Monte Cristo Ghost Town
May 25, 2019
The activities depicted on this site are inherently dangerous and can result in serious injury or death. Any action that you take as a result of information obtained from this site or any information provided through Hike2Hike is at your own risk.

The Monte Cristo hike has been one of those over the years that I find a reason to take almost every year. Even if the goal is to explore the areas around the town, I seem to go through it at least once every summer. The ghost town is a good destination though for families and anyone needing an easy hike.

Sam and I arrived early to get a head start on everyone else. Barlow pass where the Monte Cristo hike starts is a busy area. I felt surprised that we didn’t see a single other soul in the parking area. It wouldn’t be until we reached the town that we actually saw two other hikers. A very pleasant rarity for any area on Mt Loop Highway.

view from the log crossing
view from the log crossing
south fork sauk river from monte cristo road
south fork sauk river

We decided to take the old trail to hike to Monte Cristo. I would say that it is in good condition for the time of year. There is no snow anywhere and even the muddy parts of the trail didn’t bother us. The log crossing, despite the fact that it had been raining, was easy to get past.

If you have read about the log crossing and don’t want to face it, the new trail is your other option. From Barlow pass walk down Mountain loop highway a half-mile. When you cross the bridge there is a road on your right. Follow it and it leads right to the old road to hike to Monte Cristo.

As usual the whole trail up to the ghost town is quite pleasurable and well graded. Depending on whether the 8 miles is too much, this trail is always a good option for the whole family.

metal sign at the monte cristo town site
metal welcome sign
monte cristo road
monte cristo road
south fork sauk river running through the town site
south fork sauk river
south fork sauk river
south fork sauk river
samata sitting by the river
samata sitting by the river

Many think that the first few buildings you see are the Monte Cristo ghost town. That is not the case. These first few red houses are part of the old train station. If you want to experience the town follow the trail a little further. You will encounter signs explaining history of the mining town, along with more buildings.

monte cristo town site sign
town site welcome sign
foundation of one of the old buildings
refinery remains
infamous log crossing over the sauk river
infamous log crossing
old train bridge
old train bridge
monte cristo town site building
one of the buildings in town

If you are looking for some high adventure, the town site provides access to many of the great climbs in this area. Peaks such as Silver Tip, Columbia, Cadet and multiple others.

None of the peaks in this area should be attempted by anyone without serious skill in scrambling, navigation, weather prediction, rope work, and in some seasons, travel on snow.

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