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Marten Creek

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
View map below

Length

6.6 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1400 ft.
Highest Point: 2800 ft.

Rating

2.90 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2012
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Follow an old mining route through quiet forest near Darrington. Short of some brushing and drainage work by WTA in 2012, this trail hasn't seen much maintenance in recent years, so it may require some route-finding experience to visit.

This route once extended over Granite Pass all the way to Darrington, serving the Marten Creek Mines. Despite being steep, the first mile is an old (1940s) road. Climb uphill and pass a small tree plantation. These little saplings were planted in 1915 after a major fire in this area--they were taken from various locations and elevations to see which species saw the best growth success.

The goal of the study was to discover the best species of trees to replant after logging. Researchers were looking for disease resistance and fast growth in trees, but made some other interesting discoveries. Namely, that the parent of a given tree has more to do with the growth success of a tree than weather conditions do.

After only a quarter-mile of hiking, enter the Boulder River Wilderness. Continue on, and a mile from the trailhead, the way levels out and emerges into a large brushy basin.

2.5 miles from the trailhead is Marten Creek. Cross this, and continue for just under a mile to the site of an old mine. At this point, the trail disappears into the brush. If you're heading for Granite Pass, you'll need to have a good map, compass, and route finding skills.

 

Marten Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.0719, -121.6067 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

Marten Creek (#713)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails 110: Silverton

Getting There

11 miles east of Granite Falls, on the Mountain Loop Highway, find the Verlot Public Service Center on the Mountain Loop Highway (530). Continue driving east on the Mt. Loop Highway for another 9.6 miles to the trailhead at Marten Creek. The signed trailhead is on the east side of the creek, but there is no parking lot, so you'll need to find parking along the road's shoulder.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Marten Creek

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