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on Monte Cristo Trail

9 days ago

Great stroll even in the pouring rain. We turned into the trail at the first large caution sign that crossed a wooden bridge into the woods. We should have stayed straight right toward the rivers edge instead of going up. The next woops was we missed the pile of rocks to indicate where to turn to actually go to Monte Cristo from that side of the trail. We went about a mile past the turn before we realized and had to backtrack. We were gaining elevation and the route to Montecristo is lowland around 700 feet. So if you take that route look for a pile of rocks about mile and a half in on your left hand side and take a left at that pile of rocks. You will eventually get down to the river again to find that long log that most people talk about that you need to cross over and from there you just keep Truckin ahead on the gravel road about 2 more miles and you'll find Monte Cristo.

An easy trail since it’s low elevation gain and goes along a road most of the way. There is a log crossing, so I wouldn’t advise small children or anyone with balance issues or fears. However, there are other options if you decide to turn around at the log. The ghost town is very cool with pretty forest and river views along the way!The trail is worth it as long as you know what you’re getting into! I give it a three because it’s not really a hike, but more of a forest road walk.

The beginning of the hike to Monte Cristo is easy. From here, you follow the trailhead towards silver and twin lakes. The hike to Silver lake is relatively difficult. If you choose to continue to twin lakes, plan ahead. This part of the hike is extremely difficult and steep. The trail can be difficult to follow at times. However, twin lakes is ABSOLUTELY beautiful and 100% worth the extra effort.

The hike to Monte Cristo is easy. Once you pass the old mining town, hiking becomes a little more vertical and difficult. Very beautiful and worth the trek.

Some of the trail is redirected do to wash outs and to cross the river you go over a fallen tree. all around a very beautiful hike.

Great walk with historical destination and beautiful fall colors. As noted on prior post, there was a crew of volunteers at the historic town, working to preserve this great gateway to our past... THANKS.

Only negative would be that the river crossing point was poorly marked.

hiking
15 days ago

this was probably one of the hardest hikes i’ve done. it starts out flat for about a mile and then it’s just straight up the entire way. when you think you’re almost there you have about another mile to go. the basin was beautiful and gorgeous and while we were up there a person fell off the ledges of the hike and had to be airlifted out of there so i really suggest being careful when you’re up there! the hike kicked my butt but it was beautiful!

Great hike with 14 boy scouts for a fun overnighter. This was a great way for the younger scouts to work on their outdoor skills. The camping area was very nice and provided plenty of room. Although not stated here (unless I missed it) the US forest service still recommends packing in water. Although there was a cleanup in 2016, the Ranger station in Verlot stated that there is the possibility of arsenic in the water still so it is good to pack in your water.

Beautiful hike, to say the least! Breathtaking almost the whole way, In one way or another.Kicked my butt though.

hiking
21 days ago

Had a great time hiking this trail - a lot of fun going up through the pass, and scrambling up to the summit. Some tricky footing with rocks most of the hike. We got a super late start and finished out the last 20 minutes of the hike with headlamps after leaving the summit around 4:30. Amazing views, definitely worth the climb. There is a lot of discrepancy on distance - I think the hike is probably longer than 7, and in the very least is a lot slower than a typical 7 mile hike because of the terrain.

hiking
23 days ago

We came up here with the kids (3 and 8) and our dog today. We chose this trail because of the reviews we read on here. This trail was kind of... meh. We got a late start around 4pm and the sun was already tucked behind the mountain. The river did play peek-a-boo a bit and there was a little sandy beach near the beginning which was exciting and fun. The trail was mostly flat and pretty easy to hike. There were a TON of different mushrooms which my daughters loved finding and describing. We weren’t sure when the trail ended but we stopped when we saw a sign that said Murphy creek this way ⬅️ and accessible loop trail trail that way ⬆️. So far we weren’t really impressed so we had some snacks then turned around. Overall, I felt the trail was kind of uneventful. Probably won’t be hiking this one again.

Amazing day! Sunny but a little chilly in the morning. The rocks and logs were slippery. The trail was great going up to Monte Cristo and lots to see at the town. Thanks to all the volunteers that were there to maintain the area. We went 8.9 miles in and out. Amazing pics!!

Wow. I have done “hard” hikes and I didn’t expect anything like this. Most challenging hike I have ever done. Straight up the whole way and scaling rocks for a mile. But wow the views are amazing and totally worth it!!

hiking
29 days ago

The last mile is very hard but the views are amazing.

Great history good nature walk for kids and animals.

Really enjoyed hiking this trail on Monday with my brother and friend - was a pretty wet day for the hike but we made the best of it and it stopped raining at the summit long enough to grab a bite. As others mentioned you have to look carefully for the cairns and flags - especially near the summit. Used this app’s gps feature to get back on trail at one point near the summit.

enjoyable with historic relics from old mines and hotels.

Okay hike. Kinda steep, seemed like it was longer than it was. Not a lot of room to explore at the top, but pretty Mountain View’s. I wouldn’t do this hike again.

1.5 hours from Seattle
2.5 hours of hiking for 6+ miles

Really easy and flat, picked it because of the fall foliage. Lots of browns, greens and yellows. Not a ton of red. Plenty of overlooks along the river, not super crowded (maybe saw six other groups).

Very kid friendly. Very dog friendly.

We stopped by the Fosters pumpkin patch on our way back to Seattle, made for a great all day excursion.

GPS for the trailhead is spot on, well labeled. Great traditional, along the river hike, but probably won’t repeat again for awhile.

Very pretty. Bridge is still out but my dogs loved it.

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely awesome. This one definitely fits the bill for "hard" I think. I recommend planning an entire day here, or camp overnight at the top. Perfect balance of enjoying the forest but with a ton of scenery of the surrounding peaks throughout. Some of the parts, the trail isn't very visible but still easy to know where to go. I can't wait to do it again!

trail running
1 month ago

A beautiful but difficult hike. Planned on 10 miles as some of the reports indicated, but it turned out that AllTrails is accurate. I got 6.8 miles on my Garmin watch. I trail run several of these Mountain Loop hikes, and am very confident this one is about 7 miles long from the trail head. This does not diminish the fact that this is a difficult hike though. Give plenty of time to complete it. The benefit of this hike are the views most of the way up. You could really cut it short at any point after mile 2 and you would still get your fill of the beautiful terrain. Headlee Pass is an experience worth the pain of getting there. 20 or so switch backs in a small gap.
Many portions of the trail are over rock fields, we got off trail a few times, but as long as you understand the big picture of the hike, it’s not hard to get back. Overall the trail is in really good shape, and well worn.

First off, the bear is still there, located in the area where the berries are most abundant, about 1 Mile from the top. He was so busy eating he wasn’t bothered by us at all, we saw him about 25’ off the trail, and one hiker was within 10’ of the bear because he wasn’t able to deter the bear so he went around it, he said the bear was more interested in eating berries and wasn’t at all aggressive and kept eating.

I gave it 4 stars because switchbacks suck, otherwise it made a great Fall hike once you got out from under the canopy of the trees, and away from those switchbacks. At the top it was socked in with clouds, it was windy and absolutely bone chilling. As we were headed back down it cleared up and the sun came out.

This is a challenging but wonderful hike. Our GPS Garmin watch listed it as about 10 mi round trip, so be prepared for more than 8.3 miles. There were tons of wild blueberries all along the top portion.

backpacking
2 months ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

hiking
2 months ago

We had a few friends visiting out of town and brought them out camping for the weekend. We wanted to hike somewhere near our campsite which was right off mountain loop highway.

We knew we were doing a hard hike but it sure did kick out butt. The view is 100% worth it though. There are endless switchbacks so makes sure those leg muscles are ready to work.

There are huckleberries along the way and a few view points of the near mountains. Bring a lot of water and plenty of snacks to enjoy the hike.

Trail ran this today. Similar to what the other reviewer said, biggest regret was not bringing a tent. The basin is pretty awesome. Hard to describe and pictures don’t do it justice. Hike was smoke free, bug free. Super steep at times so be prepared to have your legs burning. Kind of like Mt . Si but 3 miles longer. First 2 miles are flat and easily runnable. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must. Trust me. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”. One final note, this hike is 30 miles from cell service so download some offline maps and get a lot of gas before you get there.

hiking
2 months ago

Only regret is not bringing our tent. Take your time, and bring hiking poles if you’re unsteady on your feet. Plan on hanging out in the basin for a while!

Perfect forest walk!

Very nice and extra hard trail however well worth the view all the way to the lake

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