lewis & Clark National Forest.

Access on foot only? No problem! I love signs like these.

Collapsing Barn & Gathering Cloud

A Relic! Bonus points if you can tell me what kind of car this is/was…

More relics! There were at least four rusted out cars and two fallen barns at this site.

I kept my distance from the barn. It looked like a stiff wind could finish the demolition job anytime.

For more high plains ruins, check out my previous posts Losing Middle America and Cedarvale Ghost School.

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
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7 Responses to Crossing Montana: Castle Valley

  1. nutsfortreasure says:

    I love coming upon rusted objects from long ago
    Happy Travels!
    up here in NH

  2. Jason says:

    I believe the car in the picture is actually a truck. Looks like a Ford F1, maybe a 1940’s model. Great find! I love going off the trail and finding treasures like this too. If you get to Colorado again, there are some great spots that have entire untouched ghost towns out in the middle of nowhere that look like people just walked out and left everything behind.

  3. beeseeker says:

    Fantastic photos, almost abstract, well spotted and captured – absolutely right -“it’s not about how fast you can get from A to B … it’s about what you see on the way” , I am always stunned by the miles of fencing, usually barbed wire across the plains, must have a history (range wars an’ all I guess) but seems so random and un necessary – compared, certainly to our English farmlands. Good post.

  4. Pingback: Crossing Montana: Gathering Storm « Travels with the Blonde Coyote

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