Melmont was a coal mining town established in 1900 near Mount Rainier. It flourished for a short period of time and disappeared completely in the 1920s. The demise of the town was due to a decline in coal prices.
I have seen a few stories online about Melmont that reference a crime that occured in 1905. The home of the mine owner was bombed. The windows were blown out of the house, but no one was harmed. An initial arrest was made, but no evidence could be provided for conviction. I can not verify the academic source of this story, but if true it makes for an interesting tale.
On this adventure my sister, Liz and I made a few false starts. This was due to poor planning on my part. We finally found our way. There are three different trailheads that will get you there, but we took the one located at the one way bridge off SR165. You can find detailed directions by clicking here
Cross the one way bridge and park on the west side. Then walk back across the bridge to the east side where you will locate a trail heading down the embankment. It is very steep, but their is a cable railing that helps immensely.
From here you climb down the embankment to a railroad grade. You will take a left here. Follow this railroad grade. You will come across the remains of the old bridge, a rock wall/foundation and the stone walls of a once dynamite shed.
Right before you get to the “Y” (about a mile in) you will see an old car that went over the embankment at some point long ago. Neither me or my sister could find it, but keep your eyes peeled it’s under all the moss somewhere. Take the left heading uphill at the “Y.” About a 100 yards in you will find the town site. The foundation of the old school are about all that is left. You can see some terraced areas where the homes must have sat.
We explored some of the smaller trails that jutted off in various directions and found some rusty remains and some very old exposed pipes that must have been a plumbing system.
I’ve been on better ghost town hikes, but if you’re in the area its worth checking out.
For more information visit AllTrails.