Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington
by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2010 Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
In conjunction with Twin Lakes, this is a great hike if you want to backpack to a site and then have a few day hikes for subsequent days (Twin Lakes; Glacier Basin). Lots of plusses--great, plentiful campsites, impressive views at Twin Lakes--layers of mountain ranges and a view of Rainier. Lots of huckleberry bushes lined the trail; the berries were green but should be ripe soon. On the negative side, there were a ton of mosquitoes.
My sons (10 y/o and 6y/o) and I made this hike on a Sunday in the late summer. The trail is challenging but it is well marked and well maintained. The kids though exhausted by the time we reached poodle dog pass enjoyed the hike and were not pushed beyond their limits. The views from the pass are hard to beat and worth the considerable effort required to achieve them. The trail is well used and we saw at least 5 other parties on the trail. This is a difficult hike that will leave you drained. Be sure to pack for the wors case because it's a long way to get help.
We hiked the first eight miles to Monte Cristo, but found too much snow (April 2005) to continue on to Poodle Pass. We plan on coming back. The hike to the town was fairly easy. Since the path is a road (though skechy in some areas), it is wide and fairly level most of the journey. The trail was fairly busy for being out of season. If you like history, the town of Monte Cristo is a neat place. There is some information on the town hanging up at the site and signs where some of the older buildings stood. This is a good trail to take a group of your friends that may not be in the best shape. Also, the town has other trail opportunites than Poodle Dog Pass, and would make for a fun weekend backpacking trip.
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