144 – Monte Cristco

With access to the old mining town of Monte Cristo slated to be closed later this season for a two-year period while reclammation work is underway at the site, we bumped this hike up to the top of our gotta-get-to list.

Monte Cristco trailhead
Monte Cristco trailhead

If you like ghost towns, this is the hike for you, although getting there is discouraged. The staff at the visitor centor at the parks office advised us that the bridge over the Sauk River had been washed out years before and the log crossing in place was totally unsafe and absolutely not recommended. Of course, we didn’t let that warning discourage us! Kent simple took our packs to the other side, came back and gave me a hand.

Crossing the Sauk River . . .
Crossing the Sauk River . . .

Once over the Sauk River, the trail follows an old road, making for easy hiking, and in no time, we had reached the old mining town. There are maps and other signage posted throughout what remains of the town providing plenty of interesting history of the area.

Arriving at Monte Cristco
Arriving at Monte Cristco

Here I am, posing by the “Welcome to Monte Cristo” sign as we entered the town.

(pic by Kent Doughty) - Rose at Monte Cristo
(pic by Kent Doughty) – Rose at Monte Cristo

There were plenty of buildings to explore.

Buildings to explore
Buildings to explore

And lots of old mining relics to check out.

Relics at Monte Cristo
Relics at Monte Cristo

Even a memorial!

Keyes Memorial
Keyes Memorial

We started this hike at the Barlow Pass trailhead along the Mountain Loop Highway. An easy hike of just over seven miles, another mile or two can easily be made by meandering around the old town and taking a few of the shorter side trails. For more information on this hike, go here – http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/monte-cristo-143 .

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