Silver Lake via Monte Cristo Trail and Poodle Dog Pass Trail

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Mount Baker National Forest

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.

Length13.1 miElevation gain2296 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyBackpackingCampingHikingForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeHistoric site
Description
Waypoints (3)
Contact
Getting There

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).

Verlot Ranger Station, at 360-691-7791

Take Mountain Loop Highway thru Granite Falls to Barlow Pass. You will pass two very distinct bridges the first one is blue and the second is red. Also you will know that you are at Barlow Pass because the paved road ends. There is a parking lot on the left hand side or you can park along the road. You will need a parking pass available at the Mt Baker Snoqualmie National Forest ranger station that you pass as you enter the forest. ($7 for the day or $30 for the year) Hike into the town of Monte Cristo, continue on through the town where you will see the signs for Silver and Twin Lakes.

Weather
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Reviews (55)
Photos (784)
Recordings (50)
Completed (179)
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Chris P
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HikingRocky

10/03/20: The effort to payoff ratio is poor. It was a crowd road walk to Monte Cristo. Past the town site, the trail is step and in overall poor condition. Not many views even though the trail is on the side of a mountain. The lake is very nice but there are better.

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Alex Mar
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HikingBugsGreat!
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Al Wec
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Hiking

Things are pretty boring for the first 5 miles--like walking down a flat country road/nature trail with a few historical sites and campgrounds. Easy for kids though. Once you walk through Monte Cristo, the trail will cross a bridge, and after you pass an old shack (on your left), the trail will veer right, then rise and curve around a boulder--might be hard to notice if you don't look left. There were more switchbacks on the trail than indicated on the map, but overall pretty straight forward once you start climbing. There is signage indicating where you spilt off for twin lake and silver spring. There is a latrine at the camp site (see pictures)...be sure to bring compostable wipes...I hiked Sunday/Monday Memorial Day weekend. Only two other groups. Plenty of room. Few mosquitoes; sunscreen recommended. There are also bathrooms at the trailhead and at the monte cristo camp, in addition to a latrine at silver lake camp. Plenty of water along the way. FS20 can get a little crowded around trail head--expect to park on road on the weekends. Requires a National forest or America the beautiful pass.

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Adam Hendrix
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Backpacking

This was a great trail. The hike to Monte Cristo was more of a walk. Most of the trail is a gravel road. The ghost town is a great place to stop and eat. Lots of picnic tables. Once you pass Monte Cristo it’s another story. Lots of elevation gain with the last 1.5 miles being quite a push. But silver lake is worth it. Plenty of good campsites. They aren’t all obvious at first, but with a little stroll you’ll find them. The box toilet on the top of the ridge had quite the view as well!

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Adrianna Spencer
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BackpackingGreat!Icy

This Trail was awesome! Really steep at the end but it’s so worth it! My friend dunked in silver lake and in one of the twin lakes, seriously cold but still fun. We hiked up spent two nights and day hiked to twin lakes from silver. The first night there was a lot of frost and the dew froze. Good amount of bugs but not unbearable, pretty warm during the day, and there’s snow on the far side of the lake. Two toilets near silver lake and fantastic views. Not many trees for hammocks but really nice grassy campsites.

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Mckenzie Stevens
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

Beautiful wild flowers , steep , rocky , mosquitoes suck but worth the climb . View is epic worth it safe travels home

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Lake Gemmer
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HikingBugsRockyScramble

Hiked this with my group on Thursday (8/13) for a four day hike to Silver Lake then to Twin Lakes. My one word of advice is bring the most industrial grade bug repellant possible if you are going to camp over night here. If you are going to continue on to Twin Lakes bring even more because both places are swamped with mosquitos, no-see-ums and black biting flies. The hike to Monte Cristo is easy but after that it is all up from there. Going to Twin Lakes is not an easy hike and be prepared if you are going to go that far. Lot's of elevation gain and not a ton of shade in long potions of the trail. Also at twin lakes be careful if you are going near the base of the crags as there were some rock/snow slides while we were there. Brutal hike but well worth the effort.

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Isis Peguero
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!

This was my second backpacking trip and it was a trip. Just kidding, it went pretty well. The first 4 miles are pretty easy. After Monte Cristo, it gets pretty steep (for a beginner). The trail gets pretty narrow and rocky at times, had to call on brown Jesus to help me finish (and I did). Silver Lake was amazing! There were lots of mosquitos, and they love me, so I had to fight them off using my fists and bug spray (I basically showered in it). Trust, you'll need it! We did a bit of fishing on the way down and caught a handful of cute little rainbows.

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Chris Wilde
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HikingBugsMuddyRockyScramble
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Alex Miller
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HikingBugsGreat!Washed out

Hike to Monte Christo is quick and easy to knock out. The real climb begins pretty quickly after the turn off for silver lake. Trail isn’t too steep, but a constant uphill climb. It’s well marked and very easy to follow. Near the pass there are a few sections that are washed out with lots off loose rocks that are a little sketchy, but passable. Lake was beautiful and has multiple spots to camp for the night. I clocked closer to 15 RT, but I did explore the river and the town area a bit.

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David Phillips
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Hiking

some rough areas, lovely views most the way up and really nice areas to camp around silver lake.

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Paul Coulter
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BackpackingGreat!
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Mike VW
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HikingSnow

July2, nice cool hike to Monte Cristo. Trail out of there gets it going on switchbacks with excellent trail conditions until a couple hundred yards from Poodle Pass where there is a lot of snowfields to traverse. From the pass to the lake is pure snowfield and the lake is five percent open water. Foggy and freezing. Overall a BANNER day.

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Chris Vanek
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Snow

hiked last week, heavy about 1mile in from.monte Cristo all the way to the lake

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Eric Siverson
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BackpackingSnow

Made the trip up starting at 1:30pm by bike to monte cristo. then hiked the rest until about 4 or 5 ish. Still alot of snow but made it very interesting! Will be trying for twin lakes in a month or two and will stop by silver lake again to see it without snow.

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Pam Hernandez
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HikingMuddySnow

The trail up to Monte Cristo was a steady hike no real incline at all, took about 5 miles to get there. The hike up to the Silver Lake from MC was a steady incline for about 1.5 miles. Once I got to the river crossing there is a lot of thick snow covering the trail and very hard to see which way is the right way. If you don’t know this trail it is very hard to find the path. I unfortunately did not find it, even while using my trail maps.

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Alec Menzies
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I went up there today, it was raining most of the day but there were a few sun breaks it was still beautiful. About half way up Poodle Dog pass I ran into snow and from there on in it was pretty much all snow, very hard to fund the trail so make sure you download the maps before you leave, also bring your axe the upper part of Poodle Dog is pretty steep I was certainly wishing I brought mine today. The lake is still covered in snow, except a little patch at the outfall, I'm definitely gonna go back in a month or so and try to hit twin lakes also, good luck hope this helps

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