Hike to Monte Cristo

Thank you for your interest in Caching in the NorthWest’s hike to a Washington Ghost Town, Monte Cristo, on May 20th 2017.

Plan to meet at the event (time and location to be set later) or at the trailhead at 9:45am sharp.  We have a long hike in front of us and will not wait until the entire group arrives.

There was a story of Monte Cristo on Evening Magazine.

In the 1890’s, thousands of miners lived rough and tumble lives, searching for riches in the rocks.

One of the bustling mining towns that sprouted up during this time period was Monte Cristo, a robust town of 2,000 people that had a newspaper, a school, hotels, and plenty of saloons. Residents and investors believed it would become the greatest lead and silver district in the country. They built elaborate aerial tramways to carry ore and a five-level concentrator was finished in 1894.

By 1893 there were more than 200 mining claims. However, the dreams of riches came to a crashing halt as funding woes, flooding along the rail line and miscalculations about the mining potential caused the production to stall and then cease by 1907. There were a few attempts to make this a resort destination, but they too were abandoned.

Named after the book, “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the town, unfortunately, ended up being mostly a bust. The terrain is rough, the winters are awful, flooding plagued the area, and the mining operation simply cost too much. The last residents picked up and left in the 1920’s.

Once you reach Monte Cristo, pieces of the past are everywhere.

Rusted signs mark the spot where the old lodge used to stand. Mining artifacts litter the open fields. You’ll see wheels, buckets, and lots of scrap metal. Old cabins still stand, slowing falling more and more each year. The old concentrator is just a partial remnant of its old glory. The once-bustling main street, Dumas Street, is now barely more than a dusty trail.

Bring a lunch, snacks and plenty of water along with your imagination to Monte Cristo for a full day of history, scenery, and geocaching. We are planning on an 8 hour round trip hike.
The hike is 16.2km round trip (10.06 miles), with an elevation gain of 300 meters (984 feet).

Leftover materials from the mine were cleaned up during summer 2016. That doesn’t mean the water here is drinkable, though. It’s a good idea to bring the water you’ll need, and if you need to refill, bring filters or treat it before drinking.

You will need a Northwest Forest Pass if you plan on driving. You can purchase a $5 day pass here:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=STELPRD3793310

Fill out this form so we can be safe and get a head count.