Mileage: 11 miles RT to Silver Lake, 18+ miles if you are trying to make Twin Lakes.
Elevation Gain/Highest: 4100ft/54ooft
Map: Sloan Peak 111, Monte Cristo 143
Favorite Eats After Hike: LJs Bistro in Lake Stevens
11/5/2016 Opting to hike a longer hike instead of a simple river trail today with a forecast for 100% rain may not have been the smartest thing but I wanted to put in some miles while we were still in Daylight Savings time. There is just something about the clock resetting that also resets my hike distance mentality. I must admit I haven’t been up to Monte Cristo in years, it is a hike from my childhood.
We went prepared with extra layers and spikes not sure when the wind chill and snow might turn us back.
The views were obvious, even if mostly obscured in cloud cover. The rain had us stopping in very short breaks to catch a breath or bite to eat. A few of us made to the view point for Twin Lakes but I and another stopped short because of comfort level with the snow conditions.
We had come across a snow covered slope and I had already slipped once. I chose not to continue because the trail intel said it was a harder scramble to the ridge above the lakes. I am kicking myself now because the short distance left was not as bad as what we had already done but that’s what happens when you are unfamiliar with a trail. Oh well, I’ll be back. Silver Lake was a beautiful compromise on the way down.
Directions: Take Highway 92 to its end in Granite Falls. At the T intersection near the east end of town, turn left onto the Mountain Loop Highway. Follow this road 11 miles to the Verlot Ranger Station for maps, permits, and latest trail information. 19.3 miles past the ranger station is Barlow Pass and the end of paved road. Parking is available both on the road and at a Forest Service trailhead parking lot near the end of the paved road. A privy is available here as well. You will need a NW Forest Pass.