Mountain Loop Highway

Darrington, Washington

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
4 out of 5
From the old railroad town of Granite Falls to the logging center of Darrington, Mountain Loop Highway (a Forest Service scenic byway) follows the Stillaguamish and Sauk rivers through a mountainous region that blends soaring glaciated peaks, steep valleys, waterfalls, ice caves, even the ghost town of Monte Cristo. Don’t miss the beautiful foot trail to Big Four Ice Caves, snowfield tunnels formed by meltwater and the flow of warm air. Suited to low-clearance 2WD vehicles. Road surfaces range from two-lane asphalt to single-lane gravel. About 14 miles are unpaved. The easy walking and biking trail to Monte Cristo follows the grade of the old Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad. The trail to Big Four Ice Caves is easy.
Washington Byways

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Washington Byways

by Tony Huegel (Wilderness Press)

From the old railroad town of Granite Falls to the logging center of Darrington, Mountain Loop Highway (a Forest Service scenic byway) follows the Stillaguamish and Sauk rivers through a mountainous region that blends soaring glaciated peaks, steep valleys, waterfalls, ice caves, even the ghost town of Monte Cristo.

Don’t miss the beautiful foot trail to Big Four Ice Caves, snowfield tunnels formed by meltwater and the flow of warm air. Suited to low-clearance 2WD vehicles. Road surfaces range from two-lane asphalt to single-lane gravel. About 14 miles are unpaved. The easy walking and biking trail to Monte Cristo follows the grade of the old Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad. The trail to Big Four Ice Caves is easy.

©  Tony Huegel/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Darrington
Distance: 54
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 2.5 hours up to a full day including side hikes
Local Contacts: Mount Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District; Verlot Public Service Center
Local Maps: Washington Road & Recreation Atlas; Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest, North Half
Driving Directions: Directions to Mountain Loop Highway

Recent Trail Reviews

1/29/2011
0

Nice, very easy drive. Check with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Rangers on road conditions and probable closures during the wet season. As of today, the road is closed from the South approach leaving Granite Falls at Red Bridge just before Deer Creek; local traffic only permitted. Check out the mineshaft/portal at the intersection of Mountain Loop Highway and River Road.


7/5/2006
0

All of the gravel section from the Monte Cristo trailhead is closed. Much of road was washed out from flooding back in the winter of 03/04 (I believe) and there is no plans to rebuild as of yet. :-(



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