Poodle Dog Pass/Silver Lake Professional Review and Guide
"You can enjoy an almost leisurely stroll along the initial 4 miles of this wonderful route as it follows the well-graded old dirt road from Barlow Pass to the historic mining town of Monte Cristo. Indeed, perhaps even miniature poodles could enjoy this picturesque walk. The road, still used by the few folks who retain rights to the mining claims and cabins in the old ghost town, passes through lush, old forest alongside the South Fork Sauk River. From the town, though, the route gets more difficult. No more strolling through forest glades here.
After viewing the old railroad turnstile and other rusting hulks of mining equipment around the town, you’ll start a long, steep slog up a series of switchbacks that will leave you huffing, puffing, and sweating buckets. Be aware, too, that July is the peak month for mosquitoes here most years, and the soggy forest tends to breed swarms of the nasty little biters. The breezes found in the pass, though, sweep away the worst of the little nasties, and by late summer, the bugs are mostly past their prime."