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Silver Lake via Monte Cristo Trail and Poodle Dog Pass Trail

HARD 36 reviews

Silver Lake via Monte Cristo Trail and Poodle Dog Pass Trail is a 13.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Darrington, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 13.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,296 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

historic site

It is a steep hike that is mostly in the shade, it is narrow but very well defined. The only thing that can fit on this trail is humans and dogs, it is too narrow for horses. It is a strenuous trail but to see Silver Lake is worth the sweat. You may be thinking that the lake would be refreshing to dive into, but it is a snow melt lake. If you wanted you could also continue onto Twin Lakes (2.4 miles further with a 343' elevation gain).

hiking
5 months ago

giving it only 4 stars just because the first part to Monte Cristo town site is a boring slog. also, this is the new trail going up from MC (which adds about 2 miles return to the overall length). Silver Lake is beautiful. We also continued to Twin Lakes. the trail is in good condition (there was work done to it recently). Approx times: 1.5hr to MC town site, 1.5hrs to Silver Lake, 1.5hrs SL to Twin Lakes. Going back takes slightly less as you travel downhill. Roughly 30km (18.5 miles).

hiking
5 months ago

giving it only 4 stars just because the first part to Monte Cristo town site is a boring slog. also, there is a new trail going up from MC (you see it on the Poodle Dog Pass description; the route shown here is no longer in use). The new trail adds about 2 miles return to the overall length. Silver Lake is beautiful. We also continued to Twin Lakes. the trail is in good condition (there was work done to it recently). Approx times: 1.5hr to MC town site, 1.5hrs to Silver Lake, 1.5hrs SL to Twin Lakes. Going back takes slightly less as you travel downhill. Roughly 30km (18.5 miles).

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this June 23rd, and I would say that it was not very difficult at all - there's about a 500 foot section near Silver Lake that is a little steep, but honestly not as bad as most reviews here make it seem. The hike to Monte Cristo is pretty boring, on very flat gravel road. It was raining the day that I hiked, so it was cloudy at Silver Lake, but still very beautiful. Snow free!

Wed Oct 31 2018

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.

hiking
Fri Aug 31 2018

I’m not sure where these people drove to to make it only 2-5 miles. That would have made the hike a lot quicker for us as ours was 16 mile RT! We had to go through Monte and that adds a total of 8 miles RT headed up to the town. Maybe we missed something somewhere, where you can drive in closer but it’s such an easy 8 extra miles and beautiful at that. Silver lake is stunning, the adjacent peaks are gorgeous and minimal bug last Monday!

hiking
Mon Aug 27 2018

We hiked this via the Monte Cristo trail head across from Borrow. The first 4-5 miles of the trail are easy with little elevation gain. The next 3-4 miles is where it gets a little harder and a little harder. You can lose the trail here and there if you aren’t paying attention to small signs and markings. The switch backs towards the top (last 1000 feet) are what most Alpine lakes bring, brutality. When you get to the top tho, you can choose to go another 2.5 miles to twin lakes or go to Silver, clearly we went to Silver lake and it did not disappoint. The lake is amazingly clear/ blue!! I will say this, the hike is more around the 16 mile range not 13! So if you are thinking about adding twin lakes to the hike think of a 20 mile hike not 15. Awesome hike though over all. We thought about going into the “town” but glad we didn’t

backpacking
Tue Aug 21 2018

This hike is actually about 5.8 miles (includes a very easy 4 mike hike through monte cristo). The way up has a steady incline, until you get about a quarter mile out, then you climb ~400ft in a very short period. The lake is gorgeous! Camping spots are limited, but many people end up continuing on to Twin Lakes anyways. Bring bug spray, they can get bad near the lake. No snow and the monte cristo trailhead is easy to get to with any car.

Wed Jul 11 2018

Very miss leading. You have to hike Monte Cristo Trail before you even get there. Views were nice once there not so much getting there.

hiking
Sun Jul 01 2018

I am a fairly new hiker and this hike was absolutely brutal once you get about a mile from silver lake. There was a few large patches of snow to cross, some pretty steep scrambles and it was raining the entire trip. It was gorgeous but hard for sure!

backpacking
Mon Jul 17 2017

went up to Silver lakes and it was still mostly ice floating in the lake. it was cold last night and the mosquitoes were out in full force, but it was worth it. We wanted to make it up to twin lakes but without mini spikes and poles the trail becomes rough. So we hiked out the next day. I'm not sure why Twin Lakes is not on here but it's a great hike.

Sat Jun 17 2017

hiked this trail 3 weeks ago. cleared all the switch backs and got really close before I had to turn back cause of sketchy snow. my dog kept falling through. should be cleared up now though!

hiking
Thu Aug 18 2016

Loved this hike, it is not easy! my fiance backpacked our 2 year old and that was pretty hard, but he was determined; he proposed once we made it to Silverlake

Sat Apr 11 2015

Killer hike with a killer view, although you need trekking poles for this one!

hiking
Fri Aug 24 2012

First 4 miles of the trail is the road to Monte Cristo ghost town. The remaining 2 miles to silver lake are tough and the last mile is rocky and dusty. Pretty lake though and not a soul on the trail past Monte Cristo.

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