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Monte Cristo A Ghost Town

  March backpacking outing is taking us to Monte Cristo’s Ghost Town. The trail starts not too far from Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway at the Barlow Pass Trailhead.  From there the 4 mile trail will take us the abandoned mining town.

Monte Cristo once was a busting mining town in the late 1800’s. Mining prospecting started in the spring of 1889 by Joseph Pearsall.  A railroad to the site was completed in 1893 but destroyed by floods in 1897.  Later all the mining properties become under the control of John D Rockefeller and the railroad was rebuilt in 1900. The remnants of this old railroad are still visible today.  Mining continued strong from 1900 to 1912 however, from 1912 to 1920 mining activities declined as the ores were not as productive as they were originally anticipated. This decline in activity led the mining companies to abandon the town altogether.

The 4-mile long trail is relatively flat with very little elevation change.  There is a river along the trail and it will be required to cross it by walking on a fallen tree from bank to bank.  Although, there is plenty of water in the river, this water is not be used for drinking or cooking as it is reported to be contaminated with traces of minerals from the old mines. Plan on bringing extra drinking water in your backpack for this trip.

Aside from the water, the Monte Cristo mining site is a great destination full of history and places to explore, not to mention an occasional ghost encounter.

Learn More about Monte Cristo’s history and trail at HistoryLink.org >

Find out more about the History and background information >

Trail information (Washington Trail Association >