Sunday, August 30, 2020

Here We Go Round The Lake

 Canyon Ferry, MT   High 92  Low 62

Off we go to drive around the lake with a couple of detours along the way. Leaving the campground we took a left on Highway 287 towards Townsend. Another left at the stop sign in Townsend onto Highway 12. This is a picture of the main street in Townsend.

About two miles east of Townsend you make another left on Highway 284. 

Our first stop was at St. Joseph's Catholic Church which was built in 1875-1876.  Paid for with community donations and built by ninety volunteer lay laborers, the church was dedicated on October 22, 1876. It is the state’s oldest standing Roman Catholic church not built by a religious order. After World War II, federal officials planned to upgrade Canyon Ferry Dam and raise the reservoir. The church was in the raised water area and in 1952, St. Joseph’s was moved two and a half miles to this location before water swallowed the land. 



The Church was closed while we were there so I took this picture of the interior from their website.


This is the view from the front of the Church. You can see Canyon Ferry Lake in the distance.


More Montana scenes along our way.

Confederate Gulch and Diamond City

Our next detour had us looking for Diamond City, another ghost town up Confederate Gulch. 



Gold was first discovered at the gulch by former confederate soldiers in 1864. When the Civil War ended the government issued an amnesty to all former confederate soldiers in Arkansas if they went west by the Missouri River. Some of these soldiers heard of gold discoveries in Montana and decided to try their luck there. They discovered placer gold in a gulch located near the Big Belt Mountains. This later became known as Confederate Gulch.



 For a time, Confederate Gulch was the largest community in Montana. In 1866, Montana had a total population of 28,000, and of these, about 10,000 were working in Confederate Gulch.


During its heyday, Diamond City roared both night and day. By 1870, the gold supply at Confederate Gulch had been exhausted, the boom was over and the residents of Diamond City simply picked up and left.  Today hardly a trace remains of Diamond City. 

We had to ford the creek a couple of times.


We never did find Diamond City and the road was really rough so we finally turned around and went back down to the highway. 

The northern end of Canyon Ferry Lake is much more mountainous than the south end. It seems to be the more popular part of the lake full of sailboats and water toys. 

Canyon Ferry Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Missouri River. 



After taking a couple more left turns, you are back on Highway 287/12 which takes you back to our campground. 

Townsend also has an airport which is just outside our RV park. It is a really busy place some days with small planes and helicopters. It is also used as a training site for forest fires as well as water rescue.

A really beautiful day for a drive.


  1. Funny it always seems RV parks are near some noisy locations. At least this time it was an airport and not a railroad. ;c)

  2. Looks like you had an enjoyable day checking out the scenery that also has a lot of History to it.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Looks like a nice day trip. I believe I could live in Montana.

  4. That is such a beautiful area. Thanks for the tour.

  5. On my last cross-country trip I believe I drove across Montana on a state route just south of the border with Canada. I need to find those pictures. I loved Montana!

  6. What a great day you had looking for a lost town. So nice to be going out on these little trips. Weather looks amazing

  7. It is so interesting to see parts of the country that I may never get to. I like to see old places like that too.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.