Saturday, November 06, 2004

Ghost Town Hike

Last week at a party, I met a woman who talked about how much she enjoyed hiking, and that she heard there was a ghost town hike in this area. The party was the Friday before Halloween, so talk of a ghost town seemed extra exciting.

I did some research, and found the ghost town: Monte Cristo. This small town was founded in the 1890's when gold was discovered in the hills, and for a time there was even a railroad line to Everett, funded by Rockefeller. But, mining dried up by 1907 and the town became a ghost when the railroad line stopped in the 1930's. The hike is a popular one, and is also the launching point for two other hikes: Twin Lakes, and Silver Lake.

After a bit of planning, four of us met for breakfast and drove out for the hike. I wound up buying some Green Trails maps, even though the hike to Monte Cristo was along a very well marked trail. Our group was Carrie, who I met at the party, her friend Kevin, a marine from Whidbey Island, and Allison, a co-worker.



The boxer is named Rocky and is Allison's. Rocky had a great time running back and forth along the trail.

The trail is in great condition - it is quite driveable. I'd want a 4 wheel drive though - if you get stuck, you'll need to get yourself out. The access road is blocked by a locked gate, and only property owners and members of the historical society have access.


A small bridge crosses the stream at the entrance to the town.

Welcome Sign

Here we are!


Not many of the original buildings are standing. This one was in good shape.

Old Turntable

Evidence of the railroad line...


A few rusty mechanical parts were laying around in the center of the town.

The lower area of the town is now just a half dozen building spread out around an open field. We wandered around, and then crossed a bridge to Dumas Street, the upper part of Monte Cristo.

Dumas Street Sign

Dumas Street was the main street of Monte Cristo, and at one time there were several houses, a hotel, and a garage. Now, just a shack and the garage are standing.


Checking out the real estate sign. That's right, this shack is for sale!

At the end of Dumas Street, we followed the trail to the ore concentrator and wandered around. At one time, it was 5 stories high, but now it is just a bunch of rocks, and a few timbers. There is also a sign that warns of high arsenic levels!

We ate lunch in the town center, where there was a picnic bench and bike rack. Then, we packed up and hiked out.

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