National Forest, Washington
Barlow Pass, with enormous mountains in every direction, is a stepping off place for the 4-mile walk leading to the former town site of Monte Cristo. With the discovery of gold and silver bearing ores in 1889, Monte Cristo became the center of a mining boom through the 1890s. Thousands of miners, businessmen, laborers and settlers poured into the rugged Cascade Mountains. A railway line was built to move the massive ore and concentrates to the nearby developing city of Everett.
While nature has taken back much of the townsite, vestiges still remain, including a large mechanism to turn railway cars around at the site. Archaeologists also have marked out areas of Monte Cristo, including quarters for Japanese American labor crews that helped build and service the railway line.
In the summer of 2011, students in the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience summer youth program, YouthCAN, journeyed to Monte Cristo to survey the site and gather research for their artwork and exhibition.
Highlights: The road follows the original grade of the Everett and Monte Cristo Railroad. The scenery is spectacular as you see rugged, jagged peaks rising on both sides of the road. As the road skirts along a rocky cliff, views of Cadet Peak, Toad and Silvertip Mountains are seen in the distance. Monte Cristo campground is on the left at 4.0 miles. Among the prolific vine maple under second growth timber, this small camp was once part of the Rattler Mining Claim and was acquired by the US Forest Service in 1951. The campground currently has 6 sites with picnic tables, fire pits, barbecue grills and toilets, making for a nice overnight spot.