Glacier Basin Via Monte Cristo Trail is a 12.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Granite Falls, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November.
Directions from Verlot: Travel east on the Mt. Loop Hwy. 19.5 miles. Park at Barlow Pass and proceed on foot for 4.0 miles on the Monte Cristo Road. Presently, one must go through the Monte Cristo Townsite in order to bypass a washed out bridge on the trail.
Starts out as an easy trek through Monte Cristo on a very flat gravel road. There are some rockier spots as you get farther down the trail. Once you pass through Monte Cristo the trail starts to pick up and is a little more exciting. You end up going straight up the side of the mountain, which is a little more challenging. At one point you have to climb a rope to continue on. Once you arrive at the basin it is just stunningly beautiful. We stayed over night at the permanent camp spot.
Beautiful basin below Monte Cristo Peak and Wilman Peaks. I only came across one other group - most people just hike to Monte Cristo. After passing through "town" take the bridge to the left. The trail starts out easy enough for about the first mile until you get to the waterfall. That is where the trail gets steep and it was a tad slippery in places from frost, but nothing technical. Keep pushing because it is only another mile to the basin. I lost the trail near the top across the boulder field and just followed along next to the creek. Almost snow free in February. There should be a lot more snow this time of year! 12 1/2 miles round trip factoring in the hike to Monte Cristo.